The 2009 Sarasota Folk Festival: Grant Peeples

Grant Peeples
Mar. 12, 2009
Grant Peeples

As we mentioned previously, The 6th Annual Sarasota Folk Festival will be a whole new show this year. It has expanded to a two-day event and is now being held at Oscar Scherer State Park in Osprey. The boogie is going down March 14 and 15 and will feature 30 acts on three stages. The theme this year is “Go Green” and all the vendors have pledged to use biodegradable consumables and recycle all their waste. We had a chat with a few of the artists who will be rocking out the crowd:

Grant Peeples

One of many artists making the drive to play the festival, Peeples has been described as a Leftneck – a left-wing redneck – and writes politically driven songs in a traditional country style. “I come from very southern stock,” says the seventh-generation Floridian, “but environmentally, socially and politically I’m a little left-of-center. I’m a liberal with a gun.” He says his songs are mostly social commentary: “I call it ‘finger-in-your-eye’ music. I like to challenge listeners.”

Peeples comes from a small town outside of Tallahassee called Sopchoppy: “I tell people it has two stop signs and three recording studios.” Musically, John Prine and Hank Williams are big influences, but he finds just as much inspiration in Edgar Allan Poe, Flannery O’Connor and Tennessee Williams.

Peeples says he started writing songs at a very young age, but didn’t pick up a guitar until he was 20. “I was writing songs and trying to get people to play them and nobody would,” he says, “so I started singing them myself.” He’s cut two albums so far — the latest is titled It’s Later Than You Think. To him, it’s all about original material. “I don’t do any covers, not a one, and I don’t make up any songs. It’s stuff that happens to me; I write about stuff I see.”

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