September 01, 1997 12:00 PM

Michael Peterson

Peterson’s hit single “Drink, Swear, Steal & Lie” is characteristic of this dynamic singer, who has a good ear for material and a hearty, rough-and-tumble way of performing it. Perhaps the closest comparison would be with Travis Tritt, who appears on this, Peterson’s debut album, in a duet on the happily raucous “I Finally Passed the Bar,” a drinking tune that should have a special appeal to law school graduates.

Born in Tucson and raised in eastern Washington State, Peterson, 38, played football at Pacific Lutheran University, and it was a former teammate, producer Brad Westering, who first encouraged him to write songs for Deniece Williams. Peterson cowrote (with Paula Carpenter) “Drink, Swear…,” as well as nine of the 10 other songs on this album, including “That’s What They Said About the Buffalo” and “When the Bartender Cries.” He may have to elbow his way in among the current bumper crop of honky-tonkish country singers, but Peterson has the talent to do it. (Reprise)

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