Puremusic interview with Peter Mulvey

Busker poet, Red Sox fan, enlightened romantically cynical fingerpicking wonder, and empirically reluctant mystic Peter Mulvey puts it all together in his ninth full-length release, The Knuckleball Suite.

He is a wondrous songwriter, more in love with life than with himself, who is pulling all and everything from every corner of his worldly life and inner life and putting it on the table. He is a funky and very lyrical guitarist, and has a partner in crime in David "Goody" Goodrich that raises the string ante exponentially. Their stringbiosis is uncanny at times, and it's always supporting Mulvey, who's always supporting the song.

Unlike most songwriter types, Mulvey and Goodrich went into the studio with a few jazz guys who play various other styles and cut the basics in two days without thinking about it too much. Play it a time or two, agree on a blueprint, and count it off. Handful of overdubs, and mix.

We talk about his history in the subway, his experiences touring many times in Ireland, and his roots; how his bedside manner is a coping mechanism, and why he keeps practicing.

He is a touring machine with a very good label behind him for these last five releases (one as part of Redbird, a group that includes labelmates Kris Delmhorst and Jeff Foucault). So one wonders, when he is clearly one of the very best out there, why he is not yet more famous. I'm sure there are reasons, like he needs a bigger triple A radio single, needs a TV shot, and why aren't Signature Sounds and Hear Music/Starbucks joined at the hip? Enquiring minds want to know.

What remains to be said is that you can see from our two reviews of his last two solo records that we are big fans of the artist, and highly recommend you pick up The Knuckleball Suite. What he's saying and what he's playing spells out his greatness, and his fiercely original streak. Don't miss him when he comes to town.

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