Planned Parenthood Benefit Ft. Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Mary Gauthier & more

Thu Jun 29 2017

7:00 PM (Doors 6:00 PM)

The Basement East

917 Woodland St Nashville, TN 37206

Ages 18+

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All Ages if minor is accompanied by a parent.

Planned Parenthood Benefit Ft. Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Mary Gauthier & more

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  • Gretchen Peters

    Gretchen Peters

    Country

    “I remember going on my first radio tour for my debut album and the guys at the radio stations would say, ‘So you’re a songwriter, and now you want to be an artist?'” remembers Gretchen Peters.

    In hindsight, it’s a laughable distinction. Over the last three decades, Peters has proven to posses one of the most indelible voices in country and roots music in addition to wielding one the genres’ most enduring pens. But in 1996, as she crossed the invisible Music City barrier between writer and performer, few could have predicted what lay ahead. On ‘The Essential Gretchen Peters,’ she combines career-defining tracks with rare outtakes, demos, and B-sides to provide a two-disc snapshot of her remarkable journey as a singularly fearless and creative talent.

    Peters first arrived in Nashville in 1987 and quickly established herself as a songwriting force to be reckoned with, with tracks recorded by some of the biggest names in country music. She landed her first #1 with George Strait’s rendition of her “Chill Of An Early Fall,” garnered her first GRAMMY Nomination and CMA Song of the Year win with Martina McBride’s recording of “Independence Day,” and penned hits for Patty Loveless, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Trisha Yearwood, Jimmy LaFave, and Etta James among others. “If Peters never delivers another tune as achingly beautiful as ‘On A Bus To St. Cloud,'” People Magazine wrote, “she has already earned herself a spot among country’s upper echelon of contemporary composers.”

    All the while, though, she had bigger plans for herself.

    “Performing my own material was always in my sights from the time I moved to Nashville,” Peters explains. “I didn’t separate the writing from the performing from the recording in my mind. I always saw myself as a singer-songwriter, and that was all part of the job.”

    Riding the momentum from her remarkable success, Peters signed her first recording contract in 1996 with an independent label and released her debut album, ‘The Secret Of Life.’ While it fared well critically, Peters fell between the cracks of an industry hungry for easy-to-categorize products to feed the machine. Marketing a nuanced, mature storyteller—one who penned songs like the album’s bittersweet title track and the stirring “When You Are Old” (both of which appear on ‘The Essential’ Disc 1)—to mainstream country radio proved to be fruitless, and when the label later folded, Peters bought back the master recordings and vowed to maintain control for the rest of her days in the business, becoming an early adopter of the now-common process of self-releasing albums through licensing and distribution partnerships.

    Despite the early commercial stumble in the US, though, Peters found a different appreciation for her songs in the UK, where she earned the admiration of early champions in radio and press, like the legendary BBC host Bob Harris.

    “The first time I went over, I played four little gigs with no more than 40 or 50 people at any of them, maybe less,” she remembers. “But I immediately felt completely comfortable in my skin. I felt like those audiences didn’t expect or want me to be anything other than who I was. Everything that wasn’t working here in the States was working really well over there. It was like stepping through the looking glass.”

    Over the next twenty years, Peters would self-release seven more studio albums on both sides of the pond (including a collaboration with Tom Russell titled ‘One To The Heart, One To The Head’) and see her profile in the UK reach a new peak with 2015’s ‘Blackbirds,’ which debuted at #1 on UK Official Country Artists Albums Chart. Uncut hailed her as one of Nashville’s greatest talents of the past two decades,” while The Sun called the album “an Americana tour de force.” The record led to a sold-out UK tour, as well as spots on massive European festival stages from Glastonbury to Roskilde.

    All the while, the US was catching up to what they’d been missing out on in their own backyard. NPR called her 2012 release ‘Hello Cruel World’ “the album of her career,” while Rolling Stone dubbed “Blackbirds” “one of the most affecting murder ballads since Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska,'” and in 2014, she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

    While ‘The Essential Gretchen Peters’ collects some of the most memorable moments from her inimitable catalog, it also offers a unique window into Peters’ process. Highlights include rare recordings of her own takes on classics like “The Chill Of An Early Fall,” “On A Bus To St Cloud,” and “Independence Day,” as well as a previously unheard collaboration with Bryan Adams and unreleased demos and outtakes from throughout her career. Listeners can also trace the evolution of her work with keyboard player Barry Walsh, who began recording on Peters’ demos in 1990 and appears on every one of her albums (the two were married in 2010).

    “The first real UK tour I did with Barry was in 2001, and when we started playing live together it really became apparent that we had this sympathetic way of playing music,” Peters explains. “We were always able to telegraph to each other what we were going to do. At this point now, 25 years since we first started recording together, it’s like we play with one brain, but even back then, I felt like we had some kind of language that we were speaking onstage.”

    Though Peters is beloved as a songwriter of the highest caliber, she also uses the ‘The Essential’ collection as an opportunity to showcase her talent for interpreting the work of others that have influenced her, including a stunning cover of John Lennon’s “Love” and a gorgeous rendition of the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses” performed by Wine, Women & Song, her touring group featuring fellow Nashville icons Suzy Bogguss and Matraca Berg.

    “Once the idea for this collection came up, I took the title pretty seriously when I was deciding on what to include,” explains Peters. “Regardless of when, how, or if they were released, I wanted to choose tracks that really felt essential to who I am, the closest, absolute right-down-to-the-bone expressions of myself.”

    Gretchen Peters is a songwriter and an artist. Both sides are essential to her identity, and one listen to this collection makes it clear that her extraordinary body of work is indeed essential listening for the rest of us.

  • Kim Richey

    Kim Richey

    Country

    “[Kim Richey] would rule the charts in a land where Marshall Crenshaw was king, Aimee Mann queen, and the The Beatles never put out another record after Revolver.” Steve Horowitz, popmatters.com

    “Richey entices you with sad and unembellished music that reveals an original spirit - and then she ensnares you for keeps by making you consider all the noiseless sensations that no songs can ever contain.” Timothy White, Billboard Magazine

    Those artists who find themselves stuck in the deepest of ruts two decades into their careers could learn a thing or two from veteran singer-songwriter Kim Richey. She’s never been afraid to go where the inspiration is.

    Two-time Grammy-nominated Kim is a storyteller; a weaver of emotions and a tugger of heartstrings. Tender, poetic and aching with life’s truths, Kim’s songs transport you to her world, where words paint pictures and melodies touch the soul. And then there’s her voice. Pure, arresting and honest, it makes you take notice; Kim has the kind of voice where if emotions were ribbons, they’d be streaming in rainbow colours from your iPod.

    Early on, the Zanesville, Ohio native thrived on the progressive side of mainstream country, her albums (1995’s Kim Richey, 1997’s Bittersweet and 1999’s Glimmer, all on Mercury) showcasing twang-pop sensibilities, a rich, rounded vocal tone and effortlessly sophisticated songwriting that other discerning performers - Radney Foster, Trisha Yearwood and Pam Tillis to name a few - coveted for their own recordings.

    In the years since, Kim has made her subtly psychedelic album Rise (Lost Highway) in Los Angeles with producer Bill Bottrell, flown to London to enlist the help of Giles Martin and emerging with the crisply orchestrated Chinese Boxes (Vanguard) and turned to her East Nashville-based bandleader and frequent co-writer Neilson Hubbard to conjure the earthy indie-pop feel of Wreck Your Wheels (Lojinx/Thirty Tigers) and to complete her latest masterpiece of smart, sensual understatement Thorn In My Heart (Lojinx/Yep Roc).

    The array of top-tier guests on the album include Jason Isbell, Wilco’s Pat Sansone, My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel, Will Kimbrough and Yearwood, who was, for the first time, returning the harmony-singing favor. And the dozen songs themselves show that Richey’s still dreaming up fetching melodies that arc and bend in unexpected ways, and still discovering fresh angles from which to articulate matters of the heart.

  • Mary Gauthier

    Mary Gauthier

    Folk

    In a Nashville bookstore, to the tune of steam hissing from a latte machine and laptop taps of nearby browsers, she speaks in a low voice, yet communicates urgently. Her voice never rises. Her music never rattles rafters or crashes like cymbals toward the high notes in a power chorus. Her tempos shuffle and trudge more than they dash.

    And her songs? They're about as idiosyncratic as anything in the wide world of "popular music." They're painfully personal, especially on Trouble and Love. Yet they somehow infiltrate the souls of her listeners, no matter how different the paths they've followed through their lives.

    Those songs weren't so much written as harvested by Gauthier. Though she lives not far from the hit-making mills of Music Row, she admits to knowing nothing about how to write on command.  She says, "I have to be called to write. The call comes from somewhere I don't understand, but I know it when I hear it."

    That call first came to her a long time ago. Her life to that point had led her to extremes, plenty of negatives and a few brilliant bright spots. An adopted child, who became a teenage runaway, she found her first shelter among addicts and Drag Queens. Eventually she achieved renown as a chef even while balancing the running of her restaurant with the demands of addiction to heroin.

    Two more successful restaurants, an escalating addiction, and a subsequent arrest, led her into sobriety. All that was rehearsal for what to follow, when she wrote her first song in her mid-thirties.

    From that point, Gauthier channeled a long line of works, almost all of them eloquent in their insight, burnished by her writing technique. A core of devotees came to await each next release. Their wait ends, for now, with Trouble and Love.

    This time, Gauthier's songs rise from what she describes as an especially dark period. "I started the process in a lot of grief," she explains. "I'd lost a lot. So the first batch of songs was just too sad. It was like walking too close to the fire. I had to back off from it. The truth is that when you're in the amount of grief I was in, it's an altered state. Life is not that. You go through that. We human beings have this built-in healing mechanism that's always pushing us toward life. I didn't want to write just darkness, because that's not the truth. I had to write through the darkness to get to the truth. Writing helped me back onto my feet again. This record is about getting to a new normal. It's a transformation record."

    The heart of that transformation, beating within Trouble and Love, is love. But it’s not the kind of love that's celebrated on pop charts. In those tunes, love is its own end; the story stops as the giddiness sets in, with no hint of what may follow. Gauthier knows better; she has the scars to prove it.

    "For me, love has been a real challenge," she admits. "Attachment has been a challenge. This record is about losing an attachment I actually made. The loss of it was devastating because I hadn't fully attached before to anyone. The good news is that I can. The even better news is that I can, and I can lose, and live. Not only do I live, but I've got a strength that I never had before."

    Trouble and Love would fall or rise on the question of whether it crystalizes Gauthier's experience and conveys it to those who want to feel it, as if the poetry of her lyric can mirror and illuminate what they too have gone through. To help make this happen, she invited a small group of singers and musicians into Nashville's Skaggs Place Studio, each one chosen because of his or her ability to find the heart of the song. No one was given a lead sheet or an advance demo or even headphones. The backup vocals were invented on the spot. The microphones were vintage, and the songs were cut live, to tape. Everyone stood together in the room, playing to what they heard in the lyric as well as from what was going on in the moment.

    "I took away everything that musicians lean on to feel invulnerable," she explains.

    All they had to work with was a brief rundown of each song from Gauthier in the control room, right before the tape rolled. "I wanted them to feel it in real time," she continues. "You don't want to sound real with songs like this. You want to be real. That’s what I strive for as a writer, and that's what we got in the playing."

    Feeling their way through the process, these extraordinary participants -- guitarist Guthrie Trapp, keyboardist Jimmy Wallace, bassist Viktor Krauss, drummer Lynn Williams and singers Beth Nielsen Chapman, Ashley Cleveland and Darrell Scott, Siobhan Kennedy and The McCrary Sisters -- probed and then brought life to Gauthier's compositions. In their hands, and in her fearless vocals, the songs resonate like tolling bells.

    We hear "a body's but a prison when the soul's a refugee" in Oh Soul. The last embers of affection flicker and die on When a Woman Goes Cold, (“Scorched earth cannot burn.”) "A million miles from our first kiss, how does love turn into this?" is just one of the bitter riddles posed in False From True. Irony colors the chorus of Worthy: "Worthy, worthy what a thing to claim. Worthy, worthy, ashes into flame."

    This is deep and dangerous poetry, and Gauthier leads us through it with relentless candor. Yet tenderness is always near, enough to keep us engaged through the final track, "Another Train."

    "I wrote that one in England during a long, long tour," she remembers. There was a sign at a station: There'll be another train at 14:02.' So I started working with 'another train.' The song evolved. It doesn't start the way it ends. It zigged and it zagged. I let it talk to me. It's so interesting, because when I saw 'another train,' boom, that whole story was in there -- but I had to go find it. I had to dig, like an archaeologist."

    In the very last line of the song is the benedictory thought of the entire album. "Another Train" bathes all of what preceded it in a glimmer of hope. It a fantastically concise and powerful ending — and entirely intentional —  “There’ll be another train.”

    "This album reflects a total human experience. Love, loss, and a life transformed." Gauthier sums up. "It's not a random collection of songs. This record is a story. It's about trust and faith and believing that there's a plan and a flow. And the flow is where the good stuff is because there's wisdom in the flow. At the core, we're all cut from the same cloth-- the same dreams, the same brokenness, the same desire for companionship and family and home. Yeah, we all have that. And if I don't go deep enough into that, it's a problem.

    "There's no such thing as going too deep."

Planned Parenthood Benefit Ft. Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Mary Gauthier & more

Thu Jun 29 2017 7:00 PM

(Doors 6:00 PM)

The Basement East Nashville TN
Planned Parenthood Benefit Ft. Gretchen Peters, Kim Richey, Mary Gauthier & more
  • Sorry, you missed this event.
  • Check out other similar events on TicketWeb.

Ages 18+

All Ages if minor is accompanied by a parent.