For two decades, Gretchen Peters has been one of Nashville’s most beloved and respected artists. “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.” Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in October 2014 by singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell, who called her “both a songwriter and a poet (who) sings as beautifully as she writes,” and said her song The Matador, moved me so greatly, I cried from the soles of my feet”, Peters has accumulated accolades as a songwriter for artists as diverse as Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, The Neville Brothers, Patty Loveless, George Strait, Bryan Adams and Faith Hill.
Gretchen’s latest album, Dancing with The Beast, puts female characters at the fore, from teenage girls to old women, and intentionally so. With the 2017 Women’s March and #MeToo Movement as bookends to her writing time, Peters knew that a feminist perspective would be the critical core of the record. She admits, “You can trace the feminist DNA in my songwriting back to Independence Day and probably before. The thing that 2017 did is just put it front and center.”
Beauty tempered by dread and sorrow buoyed by hope, these are the ever-present tugs of war that make life worth living and songs worth writing. And they are the over-riding themes that make Gretchen Peters one of her generation’s most compelling singer/songwriters.