Take 5 with singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson

Counting the Stars, Andrew Peterson’s latest album, is a work of beauty.  Despite being a vastly popular album, Peterson makes the listener feel as if he or she is sitting in a quiet little coffeehouse enjoying the music of a guy who is too good to be playing the venue.  A quality singer/songwriter who has been just under the limelight for the past 10 years, Peterson’s Counting the Stars is his best album yet…or so I hear since I’ve only been recently introduced to Peterson’s work.  Andrew Peterson was kind enough to Take 5 with Backseat Writer.

When listening to Counting the Stars, I can’t help but feeling like I’m sitting with an old friend as he plays his folksy guitar (especially with the song “Many Roads”).  I love that you have the connection with your audience—how is this an important element of your music?

My favorite part about music is not the music but the connection it creates. As much as I love a pretty guitar part or a good lyric, the real excitement for me happens when I get to share it with someone. Walt Wangerin said that art isn’t art until it’s shared. There has to be an exchange. That’s where the rubber meets the road.

Counting the Stars is hands-down one of my favorite album titles ever.  And my favorite song on your new album is, uh, I can’t pick on.  What should my favorite song be?

Oh, I don’t know. I like all of them or they wouldn’t be on the record. I’m just glad you’re listening. Depending on the day, I like “The Reckoning” best.

(Amy’s note: Since asking the question, I have decided that “The Reckoning is also my favorite song!)

“Dancing in the Minefields” is such a sweet and romantic song.  How did your marriage inspire this song?

It was inspired by an argument I got in with my wife right after our 15th wedding anniversary. It was my way of making up. It’s a reminder to me and to Jamie that we made a promise and we’re in this for the long haul. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Counting the Stars is my first Andrew Peterson album.  Now that I’m a mega-fan, what other albums do I need to own and why?

Aw, shucks. Thanks! I think the right way to do it if you’re just discovering an artist is to buy albums in reverse order. It’s fun to see their progression, not just in the way they sound, but in the things they’re singing about. That means your next record is Resurrection Letters, Vol. II, followed by The Far Country. Oh, and you should probably buy eighty-seven copies of each.

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?  And what was so dang funny?

Ooh, that’s an easy one. Just last night after the show, “The Captains Courageous” (Ben Shive and Andy Gullahorn) and I watched one of Brian Regan’s comedy shows on Netflix and laughed till it hurt. The dude is funny.

For more information on Andrew Peterson, visit him online at Andrew-Peterson.com, and also check out his grassroots literary and music community, The Rabbit Room.

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