Terra Peters

Terra Peters

BandFolkPop

Terra Peters, folk, pop, and country singer and songwriter. Just me and my guitar.

Biography

THE REAL THING: TERRA PETERS (FEBRUARY 2004 COVER STORY)
Publish Date: July 31, 2006 | Big Bend Gazette

Story and photos by Marlys Hersey

I first heard Terra sing and play 6-string acoustic guitar back in October, at an informal gathering in the courtyard of the Marathon Motel. When she belted out an original, “Let’s Go For the Hills” (one of the first songs she ever wrote), I was struck by how her ballad of a love for music, horses, and wide open spaces was the quintessential Country & Western song. But unlike many so-called Country songs currently flooding commercial airwaves with formulaic, generic lyrics and music about livin’ the good life out on the range, this tune and its creator were authentic. You could just tell.
When we met in Marathon a few months later, Terra was dressed like a Country & Western music star: black, felt cowboy hat on a head full of long, braided, sun-streaked hair, Carhardt jacket over a shimmery, maroon shirt, Wrangler jeans, and tan cowboy boots. No mere music industry costume, Terra dresses this way because this is who she is. Terra’s hat was a bit dusty, her Carhardt jacket worn in, her jeans somewhat faded, and her boots were pretty scuffed up. From use.
From livin’ the good life out on the range.
When Terra Peters does something, she does so with extraordinary dedication. And passion. And with the utmost joy.
Though only sixteen, Terra is already a professional musician. And horseman. And housebuilder. And beekeeper. And cowgirl. And, I suspect, several other things besides; these are just the interests of hers (some call them careers) that we covered in our few hours of conversation during a recent meeting outside the Marathon Library on a chilly afternoon in January.
To be in Terra’s company is to believe that anything is possible. Terra radiates optimism, her language peppered with adjectives like “beautiful,” “enchanted,” “charmed,” “magical,” and “incredibly beautiful.” Her homeschooling’s “self-teaching curriculum,” she explains, is based on reading the classical books, and is “so great, because it lets you realize that the sky’s the limit.”
Suddenly — and this rarely happens — I wish I were 16 again.
Terra is, at the very least, the product of homeschooling at its best, an education which has apparently allowed for a dynamic blend of curiosity and exploration, hard work (both mental and physical), reading, writing — and fun.
A recurring theme in Terra’s stories is play. Five years ago, when she was eleven, she was given her first guitar — an acoustic Ovation — by a family friend. She’s never had any guitar or voice lessons. “Our curriculum instilled ‘You can do it.’ You don’t need a teacher. I just played around with my guitar. And singing. Sometimes for seven hours at a time. I had some books with chords, but mostly it’s from just playing with it, having fun.”
Even her horsemanship is inspired by a school of horse handling which pivots on play. She studied and improvised on the practices promoted by Pat Parelli, whom Terra calls a “natural horseman. He studied horses in a herd, how they act with each other.... Horses play games with each other, to make the others respect them.” Parelli developed his observations into practical instruction for humans to play with horses, “Pat Parelli’s 7 Games.”
Terra described in great detail her application of some of his games to one particular horse with whom she was entrusted for three months, to help the horse get used to humans. It worked magically. The approach, as Terra describes it, centers on getting to know a horse on its terms, showing respect and friendship, giving it space: “You let the horse come to you.”
Every morning, she plays with Petey, her “cow horse,” trained to work with cattle on an open range. “I play these games with him, you know? You see, it’s still fun. It builds a great partnership.... I know so many arrogant horse people. It’s not something to be arrogant or conceited about — it’s about harmonizing with them in a natural way.”
Because Terra does not yet have her driver’s license and lives on her family’s ranch 15 miles south of town, her parents drove her to our meeting. In the first minute out of the pickup truck, her father announced , “You’ve gotta hear her latest song. She just wrote it two days ago. It’s great.” Clearly her parents, Ted and Peggy Peters, are her biggest fans. “Daddy taught me about singing, which is funny, because he doesn’t really sing. But he tells me ‘Don’t sing out of your nose. Enunciate your words.’ He’s a great asset. He’s so nice, and I’m glad he thinks like that, but he’s partial.”
Maybe. But many others in the area seem to share Tara’s father’s appreciation for the music she makes. “This year a lot of dreams were realized.... I’ve had lots of opportunities to sing in public, some even paying gigs.” In the past year, Terra has played recitals for her homeschool group, “open mikes,” parties, summer festivals, Galler

Discography

"Perpetua" Released August 2007
(UPC 614346034331)

1 ode to matt
ISRC: USTC10776474
2 bring it on
ISRC: USTC20782601
3 the station
ISRC: USTC20782602
4 sunshine
ISRC: USTC20782603
5 rainy day
ISRC: USTC20782604
6 first love
ISRC: USTC20782605
7 take a walk
ISRC: USTC10776489
8 i dont wanna be
ISRC: USTC20782607
9 will you be mine
ISRC: USTC20782608
10 lets go for the hills
ISRC: USTC20782609

Set List

I will play for as long as you like. Usually 2 to 3 hours.
Below is a short list of the countly song that I sing.
1 ode to matt
2 bring it on
3 the station
4 sunshine
5 rainy day
6 first love
7 take a walk
8 i dont wanna be
9 will you be mine
10 lets go for the hills