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article imageMichael Peterson discusses new country album, Dolly Parton Special

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 13, 2018 in Music
Country star Michael Peterson chatted with Digital Journal about his new album "Drink, Swear, Steal & Lie." Peterson also spoke about the digital transformation of the country music scene.
On the song selection for Drink, Swear, Steal & Lie, he said, "This being the 20th anniversary of my first album for Warner/Reprise I wanted to offer listeners new recordings of the four most popular hits from that album, 'Drink Swear Steal & Lie,' 'From Here To Eternity,' 'Too Good To Be True' and 'When The Bartender Cries'. Each of these songs means something different to me than they did 20 years ago and you can hear the emotional difference in the new recordings."
Peterson continued, "We chose to complete the album with iconic hits originally made famous by all time greats like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Glen Campbell largely because one of my dearest friends, the late Gene Pistilli (Manhattan Transfer, Jim Croce, Randy Travis and more) said to me one day that people love hearing their favorite country singers sing their favorite country songs and he kept encouraging me over the years to do this. This seemed like the right moment to do this since I had just spent the better part of the past two years performing these songs over 400 times in a theater show."
Peterson listed "Wichita Lineman" as his personal favorite tune on the CD. "Glen Campbell is one of my musical heroes and to me, this song is one of the greatest songs ever written or recorded," he explained.
On his plans for the future, Peterson said, "We will spend the better part of the next two years touring this album around the world. This year we are already confirmed for festivals and concerts in Poland, Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy and Germany, with more on the horizon. In addition we are continuing to present High School assemblies across the country leveraging the power of music, humor and audience participation to inspire students to take better care of their Brain health, based on the work of Dr. Daniel Amen and the Amen clinics. The end result for many is a measurable improvement in academic performance and a reduction in social–emotional problems. Pretty exciting stuff really."
On his musical inspirations, he shared that he always loved music. "I knew early on that this was my life path, probably at age 10. Between the ages of 15 to 17 I lost both my birth father and my adoptive father to violent shooting deaths. As you can imagine, dealing with these losses was very difficult. Music helped. I remember as a freshman in college feeling the urge to write music that would say how I felt about those losses and the lessons learned along the way. That's why I started writing," he said.
Digital transformation of country music business
On the impact of technology on the country music business, Peterson said, "Clearly, the digital revolution has completely changed how music is distributed, monetized and consumed. That being said,it is very interesting to me that vinyl has become popular again. Not sure exactly why, but I suspect that there is something about the ability to hold the music in our hands that enhances our connection to the artists and those recordings."
Regarding his use of technology in his daily routine as a country musician, he said, "I have an app on my phone I use almost every day to listen to music. I have another app on my phone I use to record song ideas, it’s so easy and sounds so good. I have another app on my phone I use as an instrument tuner. It was free and is just as good as any tuner I ever paid hundreds of dollars for."
Peterson continued, "I use my laptop with a digital interface to record and to create with loops and samples when I am still working out ideas and don't have immediate access to a steel guitar player or fiddle player. I own a 'Translator' from Hotz Technologies. This is likely the most powerful creative instrument I will likely ever own in my lifetime. Without technology, my creative output would be far less."
He listed country queen Dolly Parton and Kacey Musgraves as his dream female duet choices in the genre.
Peterson concluded, "Even though you can stream it on your way to work or while you are working out or just generally busy doing other things, take 45 minutes one day and pretend it is a vinyl album on a turntable. The kind of listening experience where you actually sit and listen. Focused on the listening experience without watching distractions. Heck, don't just do this with my latest album, try it with any album. When you do that you have a completely different emotional experience with the music. It is powerful and actually reduces stress. Just because technology allows us to consume the music 'on the run' doesn’t mean that we should only listen to it 'on the run.' Take a few deep breaths. Sit down. Take your shoes off. Close your eyes and listen. You'll be glad you did."
To learn more about country artist Michael Peterson, check out his official website.
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