Sam Baker and Gretchen Peters: crafty songwriters

Parrish Auditorium to welcome the pair.

HAMILTON — Two critically acclaimed songwriters, Sam Baker and Gretchen Peters, will make a local appearance as part of the Miami University Regionals Artist Series.

The concert will be on Saturday, Feb. 27, at Parrish Auditorium.

Dr. Howard Epstein, director, Miami University Regionals Artist Series said, “I think these are two really good wordsmiths. Gretchen Peters is an award-winning, Nashville songwriter. She earned a Grammy nomination and had the CMA Song of the Year in 1995 with ‘Independence Day’ by Martina McBride. She also landed her first No. 1 with George Strait’s rendition of her ‘Chill of an Early Fall.’ So, she’s had a long career as a songwriter, and for the past 20 years, she’s also been performing.”

Peters has also written hits for Patty Loveless, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Trisha Yearwood, Jimmy LaFave and Etta James, among others. Her new project, “The Essential Gretchen Peters,” was released late in January.

Epstein said, Sam Baker has an interesting story. In 1986, he was riding on a train in Peru. There was a bomb on the train, almost directly above where he was sitting. He was talking with a family from Germany, and they were all killed by the bomb. He lost his hearing at that time, but he’s gotten it back with some implants, and 15 surgeries since then, he said.

“Since that time, when he was able to hear, he began to almost hear songs. His way of dealing with this was writing songs. Some of them reflect upon the aftermath, and what happened to him. He had to process the world in a new way. If you go on Amazon, everyone gives him five stars. It’s the words that really impact people, and how they respond to him,” he said.

A few of Baker’s latest albums include “Say Grace,” which released in 2013 and a repackaged version of “Pretty World” that came out in 2014.

This is a first-time appearance for both Peters and Baker as part of the Miami University Regionals Artist Series.

“With both of them, it’s the craftsmanship in their songwriting — the attention to detail, word choice and images,” Epstein said.

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Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

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