Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
It’s not often Liverpool has a member of the prestigious Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame within its midst. The rare occurrence, as uncommon as the sight of solar eclipse without it being obscured by both dark threatening clouds and forethought in positional judgement, is one that should be relished. In Liverpool terms it is like going across to Nashville and finding the great Pete Wylie delivering a monumental set to wild enthusiastic Country music lovers, it is a set many in the city would dearly love to happen for the auspicious and celebrated lover of Merseyside.
Yet for those who decided that no March bluster was going to spoil their appreciation of seeing Gretchen Peters perform on stage at the Epstein Theatre. Not only were they treated to a quality performance by a living legend of the American music scene but they were given the feeling of musical solitude to live in their thoughts as beautiful music, lovingly captured and framed by Gretchen Peters and her band of musicians, her husband Barry Walsh, the stunning Christine Bougie and Conor McCreanor, was given freedom to roam across the auditorium and beyond.
Having just released her latest album, Blackbirds, Gretchen Peters neatly divided up the evening into two halves, each filled with the promise that this modern Nashville great would undoubtedly deliver. Each one surrendered to the audience with a ceremony like feel, the offering of the thought of relinquished melancholy but filled with the abundant charm of sincere regal notion.
Opening the night with the new album title track Blackbirds, Gretchen Peters seemed to take hold of the hand of every person present, checked their pulse for signs of distress and then with the care and attention associated with a considerate and compassionate nurse, one not jaded by Time or political absurdity. She took the audience on a long walk down many roads of injustice, dark beautiful places and shone a torch into the crevices of human thought and told them not to worry, she would keep them at bay but to take heed of them, to let the good flow out and be kind.
With tracks such as Pretty Things, Dark Angel, The Cure For Pain, the outstanding Independence Day, the true beauty that presented itself in the form of Matador, Woman on the Wheel and the homage to a place in which became a central hub for Humanity in Idlewild, Ms. Peters’ commanded and enthralled, spoke gently but was passionate in every single drop of verbal delivery and the Epstein crowd responded in kind.
It is not every day that the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame is represented on stage in Liverpool but when that day comes it is seized with grateful heart.
An absolute explosion of heartfelt and abundant music, offered in full, treated with glowing respect. Some musicians just radiate that type of warmth.
Ian D. Hall