Peter Benjamin — known to Harborites as Peter Schatz, who graduated from Montesano High in 1993 — will showcase his original music at Hoquiam’s historic 7th St. Theatre on Saturday night.
Benjamin has toured and performed for years all over the greater Northwest, bringing his original music to big cities and small towns alike. Recently, he’s been dreaming about returning to his native Harbor-area to share a passion for music that was born and cultivated in the rainy and rustic enclaves of his youth.
Benjamin’s musical visit is in many ways the concert that he never got to perform during his high school and junior college days, when he founded and co-founded a number of metal and progressive rock bands as an outlet for expressing his early influences.
Upon graduating from Montesano High, Benjamin attended Pacific Lutheran University his freshman year before returning to Grays Harbor College for his sophomore year. AT GHC, he was inspired to pursue a career in music, so he returned to PLU and earned his bachelor’s degree in the subject.
Since then, Benjamin, 39, has spent much of his career in music as a collaborator and lead guitar player in bands like Seattle-based alternative rock group Edisyn and country-alternative favorite, The Sammy Steele Band. In July of last year, Benjamin released his second full-length solo record called “The Victorian,” which includes a track called “We Came From Montesano” about his hometown borough that played host to his coming-of-age years. The song expresses the experience of growing up and discovering, along with a few close friends, the enchantment of music that would drive the next 20 of his creative life.
“It’s not the kind of song you might usually associate with people writing about their home town,” said Benjamin. It’s more abstract than that.”
Benjamin is looking forward to returning to the Harbor to share what he describes as his “contemporary folk-rock” sound. He will be performing all-original music on Saturday night.
“I hope to see some people I haven’t seen in a long time,” said Benjamin, who grew up on Spruce Street in Montesano, but now lives in Edgewood in Pierce County. “It will be a nice occasion for that.”
Benjamin hadn’t been in the Hoquiam theater in many years, but is impressed with the renovations that have taken place over the past few years.
“They’ve really done a lot with the 7th Street over the years,” Benjamin said. “They’ve done some very good things with it.”
Benjamin will perform with his band: drummer Jason Kenyon, bassist Jeff Leonard and keyboard player and backup vocalist Jordanni Sarreal.
Opening the 7 p.m. show for the band will be Harbor duo Ericka and Mattaniah Corban, under their band name, Butler & the Maid. Tickets are available in advance for $8 at brownpapertickets.com and at the door for $10. If 500 tickets are sold in advance, local elementary students will be allowed to attend for free.
Benjamin and his band will also play a dinner show at the Westport Winery from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.