Imagine John Tosco’s surprise when racing analyst and former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty showed up one Monday evening for “Open Mic” night at the Evening Muse.
And then this: Petty was good.
So good, Tosco invited him to perform last Saturday at the Tosco Music Party at Knight Theater, where Petty wowed the crowd.
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“As I would ride my motorcycle, I would write lyrics on my tank,” Petty said before his performance. “I used to ride around in circles and try to think them up in my head. But then I’d hit something and forget them. My motorcycle – kind of being by myself – became my escape and my muse.”
Petty, who is also a philanthropist with his Victory Junction charity, was born into a racing family – his father, Richard, is the winningest driver in the sport. Kyle Petty, too, had a successful career for 30 years. Growing up he also played guitar and tried to write songs, but says he wasn’t too good.
He’s clearly improved.
Saturday night, he sang country-style lyrics with a refrain about “the church of God and the church of alcohol.” He played guitar with back-up from the house band. The crowd roared in approval.