You can watch a live webcast of our Three Women and the Truth (Mary Gauthier, Eliza Gilkyson & me) show at Blue Rock Studio February 11th.
Concert Window will be broadcasting the show from beautiful Blue Rock Artist Ranch & Studio LIVE at 8:00p CST. You can tune in all over the world from your computer, tablet or phone on Concert Window at: http://www.concertwindow.com/bluerock
RSVP at Concert Window and then tune in on Saturday night, February 11th for the show!
One of the oldest phrases in any language must be ‘tell me a story.’ Songwriting is storytelling, and telling your story in a compelling way is all about detail. It’s about what you say, and what you don’t say. It’s about the truth, not necessarily the facts. In this three day workshop, we’ll explore the process of songwriting—the art and the craft, and the delicate balance between the two. We’ll learn how to keep a sense of creative play and when (and how) to welcome the inner critic into the room. We’ll find ways to work through “writer’s block.” We’ll learn that only through the specific do you achieve the universal—and that’s the holy grail in songwriting and all writing. We write to find out who we are, and in the process we find out we are not alone.
This three-day workshop with me will include:
How to build a back story for your song
Finding the melody of a character
How to arrange your song
Surprise guest speakers & musical events
Song Critiques & sharpening skills with me and my guest teacher
A one-on-one session with me
In addition to the intensive days of songwriting, you’ll enjoy a surprise once-in-a-lifetime private concert, a closing night group dinner, surprise guest songwriting friends who will join us and inspire you, song circles in the evenings where everyone can share songs, and an opening night dinner at a Nashville home!
Registration is open – only a few spots left.
If you have any specific questions, please email Lydia Hutchinson.
The best Christmas present I received this year, by a mile, was learning from President Barack Obama himself that I’m on his iPod! A few days before Christmas, my husband Barry Walsh (whose full name, when he’s writing to Presidents, is James Barry Walsh) received a personal response to a letter he’d written to Obama. That would have been gift enough, but the next sentence was a complete shock, in the best of all possible ways. I’m beyond proud to count President Obama as a “big fan” (the feeling is mutual, sir)!
Kelly McCartney of The Bluegrass Situation asked me to share some thoughts post-election. I don’t normally post political items on my website. I know people come here for updates on musical things. But these are not normal times.
Like virtually all my musician friends who have spoken out, I’ve been on the receiving end of some vitriol. I’ve been advised to “stick to music” and “keep your politics to yourself”. If you know anything about my music, you know that my politics, along with my worldview, my sense of empathy for the vulnerable and my deep desire to bear witness for the underdog are at the core of my work as a songwriter. I try to speak truth as I see it. So should you. So should we all. I chose a career as a singer/songwriter; at no point did I sign an agreement to be silent about injustice, inequity and above all, hate.
You can read my op-ed piece at The Bluegrass Situation’s website.
Thanks to WMOT and Craig Havighurst for giving me the opportunity to remember the great Leonard Cohen. His influence on me was profound and lifelong. I’m so grateful to have seen him perform (I flew to Portland, OR in 2010 to catch his show there since I was on the road when he came to Nashville); on stage he was elegant and wryly funny and incredibly generous with the spotlight – everyone in his prodigiously talented band had a moment. He was the master of song.
You can listen to my interview about Leonard Cohen here.
Tomorrow I’ll be playing my last set in the UK (my second home, it seems) for awhile. The usual scrapes, bruises and bumps – proverbial and actual – aside, the road has treated us well. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to play with this incredible band. I’m a little emotional about this tour coming to an end; even more so than usual, for reasons I’ll explain below.
I’ve been touring hard for ten years now, with very little in the way of breaks. So in 2017 I’m going to take some long overdue time off. I won’t be touring for the rest of the year after we get off the Cayamo cruise in late February. It’s time to rest, to be still, to think about what’s next. I’m going to be tending to family matters, doing some writing – I may even get a houseplant. During this hiatus I’ll be sending the newsletter out about once every couple of months – no tour dates means less news, and there’s no point in taking up space in your inbox unless I have something to share. I WILL still be posting a new free download every month – I’ll post a reminder on Facebook and Twitter when it goes up. I do hope to stay in touch with you via social media, and I’ll let you know what I’m up to every couple of months or so via email. There’ll be news I’ll want to share; I just won’t be sharing it quite as often. I so appreciate your support, encouragement and love. I’m excited about taking a break and I know it’s the right thing – but I will miss seeing your faces in the audience and I’ll be back before you know it.
In case you missed it, Barry Walsh and I dropped in at BBC Radio Scotland in Edinburgh to visit with Edi Stark on the Janice Forsyth Show. We had a chat and played “Five Minutes” live. You can listen at the link, which will be available for the next 27 days. Many thanks to BBC Radio Scotland for having us!
Peters is renowned as a fantastic songwriter, having penned hits for the likes of Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Etta James and Trisha Yearwood. And oh, did the songwriting shine. Her ballads conjured up images of an America now lost; of working class families, love and loss, heartbreak, and everything in between.
The Grammy-nominated folk/country/Americana star was accompanied by partner Barry Walsh on piano and accordion for a set of beautifully vivid songs. Together they created a very warm stage presence, helped no end by Mareel’s simple yet cosy lighting setup. It was an evening of rich storytelling, with material from her most recent album Blackbird – the title track, a powerful murder ballad co-written with Irish songwriter Ben Glover – as well as songs from a back catalogue that spans some 20 years.
To read this review in its entirety, visit The Shetland News.
Grammy-nominated songstress Gretchen Peters delivered a tear-jerking, spine-shivering setlist at Mareel on Tuesday evening.
Accompanied by partner and polished pianist Barry Walsh the pair interwove tales of love, last-gasp cigarettes and heartbreak in a profound and moving collection of songs.
At times Peters left her soul bare under the cosy stage lights, with such searing honesty it left a lump in the throat.
To read this review in its entirety, visit The Shetland Times.
On June 4, 1996, my debut album, The Secret Of Life, was released, and we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary with a live Facebook event! Join me and Barry Walsh this June 4th at 1pm Nashville time (Central Daylight Time) for a live chat on Facebook – we’ll answer your questions, reminisce about recording TSOL, play a few requests from the album, give away some free stuff and have some fun. Be sure to “like” my Facebook page, tell your friends and tune in at 1pm on Saturday June 4th to join the party!
2017 marks the 10th edition of Cayamo – the grandaddy of roots music cruises – and I’m excited to announce I’ll be onboard! Cayamo sails from Tampa on February 19th – stops include Roatan, Honduras and Cozumel, Mexico – and the lineup is incredible: Emmylou Harris, Brandi Carlile, Patty Griffin, Richard Thompson, Buddy Miller, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Kacey Musgraves. Paul Thorn, Shawn Mullins, Aoife O’Donovan, Parker Milsap, The Secret Sisters, Amy Helm, Angaleena Presley, American Aquarium, Sam Lewis, Gretchen Peters, Randall Bramblett, Ruby Amanfu, Beth Woods, Brian Dunne & more TBA. I’ll be joined onstage for all our shows by Barry Walsh on keyboards and accordion and our dear friend & bandmate Christine Bougie on lap steel, electric guitar and drums. More info about the cruise is available at the Cayamo website – join us!
I’m so excited to announce my first multi-day songwriting workshop in the UK. The two day intensive workshop will be held in Edinburgh, Scotland on July 28 & 29 at The Queen’s Hall. Among other things, we’ll cover:
• Writing authentically: how to build the back story for your characters
• Using detail and imagery
• How to keep your sense of creative play alive and when to “invite the editor” into the writing room
• Finding the melody
• How to arrange a song (with guest teacher Barry Walsh)
• Song critiques & sharpening skills with me
• A one-on-one session with me
Hours for the workshop are:
Thu 28 July 9am-5pm
Fri 29 July 9am-9.30pm
To find out more about the workshop and enroll (space is limited!), visit The Queen’s Hall website.
…while the tone was a bit dark, the performances were dazzling. Particularly affecting were Peters’ “The Matador,” an ambivalent love story full of rich imagery; Gilkyson’s “Easy Rider,” a touching tribute to her father, folksinger and songwriter Terry Gilkyson, one of whose groups was The Easy Riders; and Gauthier’s classic “Mercy Now,” which earned one of the set’s most enthusiastic responses…
to read this review in its entirety, visit Americana Music News.