Peter Mulvey’s New Album: Are You Listening?

Contributed by Nick Loss-Eaton

Feb 22 - North Star Theatre - Cordova, AK
Feb 23 - Bunnell Street Arts Center - Homer, AK
Feb 24 - Latitude 62 - Talkeetna, AK
Feb 25 - Taproot - Anchorage, AK
Feb 26 - Vagabond Blues - Palmer, AK

On March 24th, Righteous Babe (Ani DiFranco's label) is planning to release “Are You Listening?”, produced by DiFranco and the 17th album by Peter in a rich, 25-year career that began with him busking on the streets of Dublin and the subways of Boston. Already, the Associated Press has committed to a review of the album.

The marathon busking sessions still live on today as he played a 12-hour concert at Cafe Carpe in Atkinson, WI for a series non-profits that was broadcast live by Concert Window (no duplicate songs allowed!). Though he's often lumped into folk music, he has also played jazz, spoken-word, rock & roll and Americana (and has been known to perform all of Tom Waits' 'Rain Dogs' album in concert!).

“Are You Listening?” was recorded in New Orleans with Ani DiFranco producing and Ani's and her band backing up Peter. He opened a few shows for her in 2015 and backstage, after the shooting at the church in Charleston, SC, he wrote a song "Take Down Your Flag". Two days later, she played it live, rewriting a middle verse. 

The story of the song has been covered by Daily Kos, LA Times, Folk Alley and many others. It led to the larger collaboration of this album. All revenue from the song benefitted Lowcountry Ministries, who are helping the families of the victims.
 “Are You Listening?” tackles the vagaries of life in 2017, from trying to transcend everyday life from eggs and coffee to being tailgated, stripping away the self-justifications and rationalizing to find connection, how personal pettiness falls away in the wake of war, a friend's attempts at self-help that may finally be turning a corner and a song for Trayvon Martin.

He plans an annual tour by bicycle and 2017 (when it gets warmer!) marks the 10th year of the tour.

Peter's opened for Los Lobos, Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson, Ani DiFranco, Greg Brown, the Indigo Girls and his mentor, Chris Smither. Acoustic Guitar Magazine asked him to do a video session recently and it shows his mastery of fingerpicking and alternate tunings:

The Washington Post has said, "The subtle power of his voice, a husky, hushed baritone... understated, at once sophisticated and intimate... as cover-worthy as Randy Newman, Elvis Costello."

Rolling opined, "Haunting... A voice lush and hushed that occasionally sinks into a whisper… Surrealistic beauty."

MOJO called him “singularly gifted.”

All Music has said, "For sheer musicianship, it is difficult to think of many contemporary guitar playing singer-songwriters who can claim superiority to Peter Mulvey... It's hard to understand why Peter Mulvey isn't better known. His acoustic guitar work is flawless, avoiding folky clichés for a light, jazzy feel that makes his melodies bounce, and his singing is superb, an understated tenor that puts across deep emotion."

He also did a TEDx talk about extraterrestrial life that was made into a children's book. He plays at a science camp every year to support youth getting into the field: