‘The Essential Gretchen Peters’ from Gretchen Peters - an essential songwriter and artist

(January 07, 2016)

I reviewed 'Blackbirds' from Gretchen Peters back in December 2014 and called it: “... powerful, poignant and profoundly moving ... full of penetrating moments that cut deep and leave their mark.” All that was true, and now this February, there’s ‘The Essential Gretchen Peters’, which takes you deeper into the fearlessly frank and disquietingly candid examinations of this lady’s songs. The the essential gretchen petersstories reveal so much, as they move faultlessly between intensely personal observations and wider examinations on life, love, relationships, losing failing and that eternal spark called hope.

For those unaware of the calibre of her poetic songwriting, ‘The Essential Gretchen Peters’ serves as a guide to the presence of her music, for the cognoscenti there’s all that you would expect. Whatever your position there’s classics from her catalogue, unfamiliar and undiscovered gems plus some unheard collaborations. The riveting title track from ‘Blackbirds’ hits as hard as ever, as does the brutal truth of ‘When All You Got Is A Hammer’, while ‘The Matador’ continues its devastating story. There’s some singularly stunning duets with Tom Russell ‘Guadalupe’ and Bryan Adams ‘When You Love Someone’, there are covers of Lennon’s ‘Love’ and an utterly exquisite take on Jagger and Richards’ ‘Wild Horses’ – if this one doesn’t get to you then nothing will.

‘The Essential Gretchen Peters’ is a two-CD set that clearly demonstrates multiple facets of an essential songwriter and artist.

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Review: Tim Carroll

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