Live review – Royal Hall, Harrogate, UK

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Gretchen Peters surveyed the ornately decorative Royal Hall, the re-polished jewel in Harrogate’s crown. “Pretty fancy,” she said. “First thing I thought, ‘S**t, I can’t cuss in here’!”

Such humour was to pepper the two sets by the newest inductee to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, touring this month in support of new album Blackbirds.

Accompanied as ever by Barry Walsh – her pianist for 25 years and husband for four (“It was a long audition,” he said) – Gretchen was joined too by Christine Bougie on guitar, percussion and lap steel guitar and Conor McCreanor on electric and double bass, and unlike past tours, she had the size and range of line-up to measure up to her beauteous, complex, poignant songwriting.

To read this review in its entirety, view it at The York Press.