Gretchen Peters: Blackbirds | Album Review

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Artist: Gretchen Peters
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: Proper

Songs have lives. And great songs can have great and interesting lives.

Take Blackbirds, a haunting song of murderous circumstance first heard on Northern singer-songwriter Ben Glover's memorable Atlantic album last year. He wrote it with Gretchen Peters, a Nashville veteran going through a late purple patch, and together they shared a wonderful duet.

She now bookends this strong Americana collection with two more versions, one dark and dirty, the other stark and elegiac. In between, she displays her gift for melody and thoughtful lyric on a range of tracks, the bulk of which are marked by the pain of experience.

But though the material is generally dark, the atmospheric playing and singing lights up tracks such as When You Coming Home?, Pretty Things, Everything Falls Apart and When All You Got Is a Hammer.