Folk Alley: With Live Album ‘The Show,’ Gretchen Peters Says Goodbye to the Road

It was a late-spring weeknight in Asheville, North Carolina, and all the seats were taken at the Isis Music Hall. I found my way upstairs, where numerous stragglers were on stools overlooking the house.

Moments earlier, Gretchen Peters had told me she’s thinking of quitting the road after her next tour, and then she took the stage and opened with “The Show,” from her 2018 album, Dancing with the Beast.

I don’t really know just where I am
Somewhere between Bend and Birmingham
Here with you in some borrowed zip code
Nothing on our minds but the show

Considering the thoughts she’d just shared, the tune landed in a whole new way. What had previously struck as a bittersweet tribute to the life of a touring musician now rang as somewhat of a Dear John letter to the road. An artist trying to reckon with whether or not she can keep this part of her life going much longer…

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