June 2010 newsletter

June 2010

“Constantly risking absurdity and death whenever he performs above the heads of his audience, the poet, like an acrobat, climbs on rhyme to a high wire of his own making.”
– Lawrence Ferlinghetti

the ringmaster

We are home from England, happy to be back but still buzzing from the shows. In some ways I was more sorry to see this last tour come to an end than any before. It was a combination of class reunion, lovefest, and 3 ring circus (literally). I expected to see lots of familiar faces, forget some lyrics, and feel a bit overwhelmed from time to time, trying to remember songs I hadn’t played in years. What I didn’t expect was to find new life in some of those songs, and in your enthusiasm for them. We reworked some of the old standbys to keep them from getting stale for us, and you were right there with us. Barry and I both felt like we tapped into a new vein of improvisation this time out, by necessity as much as anything (when there are 100+ songs to choose from, you’d better be ready to improvise), and we enjoyed it more than either of us could’ve predicted. Expect more of that the next time we see you.

Without A Net

The Circus Girl – Without A Net UK tour is history, but set lists, reviews and photos from the tour have been posted. There’s even a bit of video of our ringmaster, aka John Smeathers, introducing me at the Cheadle Hulme show, a performance he reprised at the last show in Derby.

the top hat

Finally, I was greatly moved by the generosity and concern of our UK audiences at the news of the Nashville flood. At every show we placed a top hat on the merch table to receive donations for flood victims, and at every show the hat was full. Thanks to all of you who helped us raise over £800!

Back to the Workhouse

Washington DC area folks, heads up! We’ll be returning to a wonderful new venue we discovered last year – the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA on June 6th. If you’re in the DC area this is your chance to come see us in 2010!

One To The Heart, One To The Head, One Show Only

On June 17th I’ll be playing a double bill with my friend and frequent collaborator Tom Russell. We’ll be at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville, TN, joined by Barry Walsh and Thad Beckman. Tom hasn’t played a Nashville show in years, so we expect a lot of people out for this one. Show starts early at 7PM, so get your tickets soon to hear “Ash Wednesday”, “Billy 4”, “Guadalupe” and other songs from the One To The Heart, One To The Head CD and more.
As always, details on all shows are available in the Tour section of the website.


UK folks, we’ll be back again in July for the Trowbridge Village Pump Festival (22-25 July) and the 2010 Cambridge Folk Festival (29 July – 1 August). You can see the full lineup for both festivals at the Cambridge Festival site and the Trowbridge Festival site. Specific stages and times will be announced soon in the Tour section at gretchenpeters.com.

with Terry Wogan in Aberdeen, Scotland 2005

In addition to the two festivals, I will be appearing on BBC Radio 2’s Weekend Wogan, Terry Wogan’s hugely popular new live radio show, on Sunday morning 25 July. Mark your calendar and tune in for that one!

California here we come

We will be back in California for what is becoming an annual event – our late summer tour! We can’t think of a better way to spend early September than driving down the coast and playing for folks along the way. We’ll kick it off in Vacaville with the Art, Wine & Brew festival, and make our way south, ending in Venice for a special night presented by Grassroots Acoustica. Check out the tour dates (more to come) at the website.

Download Of The Month

This month’s download is, appropriately enough, a version of “Circus Girl”, recorded live at the Rutledge in Nashville last summer during the webcast we did to kick off the limited 2 CD edition of the album by the same name. “Circus Girl” was one of the most requested songs on the Without A Net tour. Visit the Download page to get June’s free download. Enjoy.



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