"[Peter] Mulvey has been honing his craft for many a decade and it shows. He can play some badass guitar, sing to touch your heart, and write a song that will knock you down. And by knock you down, I mean lift you up." - Ani diFranco
The friendship between DiFranco and Mulvey deepened in the summer of 2015. Mulvey was opening a run of shows for her when the shootings at the Emanuel Church in Charleston occurred. In the basement of the Calvin Theater in Northampton, after a long heart-to-heart among the band members, Mulvey went into his dressing room and wrote "Take Down Your Flag". He sang it twenty minutes later, and as he came offstage, DiFranco asked him to teach her the song. She sang it two days later, and substituted her own verse for one Tywanza Sanders (one of the victims) in place of Mulvey's verse for Susie Jackson. Within a few days, their versions were posted to YouTube and over the next few weeks, hundreds of songwriters added their own versions, including Anais Mitchell, Keb' Mo, Paula Cole, and Jeff Daniels.
For his 17th album Are You Listening? (Righteous Babe Records / March 24), Peter Mulvey traveled to New Orleans to record Ani DiFranco and her band. Are You Listening? marks the 25th anniversary of a rich career of approximately 4,000 concerts and over a million miles traveled. NPR's Robert Siegel wasn't kidding when he said, "Peter Mulvey is a 21st century troubadour."
DiFranco's help with giving "Take Down Your Flag" a wider audience naturally led to the collaboration on Are You Listening? Like DiFranco, Mulvey is an artist with deep roots in community: his early days as a busker in Dublin and Boston are echoed by his marathon online benefit concerts via Concert Window, the last of which he played from his Wisconsin home venue the Cafe Carpe on January 15 to benefit the ACLU, SPLC, Planned Parenthood, the NRDC, Relief International, and Public Allies. His long association with the National Youth Science Foundation prompted him to add a yearly warm-weather bicycle tour to his schedule: 2017's tour will be the 10th anniversary, and the tours have covered thousands of miles.
Mulvey has shared stages with Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson, DiFranco, Greg Brown, the Indigo Girls, and many others.
Tickets: Locally at Crossroads Music and Quimper Sound Underground or online at http://pmulvey.brownpapertickets.com