Pete Cornelius grew up as far away from the Delta heartland as is almost humanely possible. He’s never picked cotton, never hitched a ride on a freight train, nor traded with the Devil. Not knowingly, anyway. Yet the 29-year-old Tasmanian is one of the most experienced young bluesman in the country, with more live shows and festival appearances, album releases and awards under his belt than most performers twice his age.

From age 6, Pete started studying and writing songs on his parents’ piano in his hometown of St Mary’s. By 9, he had picked up a guitar, namely, he says because he couldn’t bend those heavy piano strings. The same year he won his very first award; the prestigious “National Water Wise Songwriting competition.” The prize? A weekend in Brisbane, and performing on Agro’s Cartoon Connection. By 11 he became part of the Tasmanian Festival Wind Symphony, performing at corporate shows across Tasmania and at The Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival.

The young gun released his first album ‘Steppin’ Out In Blue’ at 13. The album featured 11 original tracks with Pete playing all the instruments. He sold out all 500 of its limited release. His first band, Double Shuffle was formed around the same time, playing venues & festival across Tasmania.

At 15, ‘Pete Cornelius & The DeVilles’ were formed, going on to perform at all the major festivals around Australia, and were invited back to most of them on numerous occasions. Releasing a number of albums including Live @ Narooma, Gotta’ Live, Creatures of The Night, Suburban Hell and Live at The Lakes, they toured Australia numerous times and headed stateside in 2003. The DeVilles are still going strong to this day, with the band last touring nationally in 2012.

Pete has also released a couple of collaborative efforts; namely 2005’s Freerange (with Chicago bluesman Steve Arvey) and Man Of Peace with Ian Collard (a Bob Dylan cover released on iTunes). Pete has worn the producer hat on a couple of projects in recent years too – working with Tas outfits FatSmalls, Susannah Coleman-Brown and Let The Cat Out. He’s also got a 3-piece side project called King Cake that specialises in New Orleans Funk, Memphis Soul & Texas Blues.

Pete often takes the opportunity to play guitar, bass or drums with many artists that visit The Apple Isle. Recent guest spots included working with Eugene Hideaway Bridges & JW Jones (USA), Ray Beadle and Geoff Achison. He’s also still in demand as a support artist, having recently opened for international artists Joanne Shaw Taylor (UK) and Joe Bonamassa & Eric Bibb (USA).

In 2010, Pete released Tumbleweed, a moody rockin’ blues delight that stretched the usual genre boundaries. The multi-layered instrumentation and songs on the album gained international support with airplay in the US, Europe & Canada. Pete made a distinct decision to create a new band for both Tumbleweed and Groundswell, wanting to retain The DeVilles as the true blues band. From over all the years he spent performing with so many fantastic musicians; Pete wanted to have more of a collective outfit. The focus was now on the songs, not so much the guitar solos.

In 2011 Pete and his partner Lucie welcomed their first child; baby Etta (their 2nd child is due this November). For the first time in a long time, there were no tours, and just a handful of festival appearances.

In early 2013, Pete, together with Carus Thompson, performed a benefit show at The Lewisham Tavern for the thousands of people affected by Tasmania’s tragic bushfires. Pete and his band also spent the summer at his neighbour’s holiday house on Elephant Pass recording his latest new release, ‘Groundswell’.
The aim with the album was to capture that live vibe and sound, with all of the Drums, Bass and Guitar recorded live – something not done with the ‘Tumbleweed’ release. The 11 songs that Pete chose for ‘Groundswell’ were not tied by genre either, with Pete feeling keen to record some r&b, funk,soul, rock and alt-country tracks, in a further shift away from previous releases. The album features originals worked in with some favourite songs from artists such as the Rev. Al Green, Otis Rush and Ray LaMontagne.

2014 has been purposefully quieter for Pete, now having 2 young girls; he’s enjoying being a stay at home dad. No time for stalling though, Pete has been busy writing and recording for an upcoming solo release.

The 2013 album “Groundswell” has been re-released on vinyl as a double LP.

Robert Susz from “Dynamic Hypnotics” fame toured Tasmania with Pete and his band for the first of many overwhelming shows around the island.

In September, Pete supported blues-rock icon Joe Bonamassa in both his Melbourne and Adelaide shows.

Steppin’ Out In Blue 1997
Live At Narooma (with The DeVilles) 1999
Gotta Live (with The DeVilles) 2001
Creatures of The Night (with The DeVilles) 2004
Freerange (with Steve Arvey) 2005
Suburban Hell (with The DeVilles) 2008
Live At The Lakes (with The DeVilles) 2008
Tumbleweed 2010
Man Of Peace (single – with Ian Collard) 2011
Groundswell 2013

Adelaide International Guitar Festival 2008
Advocate’s Beer, Blues & BBQ 2009
Adventure Bay Blues & Roots festival 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014
Agnes Water Blues & Roots Festival 2011
Apollo Bay Music Festival 2009
Australian Blues Festival, Goulburn 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005
Australian Festival of Beers, Brisbane 2001
Aussie Day Blues Bash, QLD 2004
Bay of Fires Winter Arts Festival 2012, 2013, 2014
Beerfest, Hobart 2010, 2012, 2013
Bendigo Blues Festival 2011, 2012, 2013
Bicheno Food & Wine Festival 2012, 2013
BluesFest, Byron Bay 2002, 2004, 2009
Blues On Broadbeach Festival, Gold Coast 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
Blues at the Briars 2014
Blues Up The Creek Festival 2005
Bridgetown Blues Festival 2008
Canberrang 2014
Clarence Jazz Festival 2010, 2011, 2012
Chicago Blues Festival, USA 2007
Cygnet Folk Festival 2011
Devonport Jazz Festival 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
Echuca Winter Blues Festival 2013
Forth Blues Festival 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Falls Festival, Marion Bay 2004, 2011, 2013
Festivale, Launceston 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Frankston International Guitar Festival 2000, 2004
Gone South, Launceston 1998, 1999
Great Southern Blues Festival 2010
Gympie Muster 2006, 2008, 2010
Headstock Guitar Festival 2007
Hobart Blues & Music Festival 1999
Jackeys Marsh Forest Festival 2014
Junction Arts Festival 2014
Kidgeeridge Music Festival 2012, 2013
Launceston Blues Festival 2004, 2006
Margaret River Wine Festival 2004
Melbourne Intl Blues & Music Festival 2004
Mildura Beer & Blues Festival 2005, 2006
Narooma Blues Festival 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2013
Newcastle Blues Festival 2014
Party in the Paddock 2014
Prairie Dog Blues Festival, Wisconsin USA 2003, 2007
Queensland Festival of Blues 2010
Sth Western Sydney Blues & Roots Festival 2003
Southern Roots 2008
St Marys Australia Day Festival 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Sydney Blues Festival 2009, 2012
Taste Of The Huon 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014
Taste Of Tasmania, Hobart 2000, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Tas Rally 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Thredbo Blues Festival 2005, 2008, 2012
Towradgi Blues & Roots Festival 2009
Urban Blues & Roots Festival, Brisbane 2006
Winter Blues Session, Launceston 2009, 2011