My old friend Alan Cackett, founder of the UK country music magazine Maverick and country music historian, has posted an early review of The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury. An excerpt:
Of all the female singers out there, Gretchen Peters is the only one that could have pulled off this ‘tribute’ to Mickey Newbury so successfully. This is not as much an album as it is a world, one that doesn’t reveal itself in haste but rather unfolds over time and through multitudinous layers. Heavily steeped in Newbury’s storyteller lyrical style and cleverly framed by uncluttered, acoustic-rich arrangements, the record breathes with nuance and space. Gretchen and her co-producer husband Barry Walsh possess a gleaming eye for detail as they create a kind of subliminal richness that seems to bring a golden light to whatever situation you find yourself listening to it in. Together they trace Newbury’s evolution as an off-trail songwriter distilling his songs into an original voice of power and depth for today’s listeners.
Thank you, Alan. To read the review in its entirety, visit alancackett.com.
Wide Open Country has debuted the second single from The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, my upcoming album (May 15) of songs by one of my biggest songwriting heroes. UK fans may remember “Why You Been Gone So Long” from the Dancing With The Beast tour, where we played it as an encore song.
To listen to the single and read more about it, visit Wide Open Country. The track will be available Friday March 20 on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes, and the album is available to preorder at my website (UK fans can also preorder at Proper Music).
It is not in a performing artist’s DNA to cancel shows, but for the health and safety of everyone, I’m sorry to announce that we have had to reschedule our March and April tour dates. While we’re still working on the east coast dates that were originally scheduled for late March, the Texas dates have already been rescheduled for September 2020. Texas shows are:
Sept 24 Houston • Coffee House Live at St. Andrews
Sept 25 Ft Worth • The Post at River East
Sept 26 Austin • Cactus Cafe
Please contact the venues with any questions about ticketing – and have patience; they are going through a lot right now with multiple cancellations and a rapidly changing situation. Stay safe and well.
If you follow me on social media, you probably saw my posts just after tornadoes ripped through Nashville early Tuesday morning. We were incredibly, unbelievably lucky – the twister cut through the alley behind our house, just a couple of houses away from us. We escaped with no damage. Hundreds of our neighbors were not so lucky.
I wrote an essay for The Atlantic about the tornadoes, and Nashville, and how our city dealt with both the flood in 2010 and these tornadoes in 2020. You can read it here.
In addition, if you would like to help, but don’t know how, here is a guide published by the Nashville Scene, which lists many ways to support those who have lost so much. I especially want to point out that, with East Nashville and Germantown getting most of the attention, my neighbors directly to the west and north are hurting especially badly. Those neighborhoods are primarily poor and black, and they are not getting the press that the more gentrified neighborhoods in Nashville are receiving. By sending a donation to Gideon’s Army, you’ll be directly helping people who are in disproportionate need.
From August 13-15 I’ll be teaching a three day intensive songwriting workshop in Nashville. In my Songwriting From The Inside Out 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—the holy grail in songwriting and all writing. We’ll learn to write from the inside out, beginning with the spark of an idea and following it all the way to its full realization. You’ll have a chance to play your songs for me and the class, hear from my special guests on their songwriting process, and be treated to a private concert. To find out more, visit Performing Songwriter.
Music historian and critic Robert Oermann reviewed the first single and title track from The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, writing “for poetic artistry and meditation, we present Gretchen Peters”:
GRETCHEN PETERS/The Night You Wrote That Song
Writer: Mickey Newbury; Producer: none listed; Publishers: none listed; Scarlet Letter
– This is the title tune of Gretchen’s forthcoming (in May) album saluting the repertoire of her fellow Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Mickey Newbury. He was always an outstanding poet and her languid, soulful alto brings out every nuance in this waltzing ballad’s wistful, meditative lyric. As a massive fan of both of these troubadours, I was in heaven during each and every note of this. I urge you to listen.
To read the review on the original site, visit Music Row Magazine.
The pre-sale for my upcoming album The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury begins on March 1st! We’ve got bundles – CDs, vinyl, limited run T-shirts, vinyl test pressings – and every preorder comes with a “Gretchen sings Mickey” diecut sticker which you can slap on your guitar case or the bumper of your car. All CDs and vinyl sold during the pre-sale will be signed. Visit my web store on March 1 to get in on the pre-sale!
Rolling Stone has reviewed the first single and title track from The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury:
“Peters has issued her mesmerizing take on “The Night You Wrote That Song,” the closing cut from Newbury’s 1979 LP The Sailor.”
Also included in the Rolling Stone piece is a full track listing for the album, which is due for release May 15, 2020. Pre-order at my website soon!
The first single and title track from my upcoming album The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury is out! Folk Radio UK premiered the new track on February 21. You can read more about the single and the album at the Folk Radio UK website, and stream or download the single here.
“In sifting through all the Mickey Newbury songs I could get my hands on, there were only two criteria for inclusion on the album: did I love it, and did I think I could bring something of myself to it?” Gretchen explains. “I decided early on that I didn’t want to make an album of Mickey’s hits; that opened up the potential field to his late-career songs, which took a decided turn towards folk, and obscure early songs, as well as hits. All my lifelong favourites were on the first list, of course – but some of those, much as I loved them, proved not to be the right fit. I came across “The Night You Wrote That Song” early on, and felt it was the perfect title for the album. “You never knew how right you were the night you wrote that song…” seems to sum up my feelings towards Mickey Newbury perfectly. In so many ways he was ahead of his time.”
I spoke with Forbes Magazine recently about some of my favorite places on earth to unwind. One of them is a place I’ve been living in part-time for over two decades – the other two are more recent discoveries. I love to travel (a good thing, in my line of work), and discovering new places is one of the best perks of the job.
To read the article, visit the Forbes website.
The Black Friday sale at gretchenpeters.com starts November 28th! Save 20% storewide starting 28 November through 2 December (Cyber Monday) – just use the discount code sadsongs at checkout.
In addition, the Blackbirds and Hello Cruel World CDs are on sale for just $5 apiece!
Visit the web store starting Thursday, November 28rd to shop.
*20% discount is storewide and includes handwritten lyrics.
I spoke with Kelly McCartney for No Depression awhile ago about my meditation practice. Kelly interviewed several musicians who meditate, including Angaleena Presley, Anthony D’Amato and more. An excerpt:
While not a religious person, Peters believes deeply in kindness and compassion. Meditation has taught her to apply those values to herself in her own life and practice. “If I worship at any church, it’s the church of empathy. Empathy requires that you suspend judgment, and it seems to me that meditation is exactly that — the suspension of judgment,” Peters offers. “You will have random thoughts, and the aim is not to not have those thoughts, but to let them pass without judgment. If you can learn to do that for yourself, I don’t see how you can’t not do it when it comes to other people. In that way, I think it’s heart-opening.
To read the article in its entirety, visit No Depression.
Join me and singer-songwriter Dan Navarro on this incredible river adventure through the gems of the Danube. Along with luxury accommodations and three concerts from Dan and me, this package includes shore excursions at each port, free wifi and much more. There’s no better way to see Europe than traveling down its original “highways,” the great rivers of Europe. We will be sailing on a 64-cabin river boat with maximum capacity of 128 participants (see the deck plan here). This cruise takes place in May of 2021 – but cabins are going fast!
- Seven nights accommodations
- Shore excursions in each port of call (6 total) & plenty of free time
- Welcome reception with Dan & Gretchen
- Three concerts with Dan & Gretchen
- Q&A/Storytelling session with Dan & Gretchen
- All meals with flexible seating times, early and late riser breakfast and alternative light lunch options
- Free wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Free wif-fi on board
- Onboard lectures and local entertainment
- Fresh fruit and free bottled water throughout the day
- State-of-the-art fitness center
- Luggage transfers pier-to-ship and ship-to-pier
For more info, visit Fan Club Cruises. This is gonna be amazing!