Daily Discovery: Peter Mulvey, “What Else Was It”


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ARTIST: Peter Mulvey

SONG: “What Else Was It

BIRTHDATE: Sixth of September 1969

HOMETOWN: Milwaukee

CURRENT LOCATION: Five and a half miles over the Finger Lakes

AMBITIONS: Coffee. The next song. The next gig. Forge within the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race. Laundry.

TURN-OFFS: Certainty.

TURN-ONS: Coffee. The next song. The next gig. Women in all their cosmic mystery.

DREAM GIG: Playing the Cafe Carpe in Fort Atkinson, WI for a with Bill Frisell, Brian Blade, Todd Sickafoose, and Jenny Scheinman.

FAVORITE LYRIC: Right now? “We’re rising and we’re falling/ falling and we’re rising/ lost on the Invisible Sea / A thousand stolen kisses/ a crime without a witness/ Throw me overboard, captain, would you please? (I just can’t STAND myself!)” Chuck Prophet, from “Freckle Song”.


SONG I WISH I WROTE: “Bees”, Kris Delmhorst

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Buddha, Lilly Tomlin, Shakespeare, Tom Waits, Dame Judy Dench

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: Last night. Blue Ribbons at Vincent’s Tavern in Worcester. They opened an industrial-sized can of whup-ass on us.

I WROTE THIS SONG: This one I paid for. Got shook up and de-laminated by a perfect storm of ordinary life experiences (see: mortality, human frailty, careless love) and spent a year and change in the woods of my mind, during which my poor friends got a serious earful. I crawled my way back (we all do that, don’t we? probably it’s an innate human ability, like breathing) and when I was just starting to feel the sun on my face, while I could still hear the hooting of the monsters behind me in the Enchanted Wood, this song just arrived while I was driving a car somewhere. Beamed in, like on the radio. This song is my friend, my talisman, my souvenir from the trip we all have to make.


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