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Pierce Pettis Announces First New Album In Nearly A Decade


Pierce Pettis Announces First New Album In Nearly A Decade

A songwriter's songwriter, Pierce Pettis is back with his first new studio album in nearly a decade with FATHER'S SON, out January 18 on Compass Records. You can listen to the opening track,"Wouldn't Change It For the World," HERE. Featuring 10 tracks, including a cover of Jesse Winchester's "A Showman's Life," the Alabama songwriter writes about friends he's lost, childhood memories, and the relationships he's experienced both as a son and a father on these deeply moving, literate songs. FATHER'S SON, reuniting Pettis with producer Garry West, was recorded "live on the floor, with the band, with minimal overdubs, to capture the energy and authenticity of Pierce's performances."

"I began my alleged career at Muscle Shoals Sound in the late 70s," Pettis deadpans."I was signed as a writer and had an artist development deal." From there, he was a part of the "Fast Folk" movement in New York that featured such fellow artists as Shawn Colvin, John Gorka and Suzanne Vega, going on to record three albums for Windham Hill. He spent several years as a staff writer for Polygram Records before signing to Compass Records.

Pettis and West combed through some 40 songs, old and new, to come up with the songs on FATHER'S SON. The album opens with the upbeat "Wouldn't Change It For the World," where he embraces where he finds himself at this time in his life - "sometimes you're blessed, Sometimes you're burned, But that's OK, I woudn't change it for the world." Pettis' daughter Grace Pettis contributes backing vocals on the refrain.

Along with the title track, "Your Father's Son," a song about never forgetting where you came from, Pettis reaches back into his childhood memories to tell the story of one kindly Mr. Ziedman, the "one and only Jew" in his little town, who always wore long sleeves to "keep an ugly thing from view." The song is enhanced by Andrea Zonn's poignantly beautifully string arrangement, as Pettis ends the song by lighting a candle for "our one and only Jew."

"More" is a song about the great mystery - he likens death to "just a seed that had to fall" - and concludes that "there is more than we can guess ... forever more." And, as always, he includes a song by his late friend, musician/producerMark Heard, whose sudden death in 1993 left its mark on Pettis. "The song I chose this time, 'Look Over Your Shoulder,' has a special meaning for me as it was the last song Mark ever performed," Pettis says. "I know this because Kate Miner and I were with him at a festival in Illinois and on stage with him at the time."

Pettis was joined in the studio by a cast of old friends and veterans from his previous albums: Reece Wynans, widely known for his work with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Joe Bonamassa, contributed piano and Hammond B-3 tracks. Longtime collaborator Stuart Duncan contributes his multiple Grammy-winning fiddle skills along with some beautiful mandolin parts. Also back is violinist Andrea Zonn (James Taylor Band), who contributed the string arrangement for "Mr. Ziedman."

"Adding backing vocals for the second time is my daughter, Grace, who last recorded with me on EVERYTHING MATTERS when she was 9 years old! " Pettis says. And of course, my long-time producer and friend, Garry West, joins us on bass and produced for the fourth time."

Some newcomers to Pierce's world are guitarist Doug Lancio, known for his work with John Hiatt and Patty Griffin, drummer/percussionists Josh Day (Sara Bareilles, John Oates) and Jordan Perlson (Adrian Belew, Alison Brown, Blue Man Group), and vocalist Ruth Moody from renowned vocal trio, the Wailin' Jennys.

At this point in his life, as a career touring artist and father of four, Pettis has reached a period of reflection and peace with his life as well as a comfort zone as an artist. "The biggest change," he says, "has been getting over myself and realizing this is a job and a craft. And the purpose is not fame and fortune but simply doing good work."

1. Wouldn't Change It for the World
2. Very Same Moon
3. A Showman's Life
4. Don't Know Where I Am
5. The Adventures of Me (and this Old Guitar)
6. Your Father's Son
7. Mr. Zeidman
8. More
9. Look Over Your shoulder
10. Instrument

Fri, NOV 30 Tallahassee, FL - The Almost Christmas Concert with Del Suggs & Pierce Pettis
Thu, DEC 6 Fort Payne, AL - Johnny Whitley's Rockin' Lil' Christmas RadioVizions Show
Sat, DEC 8 Duluth, GA - Red Clay Music Foundry
Sun, DEC 9 Carrboro, NC - Pierce Pettis at Birdland NC
Thu, DEC 13 Sarasota, FL - Fogartyville Community Media Arts Center
Sat, DEC 15 Coral Springs, FL - Boumel House Concerts

Sat, FEB 2 Panama City Beach, FL - amp Helen State Par
Sun, FEB 3 Lynn Haven, FL - Roberts Hall
Fri, FEB 8 Waco, TX - "Fundraiser for the Waco Partnership for Psychological and Spiritual Care"
Sat, FEB 9 Houston, TX - 2nd Saturday Concerts
Sat, FEB 16 Fayetteville, AR - Cove Concerts
Thu, MAY 16 Buffalo, NY - Nickel City Sessions
Fri. May 17 Rochester, NY - Lake Effect House Concerts
Fri, NOV 15 Austin, TX - Acoustical Cafe
Sat, NOV 23 Edom, TX - The Old Firehouse

Check for tour updates.

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