Peggy James’ The Parade is an album of quiet strength, fervent hope and unshakeable faith. The Parade, her sixth album, stands on the strong shoulders of previous releases. It’s a “best-of” and a “what’s new?” featuring five new recordings of favorite songs from her earlier albums and six new songs written in 2021.

Like her previous albums, many influences can be heard yet The Parade refuses to be easily categorized. And yet, The Parade is rooted above all in the ballad and storytelling traditions of American country music.


At the heart of The Parade is Peggy James’ voice, pure as a morning in spring, unafraid yet sensitive to the nuances of the words she sings. She has written her own material since her recording career began.


“Most of my inspiration for writing comes from observing people, places, events and my own life experiences,” Peggy says. “When something strikes me as interesting, I try to weave a story around it and become a character in the story that makes the idea come alive—like an actor would if given a part,” she continues. “Then I know I’m ready to write it into a song. Usually, the words and the music pretty much appear simultaneously as a rough draft. Then I carve the song until I’m satisfied that the emotion, melody and words express what I intended it to. The first song on the album, ‘I Go With Me’ is a perfect example of this process.”

Peggy accompanies herself throughout The Parade on acoustic guitar. Most of the other instrumental tracks were performed by her producer and longtime musical partner, Jim Eannelli, who endows the music with its genre-spanning scope. “Willow” is old school country, not more than a few miles down the road from the Carter Family and other seminal country artists. “Thousand Reasons,” however, has the cadence of one of those great ‘60s hits that hovered somewhere between Nashville and the Top-40. The title track, closing the album, is an anthemic rock song, the collection’s hardest, most electric track.

Common themes recur throughout The Parade. There is the devotion that comes with caring deeply about another person, but also the search for direction and guidance in a time of confusion.

One of Peggy’s earlier songs re-recorded for The Parade, “Joan of Arc,” sounds timelier today than when first released in 2010. It’s the account of a woman of conviction, standing straight and moving forward against all obstacles. The Parade was released digitally on November 19, 2021 with a CD release following February 18, 2022.