His newest album, Silver Ladder, is an auditory shot in the arm from veteran touring songwriter Peter Mulvey. Produced by the indomitable Chuck Prophet, it is a lean, muscular collection of tightly constructed songs, leavening Mulvey’s tendency toward ruminative and yearning acoustic songs with a dose of sharp-witted, punchy rock and roll.
After a turbulent stretch in his personal life left him at sea, Mulvey decided to write his way out of it: “I’ve been through it. I bet you have too,” he said, “but there are times in life when you turn a corner and suddenly everything is simple: let’s make some songs, people! Let’s play!” Committing to writing one song a week relieved him of the precious, self-involved artist’s question, What do I have to say? Over the weeks and months, the songs came flooding out, and within a year he had more than enough for a new record. Writes critic Gavin Martin, “The eclectic range of Mulvey’s tireless past pays handsome dividends on this stylistically sweeping album. A crack band adheres to his live and direct recording approach, allowing the performer’s deeply matured, naturally wry and hard-edged Americana to attain full, flowing life.”
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