Alice Peacock has created a wonderland for herself that every singer-songwriter could enjoy: Imagine a world where you can create outside of everyday commercial formulas. The canvas is yours. Write your songs. Develop your arrangements. Recruit your own support ensemble, public relations firm and distribution company. No outside demands or insistence. It’s your project and you’re in control!
Every note of your CD becomes your choice and responsibility. No big conglomerate will decide your fate. It’s your recording the way you want it to sound! It takes a lot of work but the benefits are worth every second. You also gain the luxury of releasing multiple versions of your work. Would you like it as a lounge ballad or as an upbeat rocker? Suddenly, you are in the driver’s seat.
With endless confidence and independence, Alice has been building her career for over a decade. So far, she’s enjoyed a couple of brushes with fame. Her most famous song to date was adopted as the anthem to promote a line of sinful Hershey’s chocolates. Her song and their candies share the same appropriate name: Bliss. The original CD version features a wild psychedelic intro reminiscent of San Francisco in the summer of 1969. A guy you might have heard of, John Mayer, sings along with her as a duet. Don’t like the psychedelia? Try the House of Blues version with John and Alice available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrOcUe4hhZE. A third version, this time unplugged and acoustic much like her Hershey’s performance, is available free on the website at alicepeacock.com. She covers all bases!
Speaking of covering bases, Alice sung the National Anthem at a White Sox playoff game. Her songs have been featured in several movies and she’s had number one records in far-off places like The Philippines. Every once in a while you’ll hear her work sneak into teenage television dramas. Italian legend Enrico Nascimbeni recorded several tunes in duet with Alice. Her diversity is superceded only by her confidence.
Listening to her work one thing rings true: Alice Peacock takes chances. She goes with her vision of how her work should sound and allows her compositions to develop as if they were living things. Included are musical influences from all over the world of popular music. Alice also wears her heart on her sleeve. Each successive CD has shown new maturity and sophistication. Like proud gardeners, her fans delight in seeing her grow. It’s hard to compare her to other singer-songwriters. Her signature is all her own.
Alice’s is at her best when she sings about the strength and security that love can bring. When all the elements she creates align during a recording session, Alice just sparkles and shines. Her last CD, the remarkable Who I Am, features two songs that are simply stunning. Early on, she primes your ears with a beautifully-penned song, inspired by metaphysics (!), called Time. “I think we're measured by our heart, if we've been kind and done our part. Will anyone remember me?”
Later in the CD, Alice’s search for identity and self-esteem becomes magical with her finest masterpiece to date: I’m Still Here. Here the lyrics are simplistic but the performance is so memorable. I listened to this cut about a thousand times and continued to be amazed. “Baby if your dreams have a hard time coming true, you know just where I'll be - standing there by you. I'll be at your side to help you face your fears. No matter where you go, I'm still here.” It’s not often you’ll hear such innocence and devotion so perfectly portrayed.
Alice Peacock doesn’t limit her skills and ambition to the world of music. With help from her husband, Hugh Haller, Alice founded a wonderful non-profit organization called Rock for Reading (rockforreading.org.) Year after year they have raised money for providing books and funding literacy programs for children in the Chicago Metroplex. Hugh also works with Northwestern University as their Camping and Education Foundation President presiding over Camp Ogichi Daa Kwe for girls and Camp Kooch-i-ching for boys both based near International Falls in Minnesota.
A new chapter of Alice Peacock’s career begins soon. Her fourth CD, Love Remains, will be released on March 10th. It represents a whole new turn to Alice’s career and a reflection of her current state of life. She’s gone country! Recorded in Nashville, with some of America’s great studio musicians with country chops, Love Remains purveys a down-home feel reminiscent of Alice’s upbringing in White Bear Lake, Minnesota (just outside of the Twin Cities.)
Alice’s life comes alive in Love Remains. Listen carefully and you’ll hear her enjoying her love with her husband and her desire to soon become a mother. She also touches upon spirituality, most notably in ‘If I Could Talk to God.’ Take a visit to her web site and audition them yourself! Only three tracks have been officially released. I can’t wait to hear the rest! In the meantime, Alice will be touring venues all over America this Spring.
Warning: Alice Peacock’s music is a lot like a yummy apple pie. Once you taste it, you’ll want more and more. I discovered Alice’s work less than a year ago and she quickly became one of my very favorite singers. Look for her work on her web site alicepeacock.com and her MySpace Music page at: http://www.myspace.com/alicepeacock. Just press ‘play’ and enjoy!
Photo credit: Peter Nash