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You know you've got a shot when Joan Baez covers one of your songs. That's what sparked the career of Alabama singer-songwriter Pierce Pettis in 1979 when Baez chose to include "Song at the End of the Movie" on her Honest Lullaby. From there, Pettis was involved with the Fast Folk movement in New York in the '80s alongside artists such as Shawn Colvin and Suzanne Vega. He continued to write songs and eventually embarked on his solo career in 1987 with the independent release of Moments, an album which some still consider his finest. Following that, Pettis made his way onto High Street Records, issuing four releases between 1991 and 1996. Tinseltown, While the Serpent Lies Sleeping, Chase the Buffalo, and Making Light of It all garnered much critical praise, but failed to find a widespread audience. What Pettis did find were fans in other artists who began adding his original tunes to their own repertoires. Dar Williams snagged "Family" for her Mortal City disc, while Garth Brooks tapped "You Move Me" for his hit Sevens. Maintaining his status as a songwriter has always been a focus for Pettis, from his time at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios to his work as a staff writer for PolyGram Publishing in Nashville. Making his name as an artist is another matter, and one that Pettis continues to pursue. In 1998, he aimed himself in a slightly different direction, he signed on with Compass Records and released Everything Matters. A fine collection of poignant character sketches, Everything Matters has a more refined, mature sound than previous efforts, perhaps due to the production of Grammy winner Gordon Kennedy who is best known for his work on Eric Clapton's "Change the World." ~ Kelly McCartney, Rovi