The weekly Monday night blues series continues March 4 with Peter “Hi-Fi” Ward, playing a 7 to 10 p.m. show in the upstairs music room of Time Out Pub, 275 Main St. Admission will be $10 at the door, which opens at 6 p.m. MEMPHIS LIGHTNING WILL PLAY MARCH 4

Blues guitarist Ward, with a small combo, will offer blues-based traditional blues, swing, ballads and classic country, including many original compositions.

“I’m excited about performing in Maine; it’s a home-coming of sorts,” said the Lewiston native.

“I spent lots of time in Brunswick, Orono, Bangor, either in school or hanging out at the railroad yards enjoying trains. I’ve taken train and rail-speeder excursions to Rockland,” he said.

It was his love of trains that brought the young Ward face to face with a Maine musical legend, who was rumored to keep a string of passenger cars on a desolate track outside of Bangor. One winter day, circa 1976, Ward made his way through deep snow to check it out. He saw a train in a pasture and went to take a closer look.

“I walked up to the train and was startled when someone (HIM, yes Dick Curless with a patch over an eye!) asked me what I was doing. He was nice about it once he saw I was interested in trains,” Ward said.

After moving to Boston, Ward worked in various bands and sat in with Sugar Ray & the Bluetones, who then featured Ronnie Earl on guitar and Ward’s brother Michael (“Mudcat”) on bass. Ward backed artists such as Jimmy Rogers, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Sunnyland Slim and Lowell Fulson when they appeared locally.

In New York, Ward was honored when Otis Rush, after performing together, told him he played chords “like an old man.” In the 1980s, Peter toured with the Legendary Blues Band whose members — Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Calvin “Fuzz” Jones and Jerry Portnoy — had backed the great Muddy Waters.

Ward’s “Train to Key Biscayne,” his new CD on Gandy Dancer Records, is due to be released March 29. Guests on this second album included Ronnie Earl, Sugar Ray Norcia, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Johnny Nicholas, Anthony Geraci and Michelle “Evil Gal” Willson, plus Neil Gouvin on drums, Michael “Mudcat” Ward on bass and Hank Walther on keyboards.

Ward, who lives in Massachusetts, was married for 20 years to beloved Boston WGBH-FM blues DJ Mai Cramer, who died of breast cancer in 2002. Each year, he and Cramer’s fans stage a fundraiser in her honor for charity at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass.

The weekly Monday series continues March 11 with the Chris Fitz Band ($10);  March 18, Don Brewer Blues Project ($10); and March 25, Eliza Neals Band ($15). Shows are subject to change. For more information, visit and click on the Time Out Blues link; call 596-6055; or email Also on the site are information and ticket sales for this summer’s North Atlantic Blues Festival.