“…there is a lightness of touch, in the manner in which she presents such hard-hitting songs, never preachy. Played live, they really hit home, and stay with the listener, melody and message. That is a real skill.  Her voice remains as strong as ever, indeed, if anything, it as good as I have ever heard her. Soft, yet fragile on certain songs, strong and assertive when it needs to be. These are not songs, they are poems sung, carrying such emotional heft, that the listener cannot be failed to be moved…”

To read this review in its entirety, visit Folk And Tumble.

“…Peters’ lyrics are poetic in their rich imagery and descriptions of the human condition. She deservedly won the Academy of Country Music’s Poet’s Award in 2021. The Show reveals the depth and breadth of her talents. She’s accompanied by her touring band that features Barry Walsh (piano, vocals), Colm McClean (electric guitar, vocals), and Conor McCreanor (electric and upright bass, vocals), as well as an all-female Scottish string quartet featuring Seonaid Aitken (violin), Amira Bedrush-McDonald (violin), Sarah Leonard (viola), and Alice Allen (cello). This frames Peters’ impassioned vocals with a formal backing. She sounds eloquent even when being colloquial and never comes off as pretentious. The arrangements allow her voice to always be at the forefront…”

To read this review in its entirety, visit Pop Matters.

“…a word for Peters’ voice, which now sounds a little more lived in than in her earlier years, that suiting better some of the subjects of her songs, often about those on the fringes; of society, luck, age and opportunity. Disappearing Act exemplifies this to a T, the slight lack of studio polish adding oodles, as also the case for the Wichita, the tale of Cora Lee, which gets a feel of hillbilly blues, a lighter touch which contrasts with the murkier mix from Dancing With The Beast. Say Grace then strips down to just voice and finger picked guitar. a quietly beautiful song that lingers as the thoughtful lyric sinks in: “Forgive yourself for all of your mistakes.” Piano joins in and McClean squeezes out some extra poignancy from his slide guitar, in a nod to the more arranged studio version. With the mood subtly changed by that song, it is followed by the pin dropping Everything Falls Away, with Walsh’s piano utterly magnificent…”

To read this review in its entirety, visit At The Barrier.

“…a truly remarkable album. Bold and fearless, live Gretchen Peters delivers an alluring, understatedly dramatic set as she spins out a rich and dazzling fabric sewn by the threads of autobiography, sociocultural, fiction, and authenticity. One of the finest female singer-songwriters of her generation, Gretchen thoughtfully offers up a stunning collection of songs that would call the listener to them—if they weren’t already seated and waiting for them to arrive. A towering songbook, wordy and resigned, this 18-track collection is the opus of Nashville’s foremost progenitor of, and innovator in, the country-roots fold. It’s the masterwork of a heart laid bare in song.”

To read the rest of this review in its entirety, visit alancackett.com

“Grammy Award-winning songwriter Gretchen Peters has a lot on her mind. Today (August 19th) she’s releasing her new live album ‘The Show: The Live In The UK’ which was recorded in 2019. She also just announced that, in June 2023, she and partner Barry Walsh will retire from regular touring.

While the events of the pandemic figured into Gretchen’s decision, she started thinking about getting off the road as far back as 2019. The creative process, as we discussed, requires a certain stillness and calm, one which is difficult, if not impossible, to find on the road, in the hustle and bustle of touring. Gretchen told me she felt she was spending a year on the road on the road and had to “recharge” before she could get into that space again. She released an excellent album of Mickey Newbury songs, The Night You Wrote That Song, in 2020, and the live album drops this week, but her last LP of original material was 2018’s Dancing With The Beast, a terrific exploration of the trials and traumas faced by women…”

To read this review in its entirety, visit Entertainment Focus.

” ‘The Show: Live In The UK’ is as fine a representation of Gretchen Peters in live performance as you’ll fine. Like many artists, she’s found a measure of success overseas, especially in the UK, that’s eluded her in the United States. Taken from her 2019 tour, the album is split between 10 tracks with an all-female Scottish string quartet, and 8 with her full band. Peters’s performances are wonderful even when she’s just playing in a small, intimate duo with her partner, Barry Walsh, but the additional instrumentation and orchestration fills out the songs here in really beautiful ways…”

To read this review in its entirety, visit Entertainment Focus.

“I don’t know why I fixated on three, but if I could do three records in a row that represented my creative manifesto, I would be satisfied. And I did that. Hello Cruel World, Blackbirds and Dancing With The Beast to me are a trilogy and they belong together and having completed those albums I had a new sense of satisfaction. As if to say there’s my work and it’ll stand up against anything, there it is. That was one aspect of the urgency. The other is this feeling amongst musicians, a feast or famine mentality, that you have to say yes to everything and if you say no, no one will ask you to do anything ever again so you burn yourself out trying to do everything.
Artists unconsciously, subconsciously and consciously are encouraged to say yes to everything. You take every opportunity because you are constantly being made to feel that you’ll become irrelevant or disappear if you don’t. It’s a really unhealthy mindset to live with.”

To read this interview in its entirety, visit The Rocking Magpie.

“Peters has released live albums and compendiums before this, but with this particular effort, her variety and versatility are spotlighted in ways that bring these songs added illumination and attention. The strings portion of the set is especially satisfying because it boasts the best of her seminal catalog, including some of the most beautiful melodies she’s shared so far—“Hello Cruel World, “The Secret of Life,” “Love That Makes a Cup of Tea,” and “Blackbirds,” among them. Graced by the sumptuous orchestrated arrangements and the precision of Peters’ performance, the music is magical, memorable, and emotionally engaging…”

To read this review in its entirety, visit American Songwriter.

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…

To read this article in its entirety, visit Folk Alley.

Music has been my church for as long as I can remember, and live performance has always been the thing that brings me closest to losing myself in the beauty and mystery of it all. Of all the aspects of my job, performing is the most ephemeral, the most of-the-moment. You can’t do it while you’re watching yourself. It’s a high wire act – and for a circus girl, that’s a nearly irresistible thing.

Nonetheless, after several years of soul searching, questioning, and yes, grieving – I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to say farewell to touring life. It has been an absolute joy to play on stages from Sydney, Australia to Aberdeen, Scotland to Portland, Oregon. It has been a privilege to sing my songs for you. It has been my deepest pleasure and I will miss so many things about the road. But I am ready to stop.

Without a doubt, the thing I’ll miss the most is you. You’ve kept my spirits up and my wheels rolling for decades. You’ve been willing to follow me through some rough territory, song-wise, knowing that we would find beauty together in the darkness – literally and figuratively. You’ve shown your big hearts over and over again, whether donating to a cause when I asked, or sending your love and concern when I lost a friend or family member or a beloved dog. Seeing some of you become close to each other, even while separated by oceans, has given me so much pleasure – to have been the catalyst that brought you together is an amazing thing. Together we’ve celebrated and grieved births, deaths, marriages, divorces, heartbreaks – just like any family. What an unexpected joy.

Barry and I will stop touring in June 2023, but we will not stop making music, and when the opportunity presents itself we may play a live show here and there, or a livestream from home. But we are saying goodbye to the kind of touring we’ve been doing for over 20 years now. We’re ready for a new chapter, one that involves less doing and more being. We’re looking forward to less time on social media, more time at home. Less carbon footprint, more footprints on the hiking trail. And while I’m on the subject of Barry Walsh, I need to say once again what I’ve said for over 30 years now: there’s no one on earth I’d rather make music with. Since the first recording session of mine he played on in 1990, since the first tour we did together in 2001, his sensitivity and intuition has been nothing short of inspiring. I still get a thrill waiting to hear what he’ll play next. It’s never the same, and it’s always just right. 

The music business has become increasingly, relentlessly demanding of artists. The pressure to release new “content” (not a synonym for art), to churn out singles and albums and videos and reels and posts on a prescribed schedule, often utterly out of sync with the artist’s internal one, isn’t producing more or greater art. It’s just increasing the noise and exhausting the artists. As someone who has always needed to let the field lie fallow in between creative bursts, I understand the pressure on young artists – and I hope they will resist. We need better songs, not more of them. We need artists who want to make art that lasts, not content that’s digested in the time it takes to scroll through your Instagram feed. I’m so grateful to have found you, an audience who understands this and has given me the grace to create on my own clock. My deepest thanks and love to all of you who have been coming – for years, and even decades – to share that sacred space in the dark with a song. 

Love, 

Gretchen

The Show captures a singular artist at the peak of her powers, the songs embellished for the live setting but never gratuitously so, the setlist covering a 22-year spectrum of outstanding songs and an irresistible enticement (should you be so foolish as not yet to have bought tickets) to catch her on the upcoming dates (marking her 25th anniversary of playing in the UK) where, not having released any new original material in four years (her last album was the Mickey Newbury tribute), she might hopefully drop in a taster or two for that long-awaited follow-up.

To read the review in its entirety, visit Folk Radio UK.

A live album to savour from one of the great singer-songwriters of her generation. 10/10

Gretchen Peters has always had a great affinity with UK audiences and 2022 marks 25 years since this outstanding singer-songwriter first stepped onto a stage this side of the pond. By way of a commemoration Peters set out in 2019 to record a live album in front of what she calls “the enthusiastic and supportive audiences in the UK.” So, to anyone out there who was present in Bristol, Bexhill-on-Sea or Bury St Edmunds in April 2019 – congratulations, you get to share a recording with one of the finest songwriters of her generation…

To read this review in its entirety, visit Americana UK.

The Country Music Hall of Fame has released a 20 minute video documentary about “Independence Day”, featuring interviews with myself, Martina McBride, Joe Galante, Robert Deaton and Brittney Spencer.

Deep dive into the history of the song and its lasting impact through the voices of those instrumental to its success and influenced by it – you can watch the film here.