I’ve been in the studio for the past week working on a new album. The band consisted of Barry Walsh, Will Kimbrough, Doug Lancio, Viktor Krauss and John Gardner. They blew me away. Friday was an especially memorable day – one of my earliest songwriting heros, Rodney Crowell, came in to sing a duet with me on a new song called “Dark Angel”. We’re still working on the record; overdubbing, doing vocals, etc. I’ve been doing regular updates on Facebook and Twitter, so if you are inclined you can follow along with our progress there. I’ve also posted a lot of photos from the studio in the Photo Gallery; just click on new album recording April 2011 to see them.

No release date for the album just yet, but I will let you know just as soon as I do. I can’t wait for you to hear.

x

Gretchen

Gretchen Peters’ Storytelling

Singer/songwriter sings what she composed for others
by Joost Bazelmans

It’s really hard to imagine that someone who can fill a stadium in the USA only attracks eighty people in Venlo, Netherlands. But on the other hand, those eighty come especially for her. They know very well she’s written songs for the greatest stars in country music and for artists like Bryan Adams. And they also know she released nine critically acclaimed albums of her own.

A Gretchen Peters’ show means you have to listen. Something she enforces by storytelling about the songs she plays. Always explaining what the song is about and why she wrote it. Which forces the listener to pay extra attention to the lyrics. Something Sarah Palin had also better done in her run for the 2008 presidential elections. She used the song Independence Day as a patriotic statement in her campaign, where the song is all about domestic violence. Independence Day, by the way, was specially written for Reba McEntire, but ultimately recorded by Martina McBride. With the accompanying clip she achieved a Country Music Award for Video of the Year.

This evening Gretchen Peters performs some more songs she’s written for others. But fortunately also songs she released only by herself. Cherry on tonight’s cake is of course Woman On The Wheel, that will appear on her upcoming new album in September. Surprising is her version of The Boxtop’s hit The Letter as a tribute to Alex Chilton who passed away last year.

After two forty-five minute sets the show comes to an end. It’s unbelievable how Gretchen Peters has carried away her audience with her voice, her guitar and the piano, played by husband Barry Walsh.
An evening of pure music, perceived by an eager audience. Eager enough to beg for an encore which she rewards with another four songs under which Jezebel and Snowin On Raton. Apotheosis is the original version of the Martina Mcbride sung  My Baby Loves Me Just The Way I Am that even gets Venlo off its feet.

NB: “Independence Day was not written for Reba McEntire

many thanks to Ruud Keulers for translation

to read the review at the original site, click here

Gretchen Peters at the Crystal
Wrong Hymn for Sarah Palin

24 years ago Gretchen Peters came to Nashville and since then has proved herself as songwriter deluxe. Now, the exquisite singer appeared for the first in Berlin.

Intimate, nearly private is the atmosphere in the tiny Crystal next to the C-Club on the Columbiadamm. With a clear view the audience sit on white squares, benches and on the floor directly in front of the stage. “Hello! How are you?” Up there and in the center of it all stands Gretchen Peters, attractive and blond, singing of life as “Circus Girl”. how it is under the dome in the spotlight, dangerous and exciting. But not quite as glamorous as some might think. To this she adds simple. beautiful, strong chords on her Gibson-accustic guitar, which is splendidly suited other, strong form, full of sound, melodic and percussive.  The name of the guitar model corresponds perfectly with the Gretchen Peters: “Songwriter Deluxe.”

24 years ago Gretchen Peters came to Nashville and since has proved herself as songwriter deluxe. She wrote a number of fine introspective songs amongst others for George Jones, Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, Randy Travis, Patty Loveless, Martina McBride, Bonnie Raitt, Bryan Adams and the Neville Brothers.

That Peters herself is an exquisite singer with a moving voice that remind us in part of Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton, does not come to light until her publication of her first own album “The Secret of Life” from which the song “Circus Girl” is taken.

From here unfolds a magical evening, the set list moves through the years, a magnificent selection from five albums, the songs, the stories, to the present. Stories about “Germantown” a historical section of Nashville, that was primarily inhabited by German settlers in the 19th century. Other songs about men at the bar and her moving simply knitted philosophies of life (“The Secret of Life”), contemplative silence and slowness of a “Sunday Morning,” the poetic sad taking stock of a failed marriage, which reveals itself unsentimentally during breakfast (“Breakfast At Our House”).

But there is also the confession to pure, unconditional love: “The Way You Move Me” Gretchen Peters wrote for Barry Walsh, her musical and private partner for many years, whom she married last October. As an observant listener one asks oneself, how Walsh must feel, when one is serenaded in this way as the only musician on stage, playing the accompanying piano and contributing the harmony: “you left your fingerprints all over me/and now you’re everywhere I am/ if I cried a thousand tears/if I lived a thousand years/ I could never find a way to make you see/ I’ll never understand the way you move me …”

Walsh enhances the the songs tastefully, plays a calm, sometimes stirring and moving piano, from bar jazz to hints of bebop, but always unimposing, reserved, alternating with Tex-Mex accordion and occasionally with a bit of glockenspiel.

And then the is the funny story about the not so funny, but no less brilliant song “Independence Day”. Martina McBride’s version achieved numerous awards and in 1995 was nominated for the Grammy, to date Gretchen Peters most successful hit.  Amusingly she she says the Sarah Palin used this song as her hymn during the American election campaign for vice president. Without comprehending that “Independence Day” is not a highly patriotic fight song, but rather it deals with a woman who is trying to free herself from the her violent husband. As expected.  Laughter from the audience.

Gretchen Peters sings soulful versions of Bob Dylan’s “Billy” and Townes Van Zandt’s “Snowing on Raton.”  And she is visible pleased, how she is celebrated after an hour and a half of the best songwriter artistry. It was her first appearance in Berlin, her second in Germany. She certainly intends to come back. Enthusiastic applause.

thanks to Heinz Bulmahn for translation

to read the review at the original site, click here

Suzy Bogguss, Matraca Berg and I will be recording a live DVD at Green’s Grocery, where we first sang together in 2000, on February 24th! We are giving away a very small number of seats to dedicated WW&S fans who would like to be there for the concert/ taping. To win, go to the Wine, Women & Song Facebook page, “like” us, and watch the updates for the official announcement. The seats will be awarded first come, first served.

Gretchen will be appearing at the 30A Songwriters Festival in the beautiful NW Florida Panhandle the weekend of January 14-16 as part of a stellar lineup which includes Rodney Crowell, Dar Williams, Emily Saliers, Vienna Teng, Mary Gauthier, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Shawn Mullins, Madison Violet and many, many more. Tickets are going fast but you can get a 10% discount on a weekend pass right here by entering Promo Code 30A2011 at checkout. Come spend MLK weekend at the beach!

The All We Are Saying …project will feature a collection of songs from Lennon’s solo years, sung by Nashville artists handpicked by Marcantonio. The artists were chosen for their appreciation and passion for Lennon’s illustrious contributions to modern music history through his work with the Beatles and his solo years. Some of the artists involved include Rosanne Cash (“Look At Me”), Rodney Crowell (“Oh My Love”), Foster and Lloyd(“Crippled Inside”), Jeff Hanna and Matraca Berg (“Whatever Gets You Through the Night”) and Gretchen Peters (“Love”). The artists, studios, musicians and engineers all donated their time for this project, for which Marcantonio served as executive producer.

For more information click here and here.

The Alternate Root is putting out their second annual Holiday Sampler, and “Northern Lights” is a finalist for inclusion. You can vote (once a day) right here. Voting continues through December 12 at noon. The top 25 songs will be included in the free, downloadable sampler.

Over the past couple of years I’ve been doing a semi-regular “in the round” show with buddies Janis Ian, Craig Carothers & Tony Arata. Some people have traveled a long distance to come to these shows (even all the way from Newcastle, England!), but if you couldn’t get to Nashville to see us, we’ll be on Nashville Public Radio’s new show, “Live at The Bluebird Cafe”, on Saturday, November 27 at 7PM Central Time – and you can listen in a tWPLN. You’ll be able to listen to our show at the site for two weeks.

More from WPLN:
LIVE AT THE BLUEBIRD CAFÉ – SATURDAY NIGHTS AT 7:00 ON 90.3 WPLN-FM
The Bluebird Café is a Nashville musical landmark. Great songwriters play this intimate listening room every week. Some are known by name, others are better known by the songs they have written. “Live At The Bluebird Café” captures these artists at their best, performing those songs to appreciative audiences. “Live At The Bluebird Café” is hosted by Thom Schuyler, a much admired and respected singer-songwriter who has been a featured performer at The Bluebird Café since its earliest days. “Live At The Bluebird Café’ is co-production of Nashville Public Radio and The Bluebird Café, which is operated in partnership with the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

For more info, visit The Bluebird Cafe website.

We have a fresh new batch of “Northern Lights” CDs just in time for the holidays. Order yours in the store.

“Stark and lovely” – USA Today

“An exquisite holiday collection” – Chicago Sun-Times

“Peters hones in on the melancholy side of the holidays with intimacy and insight” – LA Times