Hard to believe but this great singer-songwriter (whose award-winning work has been covered by everyone from Neil Diamond and George Strait to Etta James and Shania Twain) is now 60. But here she sounds as contemporary as many half her age as she deals with the lives and thoughts of women of all ages (the girl in the startlingly convincing Wichita is a troubled 12-year old) and deliver an album full of female empowerment wrapped up in memorable country-framed songs. Peters convincingly writes from within her characters (the young anxious women in The Boy from Rye, the self-aware hooker in Truckstop Angel who wonders if she is predator or prey) and pens spare lyrics which hook you in immediately: “I spend a lot of time here in the lowlands, mostly keeping to myself . . . ever since he put that sticker on his bumper I just turn out the lights and lock the door . . . I don’t know a soul who’s sleeping well” on the haunting and uneasy Trump-era Lowlands where the television lies to keep you watching and “the man who lies for the sake of lying, sell you kerosene and call is it hope”.
An exception writer and singer right at the top of her game. Still.
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