I had a great time talking with Thomas Mooney for his Neon Eon podcast, which focuses on 90s country music. We talked about songwriting, Music Row during the 90s country boom, and of course, Independence Day.
You can listen to the podcast on Apple podcasts, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
I spoke with Andrew Daly of Vinyl Writer recently. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
I think that when you are telling stories, you are always telling your story. In songwriting it’s more important to tell the truth than the facts. And your truth is informed by your story. So when I’m writing a story about a character (and most of my songs are character-driven), I spend a lot of time talking with that character, finding out who she is. And the parts of her that I empathize with – in fact, the whole reason I’m compelled to write about her – is because of who I am and what I’ve experienced. I just don’t think there’s any other way to write authentically. Our common humanity is what we have to offer, as writers – to hold up a mirror so that listeners can see themselves.
To read the interview in its entirety, visit Vinyl Writer.
I’m happy to announce a brand new February Master Class with my friend Mary Gauthier. We’re teaming up to bring you “Writing Songs from Behind Someone Else’s Eyes.” In this workshop, we’ll take a deep dive into creating authentic narrators, breaking through writer’s block, and tapping into the power of empathy. We’ll also have a VERY special guest joining us (TBA shortly) that you definitely won’t want to miss. Class size will be limited to 25 students. 📚 Register now
The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury landed in No Depression’s year-end reader’s poll of the best albums of 2020. I’m so proud of this project and thrilled that Mickey’s songs have reached some new ears. Thanks to all of the No Depression readers who voted for this “little record that could”.
Many thanks to AllMusic.com for naming The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury one of the best Americana albums of the year. From AllMusic:
****One of America’s finest songwriters offers a deep, revelatory dive into the songs of the late, great Mickey Newbury.
This was a really a special project to me, one that was years in the making. What a great Christmas gift to have it acknowledged this way. I hope I brought Mickey a few more fans to the fold.
I’m very proud to announce that my latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, has been included in Folk Alley’s Top 20 of 2020. This was a labor of love project, something I wanted to do for years but with no idea how it would be received. Mickey Newbury had a profound influence on me as a young songwriter and I believe he’s been perennially overlooked and unsung as the groundbreaking songwriter and artist he was. I’m so thrilled to see that his songs are reaching a new audience. Thank you Folk Alley!
Happy Halloween! I’ve just released “The Cruel Mother”, a Child Ballad from the 17th century which has been sung myriad times since, with varying melodies, lyrics and even with different titles (The Greenwood Side, Greenwood Sidey, etc.) . It’s a ghost story – most certainly meant as a cautionary tale for unwed mothers. Barry Walsh and recorded it live at home in separate rooms, with no eye contact, so the performance was based entirely on sensing each other’s movements with no strict time in place. We later added David Henry on cello, and the track was originally released as a bonus track for fans who ordered my Blackbirds album on presale.
I wanted to release it now for the Halloween season, a dark song for these dark times – but as always, I find there’s beauty in the darkness if you look for it. You can find it on all digital platforms now. The video is also available on YouTube.
I hope you enjoy it – stay well.
I talked with Brandon Harrington recently for his podcast, Surviving The Music Industry. We had a wide (really wide!) ranging chat and you can listen to the whole thing wherever you get your favorite podcasts. Or click on the link below.
Daughter of a screen and Civil-Rights writer and housewife Gretchen Peters fully admits to having a childhood like the AMC hit MADMEN, automatically should set the pace to living an internal artist life like songwriting. A sudden life shift brought Gretchen to Boulder, Colorado, and thus began a love of country, Mickey Newbury, jam bands, and the freaks and misfits alike. In conversation, Gretchen shares the truth behind Martina McBride’s, “Independence Day,” and the inspirations behind the major characters from her biggest songs. The threads that make a Peters song, and what got her songs cut during a pivotal moment for women in country music.
It’s important to pause and consider this album for what it really is – an homage to Mickey Newbury, a songwriter who shaped Gretchen Peters’ own lyrical scope, for sure, but also an album where Peters, a gifted songwriter in her own right, offers, above all else, respect. The Songs Of Mickey Newbury isn’t a collection of hit records, and by honoring a songwriter who acted as a storyteller first and foremost, Peters honors the lyric and understands the characters here better than anyone before, save for Newbury himself.
It’s hard not to see the parallels between the two songwriters – both are observational poets who question themselves and the world around them, yet never quite come to any comfortable conclusions, because real life doesn’t always work that way. They serve blunt honesty meant to inspire, question and act accordingly, all while sprinkling in some lighthearted humor along the way, even if it’s of a drier variety.
To read this review in its entirety, visit Country Universe.
Many thanks and much love to the folks at The Alternate Root, who have included The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury in their Top Albums So Far in 2020 list. The coronavirus has not stopped a lot of great music from being released this year; I’m proud to be included on this list. Check out all the albums at The Alternate Root.
On August 20th at 9pm UK time (3pm Central US time) I’ll be joined by Barry Walsh for an online show hosted by our friends at Destination Country. You can buy tickets here. We hope to see lots of you there!
I had the pleasure of talking with fellow songwriter Chris Lindsey of the Pitch List podcast recently. We talked about songwriting, Nashville, and of course, Mickey Newbury. From Pitch List:
Based in Nashville, TN, songwriter Chris Lindsey (Every Time I Hear That Song” / Blake Shelton, “Poison and Wine” / The Civil Wars) has set out to discover what makes creative people tick. Starting with what he knows – writing – and branching out to various aspects of the music industry, Pitch List explores what it means to be a songwriter, and ultimately, a person. Join us as we talk with some of music’s hit writers at the top of our Pitch List.
You can listen to our conversation at Pitch List Podcast.
The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury appears at the top of the UK Official Country Albums Chart this week. I’m so proud and thrilled that this little record has found so many fans and it makes me especially happy to know that a lot of them are discovering Mickey Newbury’s music for the first time. Big love to everyone at Proper Records for going above and beyond, in extremely trying circumstances! And my sincere thanks to everyone who bought a copy. You are what keeps us going.