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"There is music in all this"
After a lifetime of crafting finely-wrought, heart-touching songs, singer-songwriter Pierce Pettis feels that he’s finally found his comfort zone. “The biggest change,” he says of this point in his career “has been getting over myself and realizing this is a job and a craft. And the purpose is not fame and fortune (whatever that is) but simply doing good work.”
“From the time I was very little, I always had the music going in my head,” Pettis explains. “Like my own personal soundtrack or something. I also come from a fairly musical family: my mother went to music school and was an excellent organist and pianist. And my sisters all played piano and other instruments. In school, I met other kids who wanted to be rock stars, just like me. From the time we were around 10 or so up through high school, we put together various bands -- all of them horrible.”
His “horrible” bands didn’t deter him though and even though he had a nagging feeling (“I thought I was supposed to be a doctor or something.”) he persevered, not only playing music but writing songs in a mix of rock, folk, country and R&B; genres that landed him an unpaid position as a staff writer for Muscle Shoals Sounds Studios. While there, his track “Song at the End of the Movie” found its way to Joan Baez’s 1979 album Honest Lullaby.
Pettis hit the road and became a member of the “Fast Folk” movement in New York in the mid-1980’s. He released one independent solo album, Moments (1984) before signing with High Street Records, a division of Windham Hill. There, he released three albums: While the Serpent Lies Sleeping (1989), Tinseltown (1991), and Chase the Buffalo (1993). His relationship with Tinseltown producer Mark Heard transcended the album. After
Heard’s untimely death in 1992, Pettis committed to including a song of Heard’s on every one of his own albums, a practice that continues to this day.
Pettis was a staff songwriter for PolyGram from 1993-2000 and when his High Street contract ended, Pettis signed to Compass Records where he has released Making Light of It (1996),
Everything Matters (1998), State of Grace (2001), Great Big World (2004), and the just-released That Kind of Love (2009).
Pierce Pettis’ songs have been recorded by artists including Susan Ashton, Dar Williams, David Wilcox, Dion, Garth Brooks and Art Garfunkel.
Pettis currently lives in Alabama with his wife and their young son. His new album, "That Kind of Love" on Compass Records was released January 27 2009 and is currently the #2 Folk album in the country! (http://www.rootsmusicreport.com/2.0/charts.php?name=folk).
Singer/Songwriter, Folk, Blues
Slapfight Songs (ASCAP) --administered by Bug, I own my own publishing
Management: Moonlake Artists: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publishing: Slapfight Songs: email@example.com
Label: Compass Records, Nashville
Booking: Moonlake Artists: firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrative: Bug Music, Nashville
acoustic guitar / electric guitar / harmonica
Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Jesse Winchester, Hank Williams, Mark Heard, Flannery O'Conner, Joni Mitchell, Leo Kottke, Kate Campbell, Robert Johnson, Peter Himmelman, T-Bone Burnett, Steve Earle, Norman Blake, Tom Kimmel, Chet Atkins, B.B. King, Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Richard Thompson, JRR Tolkien, Bruce Cockburn, William Blake, Mark Helprin, Gordon Lightfoot, Pete Townsend, Ry Cooder, David Hidalgo, Mac McAnally, Paul Simon, Tim O'Brian, Eudora Welty, CS Lewis, Walker Percy, Muddy Waters, Thomas Mertin, Darrell Scott, Johnny & June Cash, Gamble Rogers, Danny Flowers, Jack Williams, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, John Donne, Guy Clark, Billy Crockett, Warren Zevon.
For a living
I Also Write:
I Prefer To Write:
Garth Brooks, Joan Baez, Art Garfunkel, Andrew Peterson, Sara Groves, Jill Phillips, David Wilcox, Dar Williams, Tom Kimmel, Tom Prasada Rao, Carolyn Arends, Susan Ashton, Dion, Jonathan Edwards, Front Porch String Band, Kim & Reggie Harris & Magpie, Hometown News, Johnsmith, Claire Lynch, Ed Kilbourne, Walt Michael & Company, Carrie Newcomer, Tim O'Brien, Douglas & Willa Porter, Mae Robertson, Joe Stead, Randy Stonehill, Pat Wictor, Jenny Yates, John Wright Band . . . and many others
WB Network -- Felicity, #3.16 "It's Raining Men" (Soundtrack, Season 3, Episode 16)
ABC/Warner Home Video -- "Roots"--re-edit for European Release
PBS -- The American Experience: Seabiscuit (Soundtrack)
Florida Public Television ("For Love of Manatees")
ASCAP Country Music Award (1999)
Proclamation from Mayer of Atlanta
Proclamation from Mayer of Houston
Report to the Freeform American Roots (FAR) chart, best of 2004: Male Artist of the Year (Holland)
Top 10 Albums of 2004 (as picked by listeners and staff) "Great Big World", #7 --WUMB-FM, Boston, MA
The Galaxie Folk/Roots Channel’s Top Discs of 2004: "Great Big World", #6 Folk/Roots Channel, CBC Galaxie Network, Nepean, Ontario, CANADA
Guest Musician Appearances:
Kate Campbell, "Save The Day"
Don Conoscenti, "Boxes Of Bones"
Billy Crockett, "Watermarks"
Freyda Epstein, "Globallullabies"
Sally Fingerett, "Ghost Town Girl"
Sara Hickman, "Necessary Angels"
Jan Krist, "Curious"
Mo Leverett, "Sacred Desires"
Andrew Peterson, "Resurrection Letters, Vol. II"
God In Music City, Lime Pulp Records (2CD)
Steve Goodman: Facing the Music Companion CD
Caffè Lena: Historic Stages Volume 1 (CD) 2005
Best of RadioLive - Volume One WUWF RadioLive (CD) 10/2005
Paste Magazine Sampler, August/September 2004, Issue 11 Paste Music (CD) 08/2004
Winter's Eve: Acoustic Music, Compass 4349 (CD)
Healing: Harmony Renew and Vitality
BMG Special Products 46788 (CD) 04/01/2001
PasteMusic.Com Sampler II, Go Beyond Pop Culture Paste Music (CD) 2001
Songs From Sing Out!, Winter 2002, V45#4
Sing Out! Recordings SO 454 (CD)2001
The Best Of WUNC's Back Porch Volume 1
Acoustic Guitar Artist Songbook, Vol. 1
String Letter (2CD) 1997
Simply the Best Christmas
Warner Esp E229965 (2CD) 1997
Orphans of God, Fingerprint 9601 (2CD) 1996
Winter: Windham Hill Christmas, Windham Hill
49 (CD) 1996
Scenes from a Scene: Selections From The 2nd Annual Greenwich Village Folk Festival
Gadfly 207 (CD) 1995
Shelter: The Best of Contemporary Singer-Songwriters, Putamayo 115 (2CD) 11/15/1994
Strong Hand of Love: A Tribute to Mark Heard
Sony 57870 (CD) 1994
Big Times In A Small Town - The Vineyard Tapes
Philo PH 1155 (CD) 1993
A Winter's Solstice III, Windham Hill
WD 1098 (CD) 1990
Legacy - A Collection Of New Folk Music
Windham Hill WD6-1086 (CD)1989