Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

Holger Petersen

Holger Petersen

Holger Petersen (pic. Blaise van Malsen) is a record producer, label owner, broadcaster, author, educator, festival producer, album collector – and serious music fan. In 1975 he co-founded Canada's Stony Plain Records. The label has won eleven (Canadian) Juno Awards and has been nominated for six Grammy's.  Stony Plain is a roots and blues label with artists (past and present) including Colin Linden, Eric Bibb, Ian Tyson, Corb Lund, Jeff Healey, Duke Robillard, Ronnie Earl, Maria Muldaur, Joe Louis Walker, Harry Manx & Kevin Breit, Long John Baldry, Rory Block, Jay McShann and MonkeyJunk.  The label celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2016.  In 2014 the Blues Foundation presented Stony Plain with a Keeping The Blues Alive Award for Record Label of the Year.

Since 1969, Holger has hosted Natch'l Blues on Alberta's public radio broadcaster CKUA. It's Canada's longest running blues program. He also hosts Saturday Night Blues, now in its 29th year, across Canada on CBC Radio One and Two, and across North America on SiriusXM 169.  He has been interviewing blues and roots music artists since the late 60's. Holger is a Founder and past Artistic Director of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.  He was named to the Order of Canada in 2003 and is a recipient of two honorary 'Doctor of Letters Degrees' presented by the University of Alberta (2012) and Athabasca University (2004) in recognition of his contributions to Canadian Culture and Public Broadcasting.  He was named 'Best Public Broadcaster' by the Blues Foundation in Memphis in 2009.

His first book Talking Music: Blues Radio and Roots Music was published in 2011 by Insomniac Press.  He is currently working on his second scheduled for publication in the fall of 2016. 

8 articles

By artist | By date

List of articles in the library by date

AUDIO: Townes Van Zandt (1986)

Audio transcript of interview by Holger Petersen, Rock's Backpages Audio, 4 January 1986

This is a transcript of Holger's audio interview with Townes. Hear the interview here.   ...

Townes Van Zandt (1986)

Interview by Holger Petersen, Rock's Backpages Audio, 4 January 1986

The Texas troubadour talks about his rootless youth; getting his songs covered by stars; the dangers of the road; bluesmen in general and Lightnin' Hopkins in particular; songwriting, "sky" songs and 'Pancho and Lefty'; and sharing a house with Guy Clark and Rodney Crowell!

File format: mp3; file size: 36.7mb, interview length: 40' 06" sound quality: *****

Bobby Charles (1997)

Interview by Holger Petersen, Rock's Backpages Audio, 23 May 1997

The great New Orleans songwriter talks about writing for Fats Domino; about his time in Woodstock with Muddy Waters, Paul Butterfield, Albert Grossman and others; and about such classics as 'See You Later Alligator', 'But I Do' and 'Jealous Kind'.

File format: mp3; file size: 14.2mb, interview length: 15' 28" sound quality: *****

Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks: Dan Hicks (2010)

Interview by Holger Petersen, Rock's Backpages Audio, 11 July 2010

The head Hot Lick talks about his early jazz and country influences; the impact of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and his continuing association with Maria Muldaur; the importance of humour in his songs, and looks back at San Francisco in the '60s: the folk rock explosion, the eclectic ballroom bills, and his days as a Charlatan.

File format: mp3; file size: 29.5mb, interview length: 30' 42" sound quality: *****

Van Dyke Parks (2010)

Interview by Holger Petersen, Rock's Backpages Audio, 7 August 2010

The amaible producer/arranger/artist looks back on his involvement with Ry Cooder; his friendship with Little Feat's Lowell George; the golden years at Warner Bros.; the march of technology from four to 24-tracks; being a fast worker, and his return to his folk roots with the Mississippi Sheiks Tribute Project.

File format: mp3; file size: 26.1mb, interview length: 28' 27" sound quality: *****

Steve Miller (2014)

Interview by Holger Petersen, Rock's Backpages Audio, 6 April 2014

From a childhood with Les Paul and T-Bone Walker as family friends, through to his recent Bingo! album, Miller looks back at his career: his first bands at school; the revelation that was Paul Butterfield, and his own involvement in the Chicago blues scene; San Francisco, the Haight and the Fillmore; legendary bluesmen such as John Lee Hooker and James Cotton; hitting big with The Joker; and the death of dear friend Norton Buffalo.

File format: mp3; file size: 46mb, interview length: 50' 15" sound quality: *****

Ronnie Hawkins (2014)

Interview by Holger Petersen, Rock's Backpages Audio, 28 June 2014

The veteran rocker talks about his Arkansas childhood; putting together his first Hawks; racism in the south; his friendship with Bo Diddley; recording with Henry Glover, and 'Who Do You Love'; on Hawks Robbie Robertson and Rick Danko; Morris Levy and Roulette Records; The Last Waltz; pulling a gun in defense of Jerry Lee Lewis, and a selection of tales from the road.

File format: mp3; file size: 46.8mb, interview length: 48' 44" sound quality: *****

Ellen McIlwaine passes away at 75

Obituary by Holger Petersen, CKUA, 23 June 2021

LOCAL MUSIC legend Ellen McIlwaine passed away today at the age of 75. McIlwaine earned the nickname the "Goddess of Slide" for her slide guitar ...

back to LIBRARY