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Secret of Life
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Gretchen Peters (vocals, acoustic guitar, Dobro); Mike Severs (acoustic, electric & classical guitars); Chris Leuzinger (acoustic & electric guitars); Dan Dugmore, Bruce Bouton (lap steel & pedal steel guitars); Buck Norton (pedal steel guitar); Steve Conn (accordion); Barry Walsh (melodica, piano, Hammond B-3 organ, keyboards); Phil Kenzie (soprano saxophone); Green Daniel (Hammond B-3 organ, keyboards, percussion); Dave Pomeroy (electric arco bass, bass); Brian Barnett (drums, percussion); Tommy Wells (drums); Harry Stinson, Billy Thomas, Raul Malo, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, James House (background vocals).
  • The Nashville String Machine includes: Conni Ellisor (conductor, arranger); Pam Sixfin (concertmaster).
  • Engineers include: Steve Marcantonio, Tom Hitchcock, Steve Marcantonio.
  • Recorded at The Castle, Franklin, Tennessee; Woodland Digital Studios, Recording Arts, Seventeen, Quad Studios and Sony/Tree Studios, Nashville, Tennessee.
  • All tracks have been digitally mastered using HDCD technology.
  • Although this record is stylistically more folk and pop than country, Gretchen Peters' songs are similar to Mary Chapin Carpenter's work in that they contain thoughtful and intelligent lyrics that are at times highly introspective. Ten of the 11 tracks on the album were written or co-written by Peters, and she turns in a credible cover of Steve Earle's "I Ain't Ever Satisfied," with Earle and Emmylou Harris providing harmony vocals. Other guests include Raul Malo singing background on the beautiful "Border Town" and James House on "A Room with a View," a song written from the perspective of a cab driver. Another highlight is the opening track, "Waiting for the Light to Turn Green," co-written with Suzy Bogguss. Overall an impressive first outing for this talented singer/songwriter, whose songs have been hits for Trisha Yearwood, George Strait, Patty Loveless, and Martina McBride. ~ Jack Leaver
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (6/7/96, p.61) - "...The lush production sometimes creeps over the top, but Peters' songs about emotional thirsts that never get quenched have a quiet power all their own." - Rating: B+

Q (11/96, p.140) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "The return of the storyteller..."
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