“Chrome” and the New Recession

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Residing in newborn-baby land for the past month, shy of any alertness or creativity, I am indeed still alive, though my communication has been equivalent to nil. This winter/spring calendar has hands-down been the bleakest I have ever known as far as getting and securing work/shows/income. In some ways for us, it’s not much different than any other month of any other year. We live in a recession each and every month, never really knowing where the next paycheck is going to come from. But church budgets are way down, and since that is where I play the vast majority of my shows, we have noticed a definite slowdown in our little cottage economy. Sweating bullets.

But the flipside to all this is that I’ve been home a LOT to help (as much as a male possibly can) my wife in the transition from one to two kids. As a breadwinning male, I have found myself in the middle of a workweek playing with Ellis in the backyard sandbox or fixing peanut butter sandwiches fighting not only the noonday demon of acedia, but the very distinct and cruel head voice saying to me, “So here you are, you lazy sack. You can’t even provide for your family, you worthless loser of a phony artist.” Such are my days of late. Low self-esteem is a plague riddled with guilt.

Ben [Shive] has been wrapping up a couple of other projects before we make the final push to finish my ghost of an album. I’ve officially titled the project Chrome, which I will explain in a later post. The release date, obviously, won’t be anytime in March, and April is looking mighty doubtful. I’m still hopeful for a May release, but this train is, and has been, a slow one, so by now I should know better than to make any promises when it comes to these sort of things. What I can give you is a sneak peek at the album cover (or something close):

chromecover


Profile photo of Eric Peters

Eric Peters, affectionately called "Pappy" by those who love him, is the grand old curmudgeon of the Rabbit Room. But his small stature and often quiet presence belie a giant talent. He's a songwriter of the first order, and a catalogue of great records bears witness to it. His last album, Birds of Relocation, blew minds and found its way onto “year’s best” lists all over the country. When he's not painting, trolling bookstores, or dabbling in photography, he's touring the country in support of his latest record, Far Side of the Sea.


20 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Curt McLey

    Curt McLey

    @curtmcley

    Waiting at the station … for as long as it takes, because after five special deliveries, I know the next one will be worth the wait.

  2. Jill Phillips

    I love me some Eric Peters records and I can’t wait for this one. Keep pressing on because this world needs your music, friend.

  3. Mike

    Eric, I’ve said this before, but a BTLOG show a couple of years back in Greenville SC I was introduced to Eric Peters music, but I was equally impressed with you humble presence on stage. I was moved and that is why you do what you do. Not many artist do that the first time I’ve seen them. Keep; it up.

  4. Larry

    Eric,

    I am interested in getting your help on a song writing project. Can you please contact me (lolson@wiley.com) if you are interested? thanks, Larry

  5. kim

    Eric,
    By way of encouragement, I’d love to share with you that your music was a huge influence on my little brother (in college now) coming to know Jesus in a personal way a few years ago. His Young Life leaders shared one of your albums with him, and it was just the thing to help him connect and express himself. Now, a few years mature in his faith, he’s a Young Life leader sharing Christ with high school kids. Now, I know that doesn’t help pay the bills, but be encouraged that your music has had, and will continue to have, such tangible kingdom-building effects! Praise God!

    Kim

  6. Jonah G.

    Eric,
    I understand exactly many of your emotions, especially with the transition of going from 1 to 2 kids recently. It becomes difficult to maintain creativity in the way it was before, and although a vision is still there, it may get forced to take a backseat… which gets frustrating! I was just checking out iTunes this weekend to see if the “Mighty Eric Peters” had released anything recently… so I’m glad to hear something should be coming in the near future! I’m already waiting in line, as I know it will be another wonderfully beautiful and powerful album! Love the new album artwork! Can’t wait to see how the contents have influenced its creation! Cherish the time God has given you during this slower season of business. I’m sure that in the future, you’ll look back and both you and your family will see it as a very rich time, full of wonderful memories and everyday life moments! Find the sacred in the everyday, my friend!

  7. Eric Peters

    Folks, I cannot thank you enough for voicing your sentiments and encouragement into the brambles of the wilderness. They are a prescribed burn to me — a good thing, indeed, when pondered in terms of wildfire management. “Finding the sacred in the everyday” — that is what I find much easier to write about than to actually live and believe. Good stuff. I’d much rather listen to your voices than to the ones in my head…. Graces to you all.

  8. Gregg Stout

    Eric:
    I saw you in Milford, Ohio a month or so ago. It was a really good show. We talked of Buechner, W. Berry, Dillard and Kathleen Norris for a few minutes after the show. You have talent and seem very authentic, a good combination. Keep up the good work. I’m waiting for another show in my area.

  9. Profile photo of Jason Gray

    Jason Gray

    @jasongray

    I’m looking forward to the new record, Eric – the artwork is great!

    I’ve been thinking about the recession and how – and I don’t mean this to sound too harsh or overly simplified – but for a lot of artists, it’s the way we’ve been living for years. Week to week, hand to mouth, fear of losing your home and not paying bills, a continual sense of dread… This has been the way most people in music as well as in the ministry have been living all along. What’s scary is that it felt like we were living off the scraps of our culture’s bountiful tables. What will there be of scraps now?

    But of course, maybe it wasn’t scraps after all, but always the faithful hand of God, meeting our need while shaping us into something that brings him pleasure, that trusts, and trusts, and trusts…

    There is one element in all this that has been a bit of a morbid encouragement to me, though. For years I’ve wondered if I made the wrong decision to go into this line of work when I might have made a career out of something more secure, building up my retirement and putting in my hours.

    With what’s happening now in our economy, if I had chosen that path my reality would likely be very similar to what it is now, as there appears to be no such thing as security in a career or a retirement fund. I don’t mean to make light of other’s suffering in this way, but it is somewhat validating to know that if I had done for me what felt like playing it safe (no disrespect to non-artists intended), I would be in the same boat that I am in now.

    But the disciplines of thriftiness and trust that we’ve had to develop as struggling artists and ministers will likely serve us well in these times.

  10. Aaron Roughton

    “But of course, maybe it wasn’t scraps after all, but always the faithful hand of God, meeting our need while shaping us into something that brings him pleasure, that trusts, and trusts, and trusts…”

    Does it make sense that I’m jealous of this?

  11. Aaron Roughton

    Actually I was kind of thinking that if I was a writer I might not envy it because I would be experiencing it. (More so because I’m not a good writer than because of the normal conditions for artists. )

    Something jumped out at me recently when I read the familiar Philippians 4:12 passage about being content. Paul says that it takes the strength of God to be content both in times of need and times of plenty. He doesn’t say, “I don’t need help being content in times of plenty, but God helps me during times of need.” In other words, “plenty” is not the source of contentment. I know that, I just don’t act like I do.

    Jason said, “For years I’ve wondered if I made the wrong decision to go into this line of work when I might have made a career out of something more secure, building up my retirement and putting in my hours.”

    I have wondered this very thing for myself, only I would re-word it: “For years I’ve wondered if I made the wrong decision to go into this line of work, building up my retirement and putting in my hours, when I might have made a career out of something more meaningful and fulfilling.”

  12. whipple

    Eric~

    That artwork is the prologue to a story that I want to read, man. Having never heard a song that you’ve written that didn’t send me trekking through the literary expanse of your imagination, I must say that I’m glad you’ve decided to release this “ghost.” It is a haunting that I shall be glad to undergo.

    Lee Younger~

    If, by “Oak Ridge,” you mean “just down the road a piece from Knoxville,” then I’m going to have to chuckle under my breath at that “You are the bomb” statement.

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