Song of the Day: Pierce Pettis, “That Kind of Love”

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Pierce Pettis’s new album officially releases today. He’s been selling it at his concerts for the last few months, so many of us can attest to its grooviness. As on every Pettis album that I’m aware of, he opens with a cover of a Mark Heard song. That, friends, is not just extremely humble, it is the finest way I can imagine for one songwriter to honor another.

I’ve listened to the album enough to know Pierce has once again delivered excellence, but I haven’t had the time to dig in just yet.  The title track alone is worth the price of admission, though.  At the Ryman Christmas concert last year, Pierce played “That Kind of Love” and leveled us all.  I had a live recording of it from the show, but my computer died last year and I’m just now realizing that’s one of the things that was lost.  Instead, please enjoy the album version, then go buy it, either at his website or on iTunes.

(Note from the Proprietor: As of 1:27 am on Tuesday morning, the song samples on iTunes strangely aren’t Pierce Pettis songs.  Not sure what to make of that.)

This is the title track:

That Kind of Love
(Pierce Pettis) Slapfight Songs (ASCAP),
admin. by Bug Music

Can’t be bought or sold or faked
That kind of love
Always gives itself away
That kind of love
Wiser than the wisest sage
It’s innocence makes me ashamed
Til I’m not sure I can take
That kind of love

Pride and hatred cannot stand
That kind of love
Greater love hath no man
Than that kind of love
Won’t be kept unto itself
Spreads it’s charm, casts it’s spell
No one’s safe this side of hell
From that kind of love

Love rejected and ignored
Held in chains, behind closed doors
Stuff of legend and of songs
Deep down everybody longs (for)
That kind of love . . . oh, that kind of love

Some people never know
That kind of love
Though it only takes a child to show
That kind of love
Widows smile and strong men weep
Little ones play at it’s feet
Deaf can hear and blind can see
That kind of love

Love triumphant, love on fire
Love that humbles and inspires
Love that does not hesitate
No conditions, no restraints
That kind of love . . . oh, that kind of love

How could anyone deny
That kind of love
Every heart is measured by
That kind of love
Even stars fall from the sky
Everything will fall in time
Except those things that cannot die
That kind of love
Oh, may you be remembered by
That kind of love

Also, Paste Magazine is streaming the entire record on its website, which is pretty cool.

Profile photo of Andrew Peterson

As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga.


20 Comments

  1. Dieta

    Pierce Pettis is probably the only other songwriter that moves me even remotely as much as the Proprieter. This Cd, that I have had the pleasure to own for about a month (I know people…) has been like a friend returning that I haven’t seen in too long. In The Lion’s Eyes evoked memories of Little Boy Heart Alive for me. The love song Hallelujah, I want sung at the renewal of my vows-should we ever go there. I feel mute when I try to describe Pierce, as I know I could never do him justice. If you don’t know his music-seek it out. If you do-listen again and definetly get the new one. Thanks to Andrew for bringing him to the forefront of the RR.

  2. jacobt

    Pierce sang this song at his concert here in Fort Worth. Wow, that was definitely a “frozen in time” kind of moment.

  3. CHart

    Great choice. My wife and I got to see Pierce’s “Almost Christmas” concert that he has done for the past 25 years here in Tallahassee, FL. He performed just about every song off of the new CD along with songs like “If It Wasn’t For The Night” and “Miriam.” Anyway, about halfway through his set he stopped and asked if everyone would allow him to do this song by this “young” great song writer in Nashville named Andrew Peterson. He went on and on about what an honor it was to be invited to play at the Ryman with AP each year and how much he looked forward to it. Of course he then went on to perform “It Came To Pass.” One of my former co-workers who performs with Pierce at the the concert each year realized that “It Came To Pass” was from BTLOG that our church was putting on the next evening and plugged our performance of BTLOG during her set. At the time, Pierce was sitting behind my wife and I and I could hear him say “Wow that is cool that they are doing the whole thing.” Maybe one year we can work out the dates and have Pierce come sit in with us even if it isn’t the Ryman:-)

  4. Ron Davis

    Any day with new Pierce Pettis music for sale is a good day. That guy is amazing.

    I picked up the new CD at the Ryman show last month. It’s great and was totally worth the wait.

  5. Profile photo of Curt McLey

    Curt McLey

    @curtmcley

    I’m on board with this one, fer sure, though I haven’t bought it yet. Not that there was any question. I own all of Pierce’s releases, except the his first, which is out of print and difficult to find. This song provides the inspiration to get in gear and make the purchase pronto. Like our Proprietor, Pierce makes distinctions in his songs that unconventionally transform familiar “truth” into something closer to the Truth.

    When my mother-in-law died, I used Pierce’s song, “You’re Gonna Need This Memory,” as the soundtrack to a video tribute I made for her life. The song blew everybody away. The funeral director said it was the most touching, appropriate music he’d ever heard at a funeral, and I knew he was sincere, not just blowing smoke. When I wrote Pierce after the fact, feebly confessing my use of the song without his permission, he was gracious as could be. I was already committed as a lifelong supporter, but if there had been any question about that, Pierce’s act of kindness easily solidified it.

  6. Ben Rauscher

    I’ve had mine a few weeks too, though I let my friend borrow it soon after I got it. Glad to see I can go to Paste’s site and hear it again.

    I got to go to a songwriting workshop led by Pierce a few years ago, and I even got to eat lunch with him. A very humble person who writes some of the best music that is out there.

  7. Janet

    I knew there was a reason I bookmarked this site! Found you when I was looking for the date for Andrew’s Hollister Ca. concert (still haven’t found it by the way!). Thanks so much for bringing Pierce’s new cd to my attention! He has been one of my favorites for a long time – all the way back to Chase The Buffalo. I didn’t know he had a new cd out and will definitely have to get it. Thanks so much!

  8. euphrony

    Oh, I forgot to mention, I agree about Pierce’s opening every album with a Mark Heard cover. Pierce does a great job of doing the song and songwriter justice while doing it in his own style. It’s my understanding that Mark Heard was something of a mentor to Pierce, and that they were on stage together when Mark had the heart attack that killed him.

  9. Tom Bubb

    Thanks for this post Andrew! I have heard a lot about Pierce Pettis but before this post I had never heard his music. This song is WONDERFUL (and so is the album over at Paste) and my copy is already ordered and making its way home to me. 🙂

  10. Tom Bubb

    Random question: does anyone have any recommendations for a good Mark Heard album to try first? I’ve heard different things so I’m still curious and I know there are some savvy folks on here. Any who if you can help I’d appreciate it- thanks!

  11. Chad

    Tom,

    Mark’s last three albums [Dry Bones Dance, Second Hand, and Satellite Sky] are what many critics claim to be his best. Second Hand is a little more on the acoustic side and one of my personal favorites, but you really can’t go wrong with any of his albums. Also, he produced, engineered and mixed Dreams of the Color Blind by Harrod and Funck which is one of my personal favorites. Everything about this album is just gorgeous and I never tire of listening to it. Mr, Heard also did production for Pierce Pettis’ Tinseltown.

  12. Profile photo of Curt McLey

    Curt McLey

    @curtmcley

    Tom Bubb wrote:

    Random question: does anyone have any recommendations for a good Mark Heard album to try first?

    Try High Noon, Tom. Much of Heard’s early discography is out of print. High Noon has twenty tracks, is easy to locate, and will give you a nice representative sample of what Heard’s all about. Too, it is filled with his more recent songs. He just got better and better, which makes his untimely death even more tragic. Mark Heard is one of my favorite songwriters and recording artists ever, though not everyone is as enthusiastic as me about his music. With that many songs though, you get a fair representation.

    As an aside, I know that Jason Gray is a big fan and I think AP has come around to Mark’s music in recent years too.

  13. Profile photo of Jason Gray

    Jason Gray

    @jasongray

    Pierce is one of my favorite writers as well and I got this record when pre-releases were made available. Does anyone else who has this record think that it’s marked by a sadness – it’s mostly in the sound of his voice. I don’t mean sadness in a negative or depressing way, but a sadness that deepens the tracks and lends them an even more haunting humanity than his previous works?

    State Of Grace remains my favorite Pettis album, but this is a welcome project.

    And I think Satellite Sky is Mark’s best record, though maybe not the best choice for a first time foray. Second Hand is a good way to warm up to Heard’s work. Satellite Sky is like jumping in the deep end.

  14. Tom Bubb

    Jason I completely agree with your assessment of Pierce’s new one- there is a definite sadness and it absolutely deepens the resonance of the songs. Thank you Curt Jason and Chad!!! I think I’m now officially set for my first foray into the music of Mark Heard. I really do love The Rabbit Room and the community here so I owe a thank you to The Proprietor as well.

  15. euphrony

    I agree about the sadness. With his voice, Piece can make beautiful melancholy music; but this seems a little more than usual – and not in a depressing, fatalistic way at all. “Farewell” is a great example from the new album, and his take on Woody Guthrie’s “Pastures of Plenty” carries it, as well.

  16. Amber Leffel

    Revisiting this post after years… This song has meant the world to me. A young man loved me once and loved me well — and now just isn’t the time for us to be together, so I broke it off in the fall. But our friendship is still close and we still are who we are — and he played this song for me once, when I was driving him and my friend around in the rain at night. What a perfect setting for this song. I knew that he knew this kind of love — and the Lord had taught me what it was like for me to love that kind of way… And my soul was so deeply fed. Mmm. Thank you for blessing us with this post.

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