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57 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 26 January 2012

In session tonight is award winning Nashville songwriter and recording artist Gretchen Peters, who is about to release her 9th studio album 'Hello Cruel World'.
A much-covered songwriter Gretchen Peters' songs have been recorded by artists including Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, Bryan Adams and Martina McBride, who covered Gretchen's CMA song of the year 'Independence Day' in 1992 - her powerful anthem about a woman who fights back against an abusive husband. She released her debut album 'Secret of Life' in 1996. She is a frequent visitor to the UK as a solo artist and as part of the 'Wine Women and Song' trio featuring her close friends Suzy Bogguss and Matraca Berg Her best known songs include 'When You Are Old', 'On A Bus To St Cloud' and 'Tomorrow Morning'.
Her new album 'Hello Cruel World' was recorded in 2010 which was a challenging year for Gretchen.
"In 2010 the universe threw its best and its worst at me. Some of it was personal, some global. All of it seemed to demand that I redefine my ideas of permanence and re-evaluate what I believe in, to literally rethink what is real."
Events that influenced her writing included the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the suicide of a close friend, followed quickly by the worst flood in the history of her adopted hometown of Nashville, her marriage to her longtime pianist and partner Barry Walsh and the revelation by Gretchen's child that he was transgender. "I see his transition as beautiful and triumphant," Peters says. "My son's bravery and honesty inspire me every day. But it's profoundly disorienting to re-order your thoughts about your own child's gender. Ultimately, it re-orders your thoughts about everything."
She talks to Bob about the stories behind the new album and plays live in the studio.

Music Played

10 items
  • Image for Faith Hill

    Faith Hill the Secret of Life

    Love Will Always Win, Warners, 936247-3312

  • Image for Will Hoge

    Will Hoge Nothing to Lose

    Number Seven, Rykodisc, RCD 11116

  • Image for The Jayhawks

    The Jayhawks She Walks In So Many Ways

    Mockingbird Time, Rounder, Pre Release

  • Image for The Band Perry

    The Band Perry Independence

    Band Perry, REPUBLIC, 1-1

  • Image for Dixie Chicks

    Dixie Chicks Taking the Long Way Around

    Taking the Long Way, Open Wide, 8287680-7392

  • Gretchen Peters and Barry Walsh on Bob Harris Country Recorded on 17th January 2012

  • Image for Gretchen Peters

    Gretchen Peters Dark Angel

    Hello Cruel World, Scarlett Letter, 626570617648

  • Image for Johnny Cash

    Johnny Cash Tears in Holston River

    Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Capitol, 724354017704

  • Image for Arrested Development

    Arrested Development Mr Wendal

    Arrested Development - Greatest Hits, Emi Gold


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