Singled Out: Pete Thelen's Thought Passing Through

Keavin Wiggins | 07-14-2020

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Pete Thelen

Pete Thelen recently released his new album "Best For Last" and to celebrate we asked him to tell us about the song "Thought Passing Through". Here is the story:

I chose this song because it speaks to how I feel when I leave the family I love, to do what I love. It's a dilemma for me as an artist. I chose my dear friend Hans Christian on cello to play the lead instrumental part, because I knew he could capture how I was feeling, with his soulful, melancholy touch. Hans also played piano and Nyckelharpa. Mark Raddatz arranged the song and played guitar, and Paul Sowinski played Upright Bass, also dear friends. I titled this album "Best for Last" because it is. The most important lyric in the song is "it's the music, it's the memory, marked in time in the mind, you know it, sing along with, you know it, sing along', In closing I can hear Chico saying to me, Pete, "Put a Spell On Me" he liked the way I sang Screamin' Jay's song, and "No Fool No Fun".

My name is Pete Thelen; I was born in Chicago in 1949. I can't tell you what song was number one then, but after my parents bought me a transistor radio for my tenth birthday, I could tell you where I was, by what was playing at the time, or what I was listening to.
I had been living in Tempe, AZ. until 2002 playing with the band The Blue's Dinosaurs, formed by friend Greg Sheldon and I in 1995. I moved back to the Midwest to build a house on my ancestral land in Bailey's Harbor, WI. My Great Grandfather settled here from Germany and farmed the very land I live on in 1882. If you're not from these parts, it's approximately one hour and thirty-three minutes north of Lambeau Field in the Door County Peninsula.

In 2004 I left my wife and family to join the Dinosaurs in the Valley of the Sun for two months playing the clubs around ASU, and a gig that was near and dear to us, a fund-raising gig for Paz de Cristo a food pantry in Mesa, where they feed the homeless 365 days a year. For years it was at another dear friends "Mustang Sally Kellett" in Tempe. That is the place where the course of The Dinosaurs changed forever. Chicago Blues Legend, and Howlin' Wolf's Drummer, Chico Chism, showed up and we backed him for a couple of songs. We became the best of friends; I loved him like my brother, and we backed him several times over the years. I saw him in Chicago at Kingston Mines circa1976, after Wolf died. Who would have thought we'd become best friends twenty years later. We moved the benefit to The Rhythm Room in Phoenix, owned by famous harp player Bob Corritore and managed by one of the nicest people, Mona Lisa Watkins.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here

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