Sheffield date for versatile country musician Gretchen Peters

Nashville-based singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters has been a regular visitor to Sheffield over the years.

By reader.letter2
Wednesday, 10 April, 2019, 13:36
Musician Gretchen Peters

As well as her own shows, she memorably teamed up with fellow country music performers Suzy Bogguss and Matricia Berg for Wine, Women and Song.

Now there is another twist in the format as appears at the City Hall Ballroom on Wednesday, April 17.

She will play with her band and the Southern Fried String Quartet for the Strings Attached tour.

Some 23 years on from her debut album, The Secret Of Life, Peters relishes the opportunity to try something a little different again.

“The addition of strings lends a whole new dimension to the songs, and playing them this way is a thrill like no other,” she says.

Peters is known as a fine country music singer and writer. She has written hits for George Strait, Patty Loveless, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Jimmy LaFave and Etta James.

One of her best-known songs, Independence Day, was turned into a hit by Martina McBride, secured Peters her first Grammy nomination and was Country Music Association Song of the Year in 1995,

Yet she is much more than a traditional country music artist. The songs cross into folk and country rock, the mood is often wistful and melancholy and the themes and approaches are contemporary, astute and thought-provoking.

Her latest album, Dancing with the Beast, was written at a time of the 2017 Women's March and #MeToo Movement and puts female characters at the fore.

“You can trace the feminist DNA in my songwriting back to Independence Day and probably before,” she says.

It’s her first recording of all new material since 2016’s Blackbirds, which won her an Americana Music Association UK award for International Album of the Year as well as International Song of the Year for the title track.

Gretchen Peters was among the stellar line-up of the latest Trans-Atlantic Sessions tour – featuring the cream of acoustic musicians.

She played alongside musicians and singers of the calibre of Jerry Douglas, Aly Bain, John McCusker, Michael McGoldrick, John Doyle, Tim O’Brien and Phil Cunningham.

And joining them was a young American guitarist and singer called Molly Tuttle, who more than held her own.

Describing her as a rising star hardly does her justice as she embarks on a UK tour including a date at the Greystones on Thursday, April 18.

Her distinctive and exceptional clawhammer technique of playing the guitar helps her to stand out

She was named Instrumentalist of the Year at the 2018 Americana Music Awards on the strength of her EP, Rise, financed by a crowdfunding campaign.

The International Bluegrass Music Association declared her the first-ever female Guitar Player of the Year.

The 26-year-old’s debut album, When You're Ready, also showcases a smooth and instantly appealing voice and accessible songs that are likely to find favour among the folk, bluegrass, Americana and country communities.

“I love so many types of music and it’s exciting to be a part of and embraced by different musical worlds, but when I’m creating I don’t think about genres or how it will fit into any particular format – it’s just music,” she says.