Wish Upon A Star This Christmas With Gretchen Peters

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The fabulous singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters is as well-known for her humanitarian endeavours as she is for making beautiful music, and this year, she has quite a few projects which incorporate both.

Peters has collaborated on the second of two albums with an organisation called Bandaged Together with all proceeds going toward the UK based charity Children In Need.

Peters' contribution to Bandaged Together 2 is a cover of the Disney classic When You Wish Upon A Star, which was also beautifully covered by Petra Haden on her 2005 album Petra Haden And Bill Frisell.

On Peters' recording of this iconic song from Disney's Pinocchio, she is superbly joined by musicians Viktor Krauss on bass, Barry Walsh on glockenspiel, and Christine Bougie on lap steel.

Peters has also contributed to the Pudsey Bear project with the creation and E-Bay auction of an original Pudsey Bear (see the link for all the bears being offered for auction), with proceeds also going to Children In Need. The Pudsey Bear was created in 1985 by Joanna Ball and named after her hometown of Pudsey, West Yorkshire. Helen Bach, one of the spokespeople behind the Bandaged Together organisation states that:

"Pudsey represents the work done by BBC Children In Need, and [we ask the recipients] to remember, every time they look at their Pudsey, that it was a thank you to them for using their talent to help a child have a better life! That concept applies equally to all the people who have helped us in whatever way, they have put their particular talent to great use to help children in the UK have a better life! What better gift could they give. "

Another charity that Peters supports is Room In The Inn, a charity to provide shelter, food, and clothing for homeless people during the cold winter months. In 2008, Peters released a Christmas album Northern Lights, (available in our Amazon Affiliates store.) This album is a deeply spiritual and uplifting masterpiece, skillfully interweaving updated versions of standard carols with Peters' own lilting original compositions. She has the uncanny ability to make music which is simultaneously timeless in a classic sense, yet refreshingly progressive.

It is important to note that in 2008, Peters won a Just Plain Folks Award for Northern Lights (Best Holiday Album.) She also won awards for Best Songwriter Of The Year, Best Live Album (Trio), and Best Country Album (Burnt Toast And Offerings) bringing her a total of four awards, an impressive achievement indeed.

Other projects which Peters has released in recent years include her Circus Girl: The Very Best Of Gretchen Peters (which contains rare demos and previously unreleased songs and is a treat for all fans) , and her western themed One To The Heart, One To The Head, a vivid musical depiction of life, love, and heartbreak in the prairies and deserts of the American west. Peters collaborated to stunning effect with Tom Russell for this project.
Along with her award winning albums Trio (featuring a cover of Paul Simon's American Tune), and Burnt Toast And Offerings, as well as her classic trio of early albums (Secret Of Life, Gretchen Peters, and Halcyon,) you have a treasure trove of musical gems, eclipsed only by the lovely heart and soul of the woman who wrote and sang them.

~ Michael Holloway


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