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Gretchen Peters has had her songs recorded by some of the biggest names in Pop and Country music.
They includeShania Twain, Bryan Adams, Faith Hill, Etta James, Martina McBride, Bonnie Raitt, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Suzy Bogguss, and The Neville Brothers.
She released her debut album "The Secret of Life" in 1996 and her long-awaited self-titled sophomore album was released in the UK by Grapevine, in July 2000, to great critical acclaim.
Having wowed the audience at London's Purcell Room at the South Bank, back in '96, we had to wait until April 2001 for her next UK performances. (see below)
Gretchen was my guest on "Red Hot & Country" in 1996, and we met up again, four years later, when she came into Ritz 1035 to guest on David Allan's midday show, and on Nick Stewart's eclectic Friday night programme "Captain America", when her intended 45-minute stay, stretched to the full 3 hours !
So an enthusiastic crowd greeted her at London's Dingwalls, on Tues. 10th April 2001, when she played an extensive set, featuring a number of songs from her albums "The Secret of Life" and her eponymously titled sophomore release. Accompanied by Barry Walsh (keyboards), she ran through many of my personal favourites, especially the song she wrote with Suzy Bogguss "Waiting For The Lights To Turn Green"; she also gave us "Circus Girl", "When You Are Old", "Independence Day", and "The Secret of Life" which drew applause as the first couple of chords were struck (well, it was me and one or two others!), and pleasantly surprised her.
The "Gretchen Peters" album is more than enjoyable, but that enjoyment is heightened when she prefaces each song with a little story, so "Picasso and me" makes much more sense, when you appreciate that it is from his cat's perspective. She bemoaned the fact that Bryan Adams chose to leave (one of) their co-write "In A Perfect World" off of his million-selling album! "Eddie's First Wife" we were told would NOT be covered by Faith Hill! Actually, I was half-expecting/hoping that, as she was currently in town, Ms. Hill might surprise us and join Gretchen on stage for "The Secret of Life". No such luck! "I Don't Know", "Love and Texaco", and "Love Is A Drug" all sounded sublime, and she rocked the joint with her own rendition of another of her co-writes with Bryan Adams, "Hey Elvis", and told an amusing story of how Billy Ray Cyrus phoned to ask permission to included it as a bonus on his debut for Monument "Southern Rain".
Gretchen also paid tribute toTrisha Yearwood for persisting with "On A Bus To St. Cloud" - 'a song that got to No. 68 with an anchor' - and continues to include it in her encores (she certainly did so at the Albert Hall back in April 2000). Grtechen almost ran out of songs (not really!) for her own encores, that night, but we all joined in on one of the few covers that she's recorded, Steve Earle's "I Ain't Ever Satisfied". A great night. Come back soon, Gretchen.
Her two albums, "The Secret of Life" and "Gretchen Peters" are to be reissued in the UK in 2002 on Gravity.
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