Peters’ own voice and guitar playing have been at the core of her music since she started performing in the Boulder, Colorado folk circuit as a teenager. Inspired by Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and a new generation of songwriters rising out of Nashville that included Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith and Rodney Crowell. More recently, Peters penned Martina McBride’s 1995 hit “Independence Day.” After that a string of great vocalists – Pam Tillis, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Neil Diamond, George Strait, Etta James – began to record Peters’ songs. The title of Gretchen Peters’ new Hello Cruel World is a pun on the famed exit line – a joke that, like the lovely melodies and deliciously textured arrangements framing these 11 songs – sweetens this captivating music spun from a year of turmoil. The Grammy nominated singer-songwriter from Nashville calls Hello Cruel World her “most close-to-the-bone work, written at a time when I felt absolutely fearless about telling the truth.