An American Trilogy: Gretchen Peters, Mickey Newbury and the art of songwriting

I recently spoke to Bernard Zuel about The Night You Wrote That Song, Mickey Newbury, songwriting, and more. An excerpt:

“Another thing was the mystery that he left in his lyrics,” she says. “There was always something that was not fully said, and I think that was a huge lesson for me. I don’t think I could have even told you that I was learning at the time, but I definitely internalised that is something that I wanted to accomplish in my writing. In much the same way the Leonard Cohen does: there is a veil beyond which you can’t see I think that’s why I find both of their songs so compelling.”

You can see the truth of this through all of Peters’ career, the ability to give us detail that illuminates but does not overwhelm the characters or the story. She leaves space in the songs for us to read in or project or imagine.

To read the interview in its entirety, visit