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Musician's Spotlight - Peter Mulvey

Peter Mulvey
Peter Mulvey

Note: The episode plays in two parts. The second half-hour will start when the first part ends or if you skip to the end.

Guitarist, singer/songwriter Peter Mulvey returns to Musician's Spotlight to visit with host John Floridis. The prolific recording artist has released two dozen recordings over his career and toured extensively around the world.

Peter talks about his most recent projects with the duo SistaStrings as well as how he avoids "investigating" too closely where his songs come from, his working class upbringing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and his anthemic response to the racist murders in Charleston, South Carolina at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2015, "Take Down Your Flag."

To make an anti-fascist record, you must keep kindness and compassion in the foreground. That’s just what singer-songwriter-guitarist Peter Mulvey and SistaStrings (cellist-vocalist Monique Ross and violinist-vocalist Chauntee Ross) did, along with drummer Nathan Kilen. Love Is the Only Thing—coming out on Aug. 22, 2022—started when the musicians gathered at their beloved Café Carpe in Fort Atkinson, WI to record a live album and a studio one. Live at the Café Carpe was released in October 2020, but the pandemic put the studio album on hold. The bright light of family illuminates this record and all that went into making it. Its existence hinges on the way we take care of each other, from its fan-supported funding to the sanctuary of Café Carpe to the blood sisterhood of the Rosses to Mulvey’s newfound fatherhood.

“This album is basically a happy family song, then a song about how fucked up things are, then a family song, then a song about how fucked up things are,” Mulvey laughs.

John Floridis, the host and producer of Musician's Spotlight, has been with Montana Public Radio since 1997. He has interviewed over 200 musicians during that time. He is also an independent recording and performing artist in his own right and a former registered music therapist.