I was so moved by Brittney Spencer’s incredible performance of “Independence Day” when I received the Poet’s Award at the ACM Honors last August that I cried. She told me backstage later that she had listened to my slowed-down, piano-driven arrangement of the song and drawn some inspiration from that. I’m pleased to announce that Amazon Music has released both a video and a track of Brittney’s version – both available now.
.From Amazon Music:
On March 30, Amazon Music exclusively released an Amazon Original cover of Gretchen Peters’ “Independence Day” and an accompanying music video by groundbreaking recording artist Brittney Spencer. The song and video are available now as part of the rollout for the upcoming documentary, For Love & Country. For Love & Country is directed by Joshua Kissi and premieres on the Amazon Music app and Prime Video on April 7.
For Love & Country, is a new Amazon Music Original feature-length documentary that proclaims country music has always been Black music. The genre not only owes part of its origin story to Black musicians, but through its history, prominent Black voices have pushed the genre forward with little recognition or fanfare. Directed by director and photographer Joshua Kissi, For Love & Country examines country music through the personal stories of a new generation of Black artists claiming space in Nashville — and helping to transform the genre in the process.
Our first livestream for Ukraine’s Voices of Children Foundation was a huge success, thanks to everyone who watched and donated so generously. After we raised over $11,000, I started hearing from other artists who were eager to help out. Today I’m thrilled to announce that my guest for the next livestream is the incomparable Rosanne Cash. Rosanne will be joined by John Leventhal and I’ll be joined by Barry Walsh. Please join us April 1 at 3pm CDT/4pm EDT/9pm BST on Facebook and YouTube.
The concert is free but donations are requested – all proceeds go to Voices of Children.
I’m thrilled to announce that our livestream on March 10, with Barry Walsh and special guests Mary Gauthier and Jaimee Harris, raised over $11,000 for Voices of Children, a Ukraine-based organization that provides psychological and psychosocial support to children, helping them overcome the consequences of armed conflict. Today, during the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, they are providing non-stop assistance to affected children and families from all over the country, providing emergency psychological assistance, and assisting in the evacuation process.
It’s the generosity and big hearts of our fans that made this possible. Your donations are so appreciated. If you missed the livestream you can watch it on Facebook or on YouTube. Thank you, from the bottom of my grateful heart.
In case you can’t make it but would like to donate anyway, here is my tip jar info:
To our UK & Dutch friends & fans: this is an announcement that I did not want to make – namely that our UK/Netherlands tour scheduled for March/April 2022 is being postponed once again due to continued uncertainty concerning Covid-19. We have struggled with this decision for weeks now; in the end the situation remains too uncertain for us to find a way forward with the tour as scheduled. We are rescheduling dates now. Existing tickets will be honored on the new date. Please contact the venue for further information.
I am devastated to have to postpone; we have not performed since March 2020 and were so looking forward to this being our return to live shows after along 2 years. New dates will be posted as soon as they’re confirmed. In the meantime, please stay safe.
We added a bunch of new merchandise to my web store today – and for those of you in the UK or Europe, we can fulfill orders – on the new merch items only – from Europe, so shipping charges won’t be prohibitive. There’s more to come, but for now check out the Sad Songs coffee mugs, Sad Songs water bottle, Hello Cruel World iPhone covers in three colors (they protect your phone against everything but “telephone calls you don’t wanna get”) and the Secret of Life coffee mug, back by popular demand!
Visit my web store to see the new merch.
I had a great conversation with writer Kim Ruehl for her Folk Alley podcast “Why We Write” a few weeks ago. The episode is out today and we covered all manner of topics, from failure to the importance of rhyme, and much more. You can listen at Folk Alley.
More from Kim:
Gretchen Peters has earned enough accolades and awards that one could easily tout the success of her songwriting by listing all those things. But the true success of a song is how it hits the listener in the heart, and Peters is certainly expert at that, as well. In addition to the numerous songs she’s written for Nashville stars, she has also penned a great many for herself, earning the respect of fellow songwriters as she goes. She also teaches songwriting, and her songwriting workshops are well worth your time, whether you are trying to make a living in songwriting or whether you just have some thoughts and feelings that you’d like to get out in that way.
When I started doing this podcast, Gretchen Peters was one of the first artists I knew I had to talk to. I always learn a great deal about the art and craft of songwriting whenever she opens her mouth. So, sit back and enjoy this episode of Why We Write, featuring Gretchen Peters.
The Academy of Country Music announced today the recipients of the Special Awards for the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards. I’m honored to be receiving the Poet’s Award from the Academy this summer, at an event taking place Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.
More from the ACM:
Honorees will be celebrated during the 14th Annual ACM Honors, an evening dedicated to recognizing the special honorees and off-camera category winners from the 55th and 56th Academy of Country Music Awards. The Academy of Country Music Special Awards are voted on by the ACM Board of Directors for specific achievements.
Loretta Lynn, Gretchen Peters and Curly Putman (posthumously) have been chosen as recipients of the ACM Poet’s Award. This award is presented to a Country Music songwriter for outstanding and longstanding musical and/or lyrical contributions throughout their career, with special consideration given to a song or songs’ impact on the culture of Country Music.
Tickets will go on-sale to the general public at 10 AM CST Friday, June 18, 2021 at www.ticketmaster.com. Prices range from $85- $142.
I’m happy to say all of my UK tour dates which were canceled due to COVID have been rescheduled, and are now on sale. If you had a ticket to a canceled show it will be honored by the venue. Please contact the venue with any questions.
Shows from 25 March through 2 April 2022 will be an intimate evening looking back on 25 years of touring the UK. I’ll share road stories and reach back into my catalog to play some of the songs I brought to the UK when I started touring. I’ll be joined by Barry Walsh, and Kim Richey will be my special guest.
Shows from 3 April onward will be full band shows, featuring Barry Walsh, Conor McCreanor and Colm McClean, with special guest Kim Richey. We’ll be playing some new songs from The Night You Wrote That Song, for the first time since the album was released. We can’t wait to get back to the UK!
I had a great time talking with Thomas Mooney for his Neon Eon podcast, which focuses on 90s country music. We talked about songwriting, Music Row during the 90s country boom, and of course, Independence Day.
You can listen to the podcast on Apple podcasts, or anywhere you get your podcasts.
I spoke with Andrew Daly of Vinyl Writer recently. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
I think that when you are telling stories, you are always telling your story. In songwriting it’s more important to tell the truth than the facts. And your truth is informed by your story. So when I’m writing a story about a character (and most of my songs are character-driven), I spend a lot of time talking with that character, finding out who she is. And the parts of her that I empathize with – in fact, the whole reason I’m compelled to write about her – is because of who I am and what I’ve experienced. I just don’t think there’s any other way to write authentically. Our common humanity is what we have to offer, as writers – to hold up a mirror so that listeners can see themselves.
To read the interview in its entirety, visit Vinyl Writer.
I’m happy to announce a brand new February Master Class with my friend Mary Gauthier. We’re teaming up to bring you “Writing Songs from Behind Someone Else’s Eyes.” In this workshop, we’ll take a deep dive into creating authentic narrators, breaking through writer’s block, and tapping into the power of empathy. We’ll also have a VERY special guest joining us (TBA shortly) that you definitely won’t want to miss. Class size will be limited to 25 students. 📚 Register now