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Alice Peacock

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Minnesota to be released on September 20, 2019

Much has changed for singer-songwriter Alice Peacock since her last solo studio album, 2009’s Love Remains. She’s had three kids, moved to Cincinnati and … gotten 10 years older. “Feel the weight of the world on my shoulders/ Am I wiser or am I just older?” she sings on “Dry Spell,” from her new collection, Minnesota. The record suggests that despite her “wondering what all is yet to be,” she has indeed attained a measure of wisdom.

She uses the word “midlife” but does not follow it by “crisis.” She views her current outlook more as an awareness of life’s fragility and an appreciation of its sweetness. “Being a parent, I don’t know that I could love any more than I do right now,” she says, “so I’ve also never been more vulnerable. I have everything to lose.”

Further evidence of this contemplative spirit can be heard on album closer “God Be Near Me,” about which Peacock says, “I wrote a hymn out of nowhere! I was sitting at the piano one day going, ‘Am I completely screwing this all up?’ And I found myself thinking, ‘Help me to stay focused on love.’” The lyrics ask, “Help me to surrender/ And love the world the way you do/ Now and ever after/ And live in love the way you do.”

On Minnesota, Peacock explores an understanding of love, in particular, that transcends hearts and flowers, Sturm und Drang. “Resting in the Quiet” acknowledges “a glimpse of the divine” in unspoken eloquence: “We don’t have to talk about it/ We don’t have to say a word/ We can wrap ourselves in silence/ Cause I’ve already heard/ Everything your eyes are saying.”

A departure from romantic love, “Free and Wild” is a lullaby sung from the point of view of someone “with a love so fierce” it hurts. Peacock likens parenthood to “going through life with your heart outside your body.”

The album’s title track is a love song to her home state, where her family spends their summers. “I’ve lived in Illinois and Tennessee and now Ohio and I love them all, but there’s something about home … As soon as I get back to Minnesota and hear the birds and smell the air, I feel, ‘This is mine; this is me.’” In the song she recalls sitting in “sacred silence,” watching “the electric light show playing wide across the sky.”

The song “Minnesota” was written in 2018, but some of the album Minnesota was written in 2015, the year Peacock took the third annual Real Women Real Songs challenge – which meant writing 52 songs in 52 weeks. Among them were “Resting in the Quiet,” “Free and Wild,” “In Your Own Backyard” and “Paranoid.” Their appearance on the new record reflects the songwriter’s love of – and commitment to – songwriting itself.

She says of that period in her life: “I was momming full time. The twins were about three, my first-born had just started school, and it was busy. Before they came along, inspiration would strike and I’d go with it. I used to write in the middle of the night. But now … I need my sleep! I can’t pursue the muse whenever she decides to arrive. I have to just show up and say, ‘OK, here I am. Time to write!’ It’s less romantic but still satisfying.”

The writing of Minnesota thus progressed at its own pace, but recording an album was another matter. She was able to collaborate on “Dry Spell” with Wayne Kirkpatrick (author of Eric Clapton’s Grammy Song of the Year “Change the World”), on “Isn’t That Me and You” with Minnesotan Jon Vezner (cowriter of Kathy Mattea’s Grammy Best Country Song “Where’ve You Been”), and on “Your Own Backyard” with Dirk Freymuth (Kottonmouth Kings, John Gorka, Peter Ostroushko). Getting in a room with musicians and a producer, however, was a heavier lift. The timing had to work.

She credits Grammy Award-winning producer/keyboardist Phil Madeira, guitarist Will Kimbrough, bassist Chris Donahue and drummer Bryan Owings – aka Emmylou Harris’ Red Dirt Boys – for helping the stars align: “I got a call. They said, ‘Hey, we’re in town if you want to do some recording.’ And I said, ‘Why, yes, I do.’”

The town was Nashville, where Peacock and the Boys cut the basic tracks for Minnesota in four days. “They’ve played together so much,” she says, “that they have this easy musical conversation, so the process was effortless. We didn’t do more than two takes. I didn’t even overdub any lead vocals, which was a little terrifying. Sometimes I’d listen to my vocal and say, ‘I might have been able to sing that a little better,’ and Phil would say, ‘No, actually, that was a pretty great performance.’ Or one of the guys would say of his own part, ‘That take didn’t make me mad.’ We just went for it.”

Peacock, Kirkpatrick and James Hollihan (Bill Gaither, Mighty Clouds of Joy) played acoustic guitar on the record, though John Mark Painter (Brandi Carlile, Kings of Leon, Ben Folds) played the lion’s share of acoustic and also played horns, notably on “Paranoid,” which finds Peacock in a New Orleans musical setting, ever the storyteller, channeling Tom Waits on one of the album’s not-so-autobiographical outings.

Minnesota was recorded at the Butcher Shoppe with engineer Sean Sullivan (Beck, Sturgill Simpson). Derri Daugherty, lead singer and guitarist for the Choir, mixed the disc and sang harmonies with Peacock on several songs, including the title cut, which she calls “an almost-duet.”

Peacock had not been in the studio since recording 2011’s Myrick Peacock, her duo project with fellow “preacher’s kid” Danny Myrick. (2014’s Live From Space was recorded live at Space, the intimate Evanston, Ill., venue Peacock played regularly in her Chicago days.)

But now that she’s done having babies, she intends to return to the studio at regular intervals, having already started writing songs for a follow-up to Minnesota. “When all the focus was on me, on my music, I’d think, ‘I’m looking forward to putting the focus on something else; I’m really tired of thinking about myself.’ These days, as much as it possibly can be, the focus is back on my work.”

During her tenure as full-time mom, Peacock did manage to “keep a toe in the water” with one-off shows. “Not just for me, not just for my fans,” she says. “It’s good for the kids to see me connecting with audiences, to see the passion I have for music.” With the release of Minnesota, she plans to jump back in with both feet, hitting cities on tour she hasn’t visited in years.

She acknowledges how lucky she is to have a co-parent holding down the home front, her husband of 21 years. “We’re staying together for the math homework,” she insists. “It takes both of us to figure it out.” Like many couples with young children, she admits they don’t have much time alone together. They fall into bed exhausted. But she also relates: “We ran into each other recently. He was driving his car; I was driving mine. He pulls around and rolls down the window, and he somehow caught me off-guard. I just looked at him smiling at me and thought, ‘Did I really win this prize?’”

That recognition recalls a line from “Your Own Backyard”: “Before your life goes slipping by you/ Open up your eyes.”

“Things feel very sacred to me at this time in my life,” Peacock confides. “You reach an age where you begin to lose people. The beautiful moments we have, like being out in nature up in Minnesota – ‘the moon waxing over the water, the loon calling to her lover’ – I keep telling myself, ‘Take it in because this is it.’”

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link November 2011 (WUWM interview)

Blurt Online October 2011 (link)

M Live February 2011 (link)

Herald Palladium October 2010 (link)

Lumino Magazine October 2010 (link)

WeHeartMusic October 2010 (link)

The Onion AV Club September 2010 (link)

Vocalo.org September 2010 (link)

Chicagoist September 2010 (link)

USA Today September 2010 (link)

Herald Palldium September 2010 (link)

Lumino Magazine September 2010 (link)

nwi.com (Northwest Indiana) March 2010 (link)

Blog Critics 11 September 2009 (link)

Chicago Sun Times June 2009 (PDF)

New City June 2009 (PDF)

Country Music Tattle Tale May 2009 (link)

Performing Songwriter May 2009 (PDF)

Atlanta Music Guide April 2009 (PDF)

Blurt April 2009 (PDF)

Boston Weekly Dig April 2009 (PDF)

Midwest Record April 2009 (PDF)

Nashville City Paper April 2009 (PDF)

New York Post 12 April 2009 (PDF)

Nebraska City News Press 9 April 2009 (PDF)

Pop Underground 6 April 2009 (PDF)

Philly.com 3 April 2009 (PDF)

Philadelphia Daily News 3 April 2009 (PDF)

Creative Loafing 31 March 2009 (PDF)

Philly.com 29 March 2009 (PDF)

Tennessean 17 March 2009 (PDF)

Daily Local 3 April 2009 (PDF)

"Alice Peacock has the goods. An eventual breakthrough is inevitable. Her songwriting will only get better, and her voice is as good as it gets."
- Atlanta Music Guide

"The record's got pop, it's got twang, it's got pedal steel reveries, it's got deeply soulful meditations, with a little bit of boot-scooting Tennessee, a little bit of kissing-in-the-sunshine SoCal, and a whole lotta sassysexycool Peacock."
- Blurt Magazine

"Superior singer/songwriter opts for a California country-rock sound on her new "Love Remains" album, with pedal-steel-scored songs worthy of comparison to the best of Sheryl Crow and Linda Ronstadt."
- Philadelphia Daily News

"Love Remains is a buoyant collection of country-tinged, feel-good pop anthems."
- Philly.com

"Exuberant and passionate in her writing and singing"
- Nashville City Paper

"The radio-country accompaniment on tunes like the strummy title track - wailing, winding steel, mandolin, taut rhythms - gets elevated by singer-songwriter Peacock's warm and approachable voice."
- The Tennessean

"She has a big voice, when necessary, but also a sweet and very articulate one; and she has championship-caliber stuff as a songwriter."
- Daily Gazette.com

"On Love Remains, Peacock shows off her airtight songwriting chops, and proves she can dance back and forth around a hook."
- Boston Weekly Dig

"A spot on must for fans of solid songwriting, Peacock's latest is certainly her newest high water mark."
- Midwest Record

"A great album from this artist, who is really a pop-rock artist with a bit of country thrown in."
- Pop Underground

"By hewing a little closer to country's roots than a lot of her contemporaries, Peacock puts together a record that will appeal to fans of both the old and new school."
- Nebraska City Press

"An instant classic"
- Mark Fisher, 1340mag.com

". . . earns Peacock a place among predecessors such as Carole King and Carly Simon."
- Gregg Shapiro, Illinois Entertainer

"Alice Peacock slips easily into the classic singer-songwriter mode alongside such luminaries as Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Rickie Lee Jones. Peacock is nearly a perfect pop master. . ."
- Rick Mason, Citypages.com

CRITTER CRUSADERS OF CEDAR RAPIDS ANNOUNCES THEIR FALL BENEFIT - SEPT 11TH

FEAURING NATIONAL SINGER/SONGWRITER ALICE PEACOCK

Tickets go on sale May 15th

April 28, 2015 (Brooklyn). Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids is proud to announce their première benefit concert for the animals taking place in Cedar Rapids at the Kirkwood Ballantyne Auditorium on Friday, September 11th at 7:30. Performing will be national singer / songwriter Alice Peacock.

Nashville based recording artist Alice Peacock has released five albums as a major label and independent artist. Her eponymously titled album Alice Peacock featured the hit “Bliss”, a duet with John Mayer. In addition to touring extensively as a solo artist and with other artists including John Mellencamp, Aimee Mann, Toad The Wet Sprocket and Heart among others, Peacock has made many TV and radio stops including a special guest spot on the popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion. Besides her musical pursuits, Alice is a socially conscious artist. She is a trustee of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (GRAMMYS) as well as a past President of NARAS’ Midwest Chapter. She is also the founder of Rock For Reading, an Illinois non-profit organization, which raises awareness and resources for reading and literacy programs through high profile music concerts. Many of Peacock’s songs have appeared in feature films and TV shows including Because of Winn Dixie, Men In Trees, The Ghost Whisperer, Pepper Dennis, What I Like About You, Dawson’s Creek and Smallville; feature films Because of Winn Dixie and Win A Date With Tad Hamilton and TV commercials such as Hershey’s product launch of Bliss chocolate.

Critter Crusaders is a Cedar Rapid based 501c3 non-profit that pays for advance medical treatment for homeless animals. They strive to help the sick, neglected and abused of our Cedar Rapids. This concert will benefit those animals with all proceeds going to the Critter Crusaders of Cedar Rapids.

TICKET INFOMATION
Kirkwood Ballantyne Auditorium – Cedar Rapids
Friday September 11th at 7:30.
Tickets go on sale May 15th
Go to www.crittercrusaderscr.org to buy tickets
For more info call Jana Crane at 319-213-2130 and leave a message.

PRESS CONTACT FOR ALICE PEACOCK
Pati deVries / devious planet
917-751-2532
Twitter @deviouspdv
Facebook - devious planet media
Art & Assets at www.deviousplanet.com