Grace Pettis

REVIEW: Grace Pettis “Working Woman”


Grace Pettis has a new album out, Working Woman (MPress Records).  Produced by Mary Bragg and mixed by the Grammy award willing Shani Gandhi, Working Woman is a heavy hitter that any self-respecting music lover won’t want to miss.  She enlists more than a few working woman musicians to guest on the album:  Indigo Girls, Ruthie Foster, Dar Williams, Mary Bragg, Gina Chavez and The Watson Twins.

Pettis comes charging right out of the gate on the title track. “Working Woman” captures the hard driving energy of a working woman, “get your glass up for the working woman.”  But the song applies to any labor a woman does, paid or unpaid. And just like that, we are served the message that this album’ll be a serious one for Pettis.

Next up, “Landon” is a more vulnerable song of regret, love and apologies performed with the Indigo Girls.  And it’s all the layered tones you’d hope for with this line-up. The harmonies roll out easy and send chills down your spine as you’re transported back through the tangled web of youth.

“Oklahoma” is another rocker, with Pettis again stepping out with a mighty strong song in her signature clear vocal tones.

Dar Williams contributes to “Any Kind of Girl” and the song unfolds a tale of struggle particular to women — “it’s a hard world for any kind of girl… enough to make your heart break.”

“Never Get it Back” features the Watson Twins in another smashing, hopeful number with electric guitar. “They say don’t break the glass unless it’s an emergency… it’s our turn now.”

“Paper Boat” is open frailty in a healthy dose of superior songwriting that marks Pettis’ general style.  And Mary Bragg joins in on this one for a serendipitous nostalgia.

“Pick Me Up” starts off as a subdued duet with Ruthie Foster that takes off to unknown heights by song’s end.  “Mean Something” rounds out the collection with the mantra “Life is what you make it … make it mean something true.”  An aspiration we all hope to live by.

Musically the album wears a glorious small town/any town Americana rock album cloak as its songwriting finds a powerful niche in supporting friends and standing up for women, the LBGTQ community, and anyone who needs loyal support.

Find the album here:

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