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.
Folk Radio UK (FRUK) has posted a review of The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury. An excerpt:
…a suitably twangsome cover of the train time boogie Why You Been Gone So Long with (Barry) Walsh on a Jerry Lee piano break and he and Kim Richey on backing vocals. From that same album comes another downbeat story-song, about building bridges, not walls, Heaven Help The Child, which, with its understated arrangement, pedal steel and strings utterly eclipse the overblown original. A tribute to Newbury’s work has been long overdue, you could ask for no finer one than this.
To read the review in its entirety, visit Folk Radio UK.
I’m thrilled to announce that The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury is the #1 song on the Folk Chart this month! I’m so grateful to all the folk DJs for playing the album and making this possible. Mickey Newbury’s music has been a big source of inspiration to me since I was a teenager, and this album was a labor of love, a long time coming.
To see the entire May 2020 Folk Chart, visit FolkRadio.org.
I spoke to Geoffrey Himes for The Nashville Scene recently about Mickey Newbury and The Night You Wrote That Song. An excerpt:
Peters wasn’t interested in copying Newbury’s original arrangements. Those versions are still out there for anyone who wants to find them. Just by bringing a female voice to songs that were mostly recorded by men, she alters them. She further refines them by applying the stripped-down arrangements and lucid enunciation of her own records. She even swaps some verses around, relieved to learn from Newbury’s longtime guitarist Jack Williams that Newbury did the same thing all the time — even after the song had been recorded. Newbury was a relentless tinkerer, so Peters would be too.
I recently spoke to Bernard Zuel about The Night You Wrote That Song, Mickey Newbury, songwriting, and more. An excerpt:
“Another thing was the mystery that he left in his lyrics,” she says. “There was always something that was not fully said, and I think that was a huge lesson for me. I don’t think I could have even told you that I was learning at the time, but I definitely internalised that is something that I wanted to accomplish in my writing. In much the same way the Leonard Cohen does: there is a veil beyond which you can’t see I think that’s why I find both of their songs so compelling.”
You can see the truth of this through all of Peters’ career, the ability to give us detail that illuminates but does not overwhelm the characters or the story. She leaves space in the songs for us to read in or project or imagine.
To read the interview in its entirety, visit BernardZuel.net.
Pop Matters recently premiered the video for “The Sailor”, and reviewed The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury as part of a feature interview on the album. An excerpt:
Peters’ collection of Newbury songs, though, is the record that Newbury lovers could have only dreamed of. Eschewing standard notions of making an album celebrating the songs of a beloved artist, she followed her heart and her ear. “One of the first things I threw out the window was the idea that I was going to record things that were recognizable,” she says. “That ruled out so many wonderful songs. By the same token, I didn’t rule out doing some of the songs that were hits. I said, ‘Let’s throw chart history right out the window and let’s go purely on songs.’ The only other criteria became, ‘Do I think I can tell this story effectively? Can I bring this across?’ It really becomes not dissimilar from choosing songs for your own record.”
To read the review and interview, and watch the video, visit Pop Matters.
Off The Record has reviewed The Night You Wrote That Song; here’s an excerpt:
Peters has wholly brought herself and her own sonic landscape to this record. It is masterstroke, taking a true artist to pay in equal part homage to her hero, but also completely bringing herself and her inner psyche to the reinvention of these songs. This is a stellar accomplishment.
To read the review in its entirety, visit Off The Record.
Country Standard Time posted a review of The Night You Wrote That Song. Here’s an excerpt:
Her version of “The Night You Wrote That Song” is beautifully melancholy and highlighted by Dan Dugmore’s sweet country pedal steel guitar and waltzing rhythm, and just a touch of piano. Many of Newbury’s songs (“An American Trilogy,” made famous by Elvis, comes immediately to mind) were borderline epics, compared to the typical three-minute or so country song. “The Night You Wrote That Song,” though, evidences how Newbury could also write wonderful, more concise songs, as well.
To read the review in its entirety, visit Country Standard Time.
The Rocking Magpie reviewed The Night You Wrote That Song; here’s an excerpt:
Peters is honest enough to not mess around too much with the arrangements of these classics, instead giving them a feminine bent; and her decision to record these songs in familiar territory—namely the very same studio in which Newbury recorded many of his best albums: the famed Cinderella Sound, utilizing several of the musicians who helped Newbury record his erstwhile classic songs—tells me she’s chasing that elusive element that made Newbury’s songs stand out so much from most other Nashville songwriters.
To read the review in its entirety, visit The Rocking Magpie.
Thom Jurek of AllMusic has published a review of The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury. Here’s an excerpt:
Peters delivers gorgeous versions of classics such as “She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye,” “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition What My Condition Was In),” “Heaven Help the Child,” “Frisco Depot,” and “San Francisco Mabel Joy.” Newbury’s tunes are often steeped in pathos: emotional, spiritual, and historical, yet steely in their unflinching honesty and in their revelations of vulnerability. Peters shines throughout, delivering them with an authority central to her own experience as a woman and as a songwriter. Her readings of lesser-known tunes such “The Sailor,” register as unearthed fables from the mists of time.
To read the review in its entirety, visit AllMusic.
Recently No Depression asked me to write about why Mickey Newbury resonates so strongly with me. I decided to write him a letter. Here’s an excerpt:
I was heading upstream, looking for the headwaters of a river the scope of which I barely comprehended. I traveled without a compass or a map. I went from point to point. I could sense that the tributaries of folk, country, bluegrass, and blues were all part of this same river, but I hadn’t yet begun to think of music as a natural, living thing; hadn’t understood that the same river that connected you to Stephen Foster connected me to you, too. At a time when I was struggling mightily to find my voice, I heard yours.
To read the letter in its entirety, visit No Depression.
Lyric Magazine reviewed The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury – here’s an excerpt:
Some exceptional artists like Brandy Clark, Lori McKenna, and Gretchen Peters write so well that their songwriting can overshadow their skill as performers. (The Nashville Establishment wrongly believes that women over 40 are not marketable, so some of this is due to these artists not being promoted the way they should be.) But they are exceptional performers. And when an exceptionally talented artist can deeply connect with great material, the result is a great record.
To read the review in its entirety, visit Lyric Magazine.