Saturday, September 1, 2007

Gretchen Peters: Burnt Toast & Offerings

You might know Gretchen Peters by her songs rather than her name, at first: Faith Hill's The Secret of Life, Martina McBride's Independence Day, George Strait's Chill of an Early Fall, Bonnie Raitt's Rock Steady, Trisha Yearwood's On a Bus to Saint Cloud are just a handful of the literate, thoughtful, and thought provoking songs which Peters has written. Most of them, as the best songs usually are, are experience filtered through art, but in Peters' case most of that was imaginative and narrative experience -- which, in a way, both prepared her and didn't for the subject matter of the songs on her latest solo recording, Burnt Toast and Offerings. It's the landscape of her own divorce, the ending of a long marriage.

Sunday Morning (Up and Down My Street) is a very fine example of Peters' skill at evoking place and emotion with a clarity that lingers after the song is done. It is a live performance from the CD release gig at 12th and Porter in Nashville on August 9th. The song is also a good clue that the songs on this record are more varied and complex than the idea of 'divorce record' would suggest.

In the clip below, Peters talks about the making of the record.
There's a review of the album itself here.

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