In Gretchen Peter's newsletter this morning, she wrote:
In a parting gesture to 2017 (a year I'll be happy to see in the rearview mirror), Barry and I made a thoroughly impulsive decision to fly up to New York City to see Bruce Springsteen's one man show on Broadway. It was expensive, crazy, exhausting, risky and totally worth it. It was, without question, the most unguarded, honest, open-hearted performance I've ever seen. I was in tears throughout much of it. I was as moved by his spoken words as I was by his songs. It was that powerful.
What I left the theatre with was both a sense of affirmation and humility. Springsteen's very un-cynical belief is that music can be our church, our salvation, a place where our stories are told with insight and compassion. I have always believed that, but the music business is a harsh and cynical place which works hard to beat that idea out of its artists - for an artist who understands the transformative power of music is a dangerous person; a person who isn't afraid of telling the truth. There was much truth-telling in the two and one-half hours of Springsteen on Broadway, and it was both eloquent and unflinching. His testimony to the power of art is deeply affirming; his gift is profoundly humbling. I took it as an offering and a challenge to try to make better art, to tell deeper truths, to be less afraid, to speak louder, more thoughtfully, more compassionately, to see with clearer eyes so that I can tell more important, truer stories.
Gretchen Peters inspires me often. Her songwriting is beautiful, challenging, thought-provoking and emotive. Her song, Jubilee, is one of the most beautiful songs I know. It speaks to me - very deeply and very powerfully.
I am really hopeful that when Saffron Road (my new record) is released in March 2018, people will hear that I have tried to tell deeper truths, that I am less afraid to share my personal thoughts and beliefs. I have thought very carefully about what is being expressed in the lyric and the music. Songwriting is both a blessing and a curse. My hope is that there will be listeners who find that my new songs resonate with them. That would be glorious.