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!

Cruise includes:

  • 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!

I’ve got a full schedule at this year’s AmericanaFest, including an official showcase (with full band) and shorter sets at several other events around town. You can catch me at:

12 September • 12pm – Proper Music Party at Nashville Underground

12 September • 3pm – Missing Piece Group’s 10th Anniversary Party at Diskin Cider

13 September • 8:30pm – OFFICIAL SHOWCASE (full band show) at The Anchor

14 September • 11am – Under The Sun at L27 Rooftop Bar

Trisha Yearwood‘s new album Every Girl is out August 30, and it includes her gorgeous version of “The Matador”, a song originally released in 2012 on my album Hello Cruel World. In this interview with Rolling Stone, she talks about why she was moved to record the song, and her own interpretation of the lyrics:

“The Matador” creates such an intriguing, cinematic picture. What is it about this song that haunted you and made you want to record it?
Everybody has their own interpretation, but for me, the whole metaphor of “The Matador” is about music. And I kept thinking of Garth and myself with lines in the song — “He’s only alive when he’s in the ring.” You take your own life, and you always dramatize it for music, you know? And for me, it was like, “Man, I could make the story fit. I can make this work in a very dramatic fashion.” But I love the mysterious melody and the weirdness of some of the lyrics where you’re like, “I don’t even understand what that means. I don’t know what ‘snakes and snails and alcohol’ refers to, but it makes me scared and I like it.”

Great stuff. I love it when a song has room for the singer and the listener to put themselves in it. You can read the entire interview here.

Need To Know Music in Santa Cruz, CA is releasing a limited edition single with two new, unreleased songs – “The Last Day of the Year” b/w “In Costanza’s Kitchen” will be released on September 5th. The 7″ vinyl single is pressed on opaque white vinyl and limited to a run of 500 copies. The songs will be available digitally for download and streaming.

If you’re in the US, you can order at Need To Know Music.

If you’re outside the US, you can order at my website.

Like so many people, Gretchen Peters woke up on Nov. 9, 2016 dazed and wondering how to proceed with her work. It took some time, but her response to the presidential election came in her 2018 album Dancing with the Beast (Scarlet Letter Records). Suffused with regrets, backward glances, and sublimated anger, it’s a gorgeous, often haunting collection of songs that capture a kaleidoscopic array of women going about their lives. In other words, it’s a Gretchen Peters album, but situated along the fault lines that divide past and present and our dreams from our reality.

To read this interview in its entirety, visit Berkeleyside.

Just released – a new episode of Sodajerker, a fascinating podcast where co-hosts Simon Barber and Brian O’Connor have an in-depth conversation with a songwriter. This week that songwriter happens to be me. It was great to sit down and talk with them about songs and songwriting. From Sodajerker:

Country noir superstar Gretchen Peters explains the process she embarks upon when creating the cinematic and socially conscious songs that have become her calling card. In our in-depth conversation, the Nashville stalwart describes the writing of recent albums like Blackbirds and Dancing With The Beast, her classic hits for the likes of Martina McBride, Bonnie Raitt and Trisha Yearwood, and her collaborative partnership with Bryan Adams.

To listen to the podcast, visit Sodajerker, where you can download the episode (you can also listen in Apple Podcasts), and listen to a companion Spotify playlist.

Every year, around this time, you’ll hear “Independence Day” on the radio, at fourth of July celebrations, and during fireworks displays. I’m grateful to Claire Shaffer and Rolling Stone for doing the deep dive on this song that changed my life. And, as always, to Martina McBride for her courage and belief in it, from day one.
You can read the article in its entirety at Rolling Stone Country.

I talked to Jane Kramer (who is opening our upcoming show at Isis Music Hall in Asheville, NC this week) recently about songwriting, empathy, feminism and the secret recording project I’ve been working on for the past 2 1/2 years. We had a great, wide-ranging conversation, and you can find out what I’ve been up to and read the interview at Ashvegas:

One woman and the truth: Gretchen Peters on songwriting, empathy and second-wave feminism

…there is always one thing holding everything together in any work of Gretchen Peters, and that is the clear mark of a master storyteller at work.

There are few songwriters of Gretchen Peter’s quality out there at the moment (or any moment) and although her songs cover many diverse subjects it is as a writer of “women’s songs” that Gretchen excels, and over the 3 to 5 minutes of a song’s time frame, works like “Arguing With Ghosts”, “Blackbirds”, “The Boy From Rye” and “Wichita” give us real stories of real people that are full of emotion and often pain.  There is always something about Gretchen’s vocals on these songs that makes you believe that these are real friends, perhaps more than that even, they have become “ghosts on stage” with her over the years…

To read this review in its entirety, visit The Southside Advertiser Edinburgh.

photo by Rebecca Kemp

…Peters’ style is stripped back, raw and melodic and the purity of her voice lends itself beautifully to the most majestic of songs. The soulful smoothness of Say Grace, from her 2018 album Dancing With The Beast, was simply stunning; while The Matador, where she was joined on stage by Seonaid from the accompanying Southern Fried String Quartet, a group she first collaborated with at Perth’s Southern Fried Festival in 2018, attracted some of the biggest applause of the night and delivered a real ‘wow’ factor. Fellow Quartet member Alice brought her cello on stage for the song Five Minutes, before Idlewild finished off the first half….

To read this review in its entirety, visit Six Shooter Country.

photo by Andrew Newiss

“…Even after accommodating Walsh’s grand piano and a podium for the string quartet the stage looked spacious. The Cadogan’s acoustics were perfect and filled to its 950 capacity it was the ideal setting for an evening of musical engrossment. And how that was rewarded. Peters pulled no punches with her opener ‘When All You Got is a Hammer’, a deeply moving picture of the damage wrought on the family of those from war. The band gave a sense of restlessness to the opening of ‘Disappearing Act’ so, “Good things come, good things go/ If it lifts you up it will lay you low” came as little surprise. Also from the latest record was ‘Wichita’, a brooding, menacing song Peters tells as its principal character, a ‘little kid’…”

To read this review in its entirety, visit Your Life in a Song.

“…Like many of Peters’ songs, there was a narrative and a picture woven before your eyes that transported you to that time and place. With a voice that can sound as if she has been bruised and damaged but which can then go on to soar, she’s like a blend of Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow and Rickie Lee Jones but ultimately her voice remains distinctly her own. ‘Wichita’ was a brooding song full of darkness and despair from the viewpoint of a twelve-year-old but also with a measure of hope and triumph in adversity by way of revenge. ‘Save Grace’, ‘Everything Falls Away’ and ‘The Matador’, the latter a lyrical masterpiece with a mesmerising vocal performance by Peters and a highlight of the first set, were all received warmly by the attentive audience before the beautiful ‘Five Minutes’ and then ‘Idlewild’ ended the first set of the evening…”

To read this review in its entirety, visit Americana-UK.