“I willingly got on that hamster wheel and didn’t get off for 15, 20 years,” she says “That’s where the burnout was coming in. I started to ask myself, why is the next step to make another album? And how long do I do this? So that was the biggest contributor to it, this feeling that the cycle just goes on and on.”
Peters also observes how much the music business has changed. “It seems like the life cycle of an album is about two weeks, then everybody forgets it. People’s attention spans are so short…”
To read this article in its entirety, visit Holler.
“A theme arose in the last few songs that reflected on running down in one way or another – with ‘Lay Low‘ introduced as having taken on a new meaning for it’s author recently, with the weariness of the chorus “think I need to lay low for a while stare at the Gulf of Mexico for a while / take it easy take it slow for a while” and the theme of aging and changing hitting home in a different way. Put another way – Gretchen Peters will be touring one last time in 2023. And having dropped that bombshell ‘Five Minutes‘, ‘On a bus to St. Cloud‘ and, most of all ‘To Say Goodbye‘ felt like an extended coda to that thought and the sense of a bittersweet ending. The encore, thankfully, opened with the upbeat ‘England Blues‘, which gave the band chance to show off what they could do before the poignant closers of ‘When You Are Old‘ and the spinechilling final song done, as Barry Walsh said “TFA – Totally Fucking Acoustic” with himself and Gretchen and Kim singing ‘Say Grace‘ off-mic..”
To read this review in its entirety, visit Americana UK. (photo: J. Aird)
“If there was one thing that really came home to me during the period when we weren’t able to tour, it was how important being in the same room with people is. Online concerts are great in lieu of nothing, but they’re not the same at all.”
Her reputation growing year by year, it must have taken some soul searching to decide to stop touring after this two-part tour. Was that down to having more time on her hands to think that over, or was she already thinking that way – pre-pandemic – with regard to announcing this final two-legged farewell tour?
“I’ll put it this way, I was definitely entertaining the questions, even before Covid happened. Even in 2018 and 2019, I was feeling the amount of work I was doing and the amount of touring we were doing was unsustainable in the long run, and I had to make some adjustments. And just dealing with the question of, ‘who am I if I’m not doing this?’ because I’ve been doing it for so long.
“But I definitely believe the pandemic put those questions in stark relief. It also gave me a lot of time to see what life looks like when you’re not constantly moving, and that was very educational. I think it certainly probably hastened my decision, or at least solidified it…”
To read this interview in its entirety, visit writewyattuk.
Although she had a new Live Album to promote; Gretchen still went ‘off piste’ tonight, by including a variety of songs from throughout her career; several which don’t appear on said Double Album. Many of the songs tonight, we know like the back of our hands (Say Grace and Blackbirds spring to mind) but others stretch the memory banks (When You Love Someone and the duet with Kim Richey Guadalupe) while others the audience may have been hearing for the very first time tonight; of these I’d forgot how wonderful Love and Texaco from 2000 was/is a genuine heartstring tugger; as was To Say Goodbye from 2007!
Highlights were certainly far too many to mention; although Bus to St. Cloud and Five Minutes both got 5 stars in my notes; which is as good as it gets.
To read this review in its entirety, visit The Rocking Magpie.
Structuring this live double album with many of her classic compositions upfront, Peters’ gloriously re-arranges half the set for the all-female Scottish string quartet that accompanies her. On the second half, however, it’s simply Peters and her now familiar backing band. Both parts possess light and shade, leaving plenty of space in the mix to let the emotions and messages shine through, making you eager to get out and enjoy her vital live act again…
To read this review in its entirety, visit Holler.
“…there is a lightness of touch, in the manner in which she presents such hard-hitting songs, never preachy. Played live, they really hit home, and stay with the listener, melody and message. That is a real skill. Her voice remains as strong as ever, indeed, if anything, it as good as I have ever heard her. Soft, yet fragile on certain songs, strong and assertive when it needs to be. These are not songs, they are poems sung, carrying such emotional heft, that the listener cannot be failed to be moved…”
To read this review in its entirety, visit Folk And Tumble.
“…Peters’ lyrics are poetic in their rich imagery and descriptions of the human condition. She deservedly won the Academy of Country Music’s Poet’s Award in 2021. The Show reveals the depth and breadth of her talents. She’s accompanied by her touring band that features Barry Walsh (piano, vocals), Colm McClean (electric guitar, vocals), and Conor McCreanor (electric and upright bass, vocals), as well as an all-female Scottish string quartet featuring Seonaid Aitken (violin), Amira Bedrush-McDonald (violin), Sarah Leonard (viola), and Alice Allen (cello). This frames Peters’ impassioned vocals with a formal backing. She sounds eloquent even when being colloquial and never comes off as pretentious. The arrangements allow her voice to always be at the forefront…”
To read this review in its entirety, visit Pop Matters.
“…a word for Peters’ voice, which now sounds a little more lived in than in her earlier years, that suiting better some of the subjects of her songs, often about those on the fringes; of society, luck, age and opportunity. Disappearing Act exemplifies this to a T, the slight lack of studio polish adding oodles, as also the case for the Wichita, the tale of Cora Lee, which gets a feel of hillbilly blues, a lighter touch which contrasts with the murkier mix from Dancing With The Beast. Say Grace then strips down to just voice and finger picked guitar. a quietly beautiful song that lingers as the thoughtful lyric sinks in: “Forgive yourself for all of your mistakes.” Piano joins in and McClean squeezes out some extra poignancy from his slide guitar, in a nod to the more arranged studio version. With the mood subtly changed by that song, it is followed by the pin dropping Everything Falls Away, with Walsh’s piano utterly magnificent…”
To read this review in its entirety, visit At The Barrier.
“…a truly remarkable album. Bold and fearless, live Gretchen Peters delivers an alluring, understatedly dramatic set as she spins out a rich and dazzling fabric sewn by the threads of autobiography, sociocultural, fiction, and authenticity. One of the finest female singer-songwriters of her generation, Gretchen thoughtfully offers up a stunning collection of songs that would call the listener to them—if they weren’t already seated and waiting for them to arrive. A towering songbook, wordy and resigned, this 18-track collection is the opus of Nashville’s foremost progenitor of, and innovator in, the country-roots fold. It’s the masterwork of a heart laid bare in song.”
To read the rest of this review in its entirety, visit alancackett.com
“Grammy Award-winning songwriter Gretchen Peters has a lot on her mind. Today (August 19th) she’s releasing her new live album ‘The Show: The Live In The UK’ which was recorded in 2019. She also just announced that, in June 2023, she and partner Barry Walsh will retire from regular touring.
While the events of the pandemic figured into Gretchen’s decision, she started thinking about getting off the road as far back as 2019. The creative process, as we discussed, requires a certain stillness and calm, one which is difficult, if not impossible, to find on the road, in the hustle and bustle of touring. Gretchen told me she felt she was spending a year on the road on the road and had to “recharge” before she could get into that space again. She released an excellent album of Mickey Newbury songs, The Night You Wrote That Song, in 2020, and the live album drops this week, but her last LP of original material was 2018’s Dancing With The Beast, a terrific exploration of the trials and traumas faced by women…”
To read this review in its entirety, visit Entertainment Focus.
” ‘The Show: Live In The UK’ is as fine a representation of Gretchen Peters in live performance as you’ll fine. Like many artists, she’s found a measure of success overseas, especially in the UK, that’s eluded her in the United States. Taken from her 2019 tour, the album is split between 10 tracks with an all-female Scottish string quartet, and 8 with her full band. Peters’s performances are wonderful even when she’s just playing in a small, intimate duo with her partner, Barry Walsh, but the additional instrumentation and orchestration fills out the songs here in really beautiful ways…”
To read this review in its entirety, visit Entertainment Focus.
“I don’t know why I fixated on three, but if I could do three records in a row that represented my creative manifesto, I would be satisfied. And I did that. Hello Cruel World, Blackbirds and Dancing With The Beast to me are a trilogy and they belong together and having completed those albums I had a new sense of satisfaction. As if to say there’s my work and it’ll stand up against anything, there it is. That was one aspect of the urgency. The other is this feeling amongst musicians, a feast or famine mentality, that you have to say yes to everything and if you say no, no one will ask you to do anything ever again so you burn yourself out trying to do everything.
Artists unconsciously, subconsciously and consciously are encouraged to say yes to everything. You take every opportunity because you are constantly being made to feel that you’ll become irrelevant or disappear if you don’t. It’s a really unhealthy mindset to live with.”
To read this interview in its entirety, visit The Rocking Magpie.
“Peters has released live albums and compendiums before this, but with this particular effort, her variety and versatility are spotlighted in ways that bring these songs added illumination and attention. The strings portion of the set is especially satisfying because it boasts the best of her seminal catalog, including some of the most beautiful melodies she’s shared so far—“Hello Cruel World, “The Secret of Life,” “Love That Makes a Cup of Tea,” and “Blackbirds,” among them. Graced by the sumptuous orchestrated arrangements and the precision of Peters’ performance, the music is magical, memorable, and emotionally engaging…”
To read this review in its entirety, visit American Songwriter.