Dutch blues vocalist and harp master, Pieter "Big Pete" van der Pluijm, may not be a familiar name to American blues audiences, but he's already well-established in the Netherlands – his native home base in North-West Europe. At 23, Pete was handpicked for a European memorial tour to honor the music and memory of legendary harmonica player and vocalist, Lester Butler (Red Devils and 13), backed by several of Lester's original bandmates. The project was met with great success and critical-acclaim, so more tours and a CD by the Lester Butler Tribute Band soon followed, securing Pete's arrival on the scene as one of the premier next-generation blues performers in the Benelux region.
Since then, Big Pete has gone on to form and record many other successful projects including his debut release, "Bathroom Acoustics," by the Strikes, a couple of CDs by the rockin' 50's Chicago blues outfit, the Backbones, as well as the more progressive and forward-thinking group, M.O.C.T. (Men of Considerable Taste). Pete's growing reputation also led to tours and performances backing many internationally acclaimed blues artists, including Alex Schultz, Mitch Kashmar, Monster Mike Welch, Hook Herrera, Matt Schofield, and Ian Siegal.
Pete's informal introduction to the U.S. market materialized in March 2010 with his appearance on the Mannish Boys' 5th anniversary release, "Shake for Me." Pete closed out the album in style, paying tribute to his late hero Lester Butler on the storming New Orleans romp, "Way Down South," backed by guitarist Kid Ramos, bassist Willie J. Campbell and drummer Jimi Bott, along with special guest pianist Andy Kaulkin, who previously recorded with Lester Butler on the classic album, "Thirteen."
Holland's best kept secret was officially out in 2011 when Big Pete made his American solo album debut with the star-studded release, “Choice Cuts,” which features Kim Wilson, Paul Oscher, Al Blake, Johnny Dyer, Alex Schultz, Kirk Fletcher, Kid Ramos, Rusty Zinn, Shawn Pittman, John Marx, Mojo Mark, Rob Rio, Willie J. Campbell and Jimi Bott. Pete further solidified his newfound awareness in the States with appearances at prestigious festivals such as the Dohney Blues Festival and Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival in Southern California, in addition to earning a 2012 Blues Music Award nomination for Best New Artist Debut for his album, “Choice Cuts."