Gretchen Peters – Dancing With The Beast (review)

…all the stories are free of embellishments, with Peters not one for poetic flourishes, but that doesn’t mean bluntness or mere simplicity. Her lyrics feel tender right through, as if written in response to her characters, respecting their emotions – knowing their moments. And then, in something like the final song, Love That Makes A Cup Of Tea, unafraid to be of them not about them.

Similarly, musically, Peters plays it straight and quietly. The gentle tug of Say Grace, so soon after the subdued melancholy of Truckstop Angel (a song which transcends its familiar setting) is like a peaceful hymn that isn’t offering salvation but instead, a salve. The musings-out-loud of The Boy From Rye – brushed piano and barely murmuring bass, over which Peters confides – feels like it might have jostled for space on Emmylou Harris’ Stumble Into Grace (and you just know Harris, who has an uncanny ear for a song, would be a fan of Peters)…

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