Grace Pettis is an award-winning singer-songwriter who was encouraged by her parents to express herself musically throughout her life. Her mother, Dr. Margaret Mills Harper, was a poetry scholar and her father, Pierce Pettis, was a traveling songwriter who spent most of his time on the road. Her parents divorced while she was a child, but words and music are the heirlooms she inherited from them.
Pettis’ musical influences were greatly impacted by music her father sent her while he was out the road, making him a driving influence in her writing from an early age. Influences of Mountain Music and Gospel to Country, Folk, R & B and Hop-Hop are detected throughout her debut album on MPress Records, titled Working Woman, a record that stands as a declaration of independence for women who work in music as well as in every other profession. Pettis expresses her feminism in a way that makes the listener sit up and take notice that women are finally assuming their rightful places in a male-dominated world.
“I thought a lot about what to call this album. I tossed around a lot of different titles, pulled from lines I liked or themes the record seemed to have,” says Pettis, explaining the album title. “But in the end, it really had to be called Working Woman because the album, like the song, is not subtle. It’s about recognizing and honoring the work that women do in every space in our society. It’s about claiming our power and place in the world. This record is about the work women do and valuing that work.”
Pettis has won a number of the nation’s most prestigious songwriting contests including NPR’s Mountain Stage New Song Contest, and has received grants from the Buddy Holly Education Foundation. Her songs have been recorded by some esteemed artists including Sara Hickman and Ruthie Foster. Working Woman is now being heard on the radio with three stations coming to the party early including KUWR, MSPR and KUWR.