The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 18, 2001 · Page 25
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 25

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, April 18, 2001
Page 25
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Wednesday; April 18,2001 PR. SRT. STD. U.S. Postage Rate Salina, KS Permit No. 147 She writes the songs Gretchen Peters does more than sing By TOM GARDNER The Associated Press RENO, Nev. — As a kid, Gretchen Peters loved listening to Bob Dylan, the Beatles and joni Mitchell, playing guitar along with them without really thinking about whether they'd written the songs they sang. "It didn't dawn on me that people actually wrote songs. They were so awesome to me that I thought they had always been there, kind of like the rocks or the sky or something," Peters said. By her midteens, she'd figured it out. She'd also discovered that it was just as easy for her to write a song to sing and play as it was to look through her records to find something that appealed to her. "As a kid with a guitar, I was looking for something to sing," she'said in a telephone interview. Today, her name is on the credits of CDs by Patty Loveless, Billy Ray Cyrus, George Strait and, crossing genres, Etta James and occasional collaborator Bryan Adams. "The ultimate thing to me is that the song finds its way to the world, however that happens;" she said. "All I can do is write what I write, put what I want on my own records and hope for the best." Her music favors tuneful ballads, and her lyrics range from thoughtful mainstream to pushing the envelope. "IJ think I'm pretty simple in terms of melody and structure. I'm more interested in slightly enigmatic subject matter I get bored about the whole 'We're in love, ain't it great?' or 'You left me, doesn't it suck?' " Before the Dixie Chicks visited domestic abuse, albeit tongue-in-cheek, in "Goodbye Earl," Peters attacked it head-on with "Independence Day." The song, performed by Martina McBride, was nominated for a Grammy and was named Country Music Association song of the year in 1995. "The only thing I have any control over is what I do in my room when I'm writing. And really, I don't have a lot of control over that JtIDD I The Associated Press Gretchen Peters, whose song 'Independence Day' was a hit for Kansas native Martina McBride, has seen her songs on CDs by such singers as Patty Loveless, Billy Ray Cyrus. George strait. Etta James and Bryan Adams. because a lot of that is the song idea telling you what it wants to be when it grows up." Of the singers and writers who have shaped her, Joni Mitchell is her lyrical and musical beacon. "A lot of the subtleties of her writing went right over my head, but there were things I could completely get, even at age 7 or 8. And those were songs I could pick up my guitar and play," she said. "She's extremely sophisticated, but there was also something in there that hooked me. Honesty and directness is probably pne of the identifying things about singer-songwriters. The songs, I think, tend to be a little more personal, a little more maybe confessional." Honesty and directness were two elements that attracted a kid from Boulder, Colo., to country music. "I first heard it when I was in my teens. It was hopelessly uncool except for maybe the California variety — Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell. I went from those people to a used record store in Boulder. A guy who had lived in Nashville for a while had some real.good old records — George Jones, Merle Haggard. "It was like discovering a whole new world. They were songwriters, definitely, and unique stylists." Her 1996 debut albvmi, "The Secret of Life," was issued by Imprint, an independent label. The album wasn't successful, and the title tune was never released as a single. Faith Hill recorded it two years later. Her second CD, "Gretchen Peters" (Valley Entertainment), contains 11 of her own songs. Selections range from "Waiting for Amelia" and "Like Water into Wine," lovely tunes with commercial hooks that could find their way to the radio, to the quirkier "Picasso and Me," which is narrated from the point of view of the painter's cat. "The songs I really love and feel passionate about and feel like I can put across the best, those are the ones that end up on my record." To seek chic People are so unkind NEW YORK — Actress Ashley Judd doesn't let scrutiny by Joan Rivers and other fashion commentators influence what she wears. "I have my own ideas about what I think is chic, and I don't need to have my standards corroborated by somebody's opinion," she said in the April issue of Harper's Bazaar Judd, 32, says she tries to avoid people who are unkind. "The whole culture of commentary is so detached from any organic process of creation that I just try not to go there." Crampin' her style It was a model job NEW YORK — Before she played Nadia, the sexy foreign exchange student in 1999's "American Pie," Shannon Elizabeth was a model. But some of her jobs weren't terribly glamorous. Elizabeth said she appeared on the back cover of a Midol booklet that ran inside magazines for teen-age girls. She was dressed in gym clothes, looking off into the distance. "I looked kind of miserable. I did it because I was just happy to get a job," she told Gear magazine for its May issue. "It was like, 'Look, I'm in Teen. I have cramps!' " Oh brother! Work at a glacial pace NEW YORK — D.L. Hughley's experience on the sitcom "The Hughleys" didn't prepare him for working on the movie set of "The Brothers." "It took two hours to do the first scene," he tells People magazine. "It was like working at the post office. I was like, 'Y'all do this for 14 hours?' " Hughley, 37, was also dismayed to discover that costars Shemar Moore and Morris Chestnut rated higher on the heartthrob scale. "Women would be screaming at Shemar and Morris," he says. "Then they'd scream at me — to tap Shemar and Morris." IlUGIIIJBl Salina Journal Connecting communities with information Subscribe to the Salina Journal for 13 weeks at the low rate of $3.46* a week and we'll send you a comic strip umbrella! * Kansas state sales tax Included. New Subscribers only. • ••• Hi ••• tmm mm mmm wmm mm mmm tmm wmm mmt mm mmm mm mmm mm mm wmm amm mm • •Yesli would like a comic strip umbrella! I want a 13-week/7 days a week Salina Journal subscription for almost 24% off the newsstand price at the low rate of $3,46 per week. I understand that you will send my umbrella when you receive my payment. (Total Cost $45.00) Name Phone Address. City_ State. _Zip_ •Bill Me aChargemy: QVISA QMasterCard QDiscover Card # . Exp. Signature. Send To: the Salliia Joumal ConrwcUng communUies with informtion ^33 S. Fourth. Salina. KS 67401 Tired of being like all the other singles? Call 1-800-208-6031 to place your FREE ad in CONNEGTldlM and be instantly + \ L I N E matcr^ed with c area singles. A dating column for today's successful singles... brought to you by The Salina Journal. Call Us! Quei»ioti <i? Call cusioituir M;I vice al 7 \6 'i'J.09 T

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