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Gretchen Peters (born November 14, 1957 in Bronxville, New York) is an American singer-songwriter in the folk/country genre. An accomplished song-writer, she won the Country Music Association Song Of The Year award in 1994 for "Independence Day", a hit at the time for Martina McBride. She was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014.Read More...
Though born in New York, Peter's was raised in Boulder, Colorado, and then moved to Nashville in the late 1980s. There, she found work as a songwriter, composing hits for Martina McBride, Etta James, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, George Strait, Anne Murray, as well as for Neil Diamond and co-writing songs with Bryan Adams. She has twice been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Song, in 1995 and 1996, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song in 2003.
Peters has released a string of studio albums of her own. The title track of her 1996 debut album The Secret of Life was later recorded by Faith Hill in 1999.
In the case of her new album, 'Blackbirds,' "juice" is certainly understatement. Recorded in Nashville, the album features a who's who of modern American roots music: Jerry Douglas, Jason Isbell, Jimmy LaFave, Will Kimbrough, Kim Richey, Suzy Bogguss and more. But it's not the guests that make 'Blackbirds' the most poignant and moving album of Peters' storied career; it’s the impeccable craftsmanship, her ability to capture the kind of complex, conflicting, and overwhelming emotional moments we might otherwise try to hide and instead shine a light of truth and understanding onto them.
'Blackbirds' is, in many ways, an album that is unafraid to face down mortality. But rather than dwell on the pain of loss, the music finds a new appreciation for the life we're given.
If anyone can open up that conversation, it's Peters. Inducted into the prestigious Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014, she has long been one of Music City's most beloved and respected artists, known never to shy away from darkness and struggle in her writing. Martina McBride's recording of her stirring "Independence Day," a song that deals with domestic abuse, was nominated for a Grammy and took home Song of the Year honors at the CMAs, and her work has been performed by everyone from Etta James and Neil Diamond to George Strait and Trisha Yearwood. "If Peters never delivers another tune as achingly beautiful as 'On A Bus To St. Cloud,'" People Magazine wrote, "she has already earned herself a spot among country's upper echelon of contemporary composers."
'Blackbirds' follows Peters' 2012 album 'Hello Cruel World,' which NPR called "the album of her career" and Uncut said "establishes her as the natural successor to Lucinda Williams." If anything, though, 'Blackbirds' truly establishes Peters as a one-of-a-kind singer and songwriter, one in possession of a fearless and endlessly creative voice.
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- Hello Cruel World - 21,246 plays
- LyricsOn a bus to St. Cloud, Minnesota
I thought I saw you there
With the snow falling down around you
Like a silent prayer
And once on a street in New York City
- Black Ribbons - 5,800 plays
- LyricsThe blackbirds came at dusk and they roosted in the cane,
Raised such a ruckus that it shook my windowpane
And I'm covered up in dirt and I stink of kerosene
And no matter what I do I can't get clean.
Last thing I remember was your footsteps in the hall.
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