Tonight’s a big night in Nashville. Hell, every night is these days, for the most part. Funny, I pick up stakes and move to Florida just as the town becomes the hottest thing this side of the Pacific! But I digress.
Tonight will be huge in Music City USA. It’s the night four new inductees join the 192 existing members of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. And who might those newcomers be?
- John Anderson (and who knew, he’s from practically right next store in Apopka, FL!)
- Paul Craft
- Tom Douglas and
- Gretchen Peters
I’m writing here to celebrate Gretchen Peters. I consider myself musically illiterate (and those who know me would agree). So my judgment might not hold much weight. But I’ve been a huge fan of Gretchen’s work for more than a dozen years, thanks to my musician brother who turned me on to her. He’s always been generous about sharing like that and has never steered me wrong before!
Back to Gretchen, though. She’s kick-ass brilliant. Seriously. And not just about music. The girl knows her classics and, even more important, is one of the most intellectually curious individuals I know! And when it comes to her music… it’s exquisite. And her voice…
If you ever get to hear an angel sing, well, you’ll swear it’s this girl. Here’s an example of the whole package she offers. It’s a song called Five Minutes from her Hello Cruel World album. Though I love all her songs, I think this is my all-time favorite. The lyrics, her voice, and the gentle keyboard accompaniment just make this song a beautifully wrapped gift to all who hear it!
I love the fact that Gretchen’s the only female in this year’s bunch of songwriters to be inducted. In fact, very few women are included in this elite crowd at all! I may be wrong but it looks like less than a dozen women altogether, less than 10%. I googled (yes, using it as a verb) but could not find the exact number. Those female inductees I recognize include:
Aside: Putting this list together gave me a “holy shit” moment! I mean, I know Gretchen’s amazing, but when you consider the few peers…
I’ve been fortunate to see Gretchen perform many, many times over the years and each time, I’m struck anew by her glorious pipes. And each time, her lyrics get to me. They’re as rich as fine tapestries, woven together with threads of gold that only an artist as deep as the universe itself could pull them together. When I leave her performances, I’m absolutely spent and overwhelmed. But in a wondrous way.
In performances where she shares the stage with husband, Barry Walsh, there’s a magic that audiences can’t help but enjoy. The twosome is adorable, punning and cracking the audience (and each other) up. But when they make music… sublime. You saw it in the above link. Here’s an example of their chemistry together in a far more light-hearted tune.
I really wish I could be there tonight, but things are hectic here in the Sunshine state. So I penned this blog partly in homage and partly to immerse myself in the grandness of this lady of fabulousness. If you’ve never had a chance to check her out, I urge you, do so. Find out where she’s playing and get there. You won’t regret it!
You can learn more about this chanteuse, buy her music, and catch her on tour by visiting her website.
Now that I’m done raving about Gretchen, tell me about your favorite songwriters. I may be musically illiterate, but I still like to listen!