MP3 Tracy Grammer - The Verdant Mile
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7 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Modern Folk, COUNTRY: Americana
"Tracy Grammer is a brilliant artist and unique individual. Her voice is distinctive, as is her mastery over the instruments she plays." - Joan Baez
"[The Verdant Mile is] a brilliant collection of songs with Tracy sounding absolutely at the top of her craft." - Kevin Welch, Music Director, KINK-FM
"This EP effortlessly reconciles Grammer's pop and bluegrass sensibilities... The results are so pure, they make Neil Diamond sound like he hails from the farthest reaches of the Blue Ridge Mountains." - Eye.net
"One of the most compelling new voices in contemporary folk...Grammer is an outstanding singer and fiddler, and every performance here exemplifies the quiet strength, refined sensitivity, and consummate skill she is known for." - Sing Out! Magazine
"I've listened to Tracy's The Verdant Mile over and over and over again. This new collection of songs is simply stunning. I just can't wait for her next CD."
- Bob Feldman, President, Red House Records
"Grammer wraps her rich, ethereal voice around Neil Diamond's 'Solitary Man,' evoking Joan Baez in her prime, while a lovely ray of hope rings out in her cover of Emory Gordon and Joe Henry's 'When I Reach the Place I'm Goin'... classic Americana." - Dirty Linen
"Infused with catchy, changing rhythms, take [the title] cut as a marvelous sign of things to come as Grammer moves along the path of penning and performing more of her own compositions."
- Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews
"Tracy Grammer is the talk of the folk nation." - The Boston Globe
Tracy Grammer announces the release of The Verdant Mile, a seven song all-acoustic EP comprised of two originals and five beautifully chosen covers. The title track is a poignant yet upbeat meditation on loss and survival, written by Grammer to address the passing of her longtime musical partner, Dave Carter, who died in 2002. A reviewer for the online publication Folkwax wrote: "Tracy's song reminds me of how Boulder To Birmingham was such a significant presence on Pieces Of The Sky, Emmylou Harris' first major label release... The melody is upbeat, but that apart, it stands as a testament to this woman's courage, considering the extent of her loss, that she's willing to place this recent part of her life journey full-square in the public domain. "
In addition to the title track, Grammer's first self-penned song, The Verdant Mile features a rollicking fiddle medley and lovingly-performed covers of songs by such respected artists as Kieran Kane and Carole King. The project was recorded live in an Oregon studio over two days in early June. The exception is the fiddle medley (also a Grammer composition), which was arranged over the phone and recorded on opposite coasts. The songs feature Jim Henry on mandolin, mandola, dobro, and vocals, but most prominent here is Grammer's own crystal-clear voice.
Grammer reflects on the songs she chose to include in this project. "These songs are postcards from various points along the Verdant Mile, a mythical field I walk when I need to reconcile with the rivers I cannot turn, the birds that won't come, and my reluctant angels..."
Grammer's dark, ethereal vocals evoke a purity and resonance that brings radiance to the songs she performs and her attention to melody and story lines lend a rare sophistication to her vocal and instrumental interpretations. Her adept accompaniment extends to violin, mandolin, guitar - yet it is her vocal prowess and intuition that infuse her work with a numinous quality and has established her as a formidable performer. The late songwriter (and Grammer's former partner) Dave Carter was perhaps her biggest fan: "Tracy has one of the most beautiful and expressive voices I've ever heard in my life. I was looking for someone with depth and gentleness - as soon as I heard that voice, I knew I had found it."
Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer were called "one of the fastest-rising acts in folk music." In just four years they released three internationally acclaimed albums, toured with Joan Baez, shared stages with artists like Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, Greg Brown, the Cowboy Junkies, and Buddy and Julie Miller, and earned a solid following with their indelible live performances at festivals and venues all across North America. Their final album together, Drum Hat Buddha (on which Grammer fronted half the material), was the #2 Most Played Album on folk radio in 2001, and Carter and Grammer were the #1 most popular artists in that format for the year. About.com wrote: "Drum Hat Buddha is the record that will establish Tracy Grammer as one of the more distinctive and emotive voices in folk. To say nothing of her extraordinary talents with violin and mandolin."
Since Carter's death, Grammer has continuously toured the country as a solo act, as well as with Richard Shindell, and as part of Joan Baez's band. "I have no choice but to go on singing, and to go on telling our story," says Grammer, "on behalf of my brilliant partner, and on behalf of every dreamer who stumbles, as I did, upon a profound calling."
Grammer's first full-length studio album will be released on the Signature Sounds label in April 2005. Co-produced by Grammer and producer/guitarist John Jennings (Mary Chapin Carpenter, Indigo Girls, Robin and Linda Williams, John Gorka), the album features multi-instrumentalist Jim Henry (Deb Talan, Nerissa & Katryna Nields, Mark Erelli), bassist Mike Rivard (Paula Cole, Morphine, Patty Larkin, Jonatha Brooke, Aimee Mann, Club d'Elf), percussionist Lorne Entress (Lori McKenna, Mark Erelli, Four Piece Suit), Jon Carroll (Tony Rice, Cheryl Wheeler, Starland Vocal Band), and Mary Chapin Carpenter on backing vocals. It is a collection of previously unreleased songs written by Dave Carter.
"Armed with a few of the sassier members of the string family, and a voice as nuanced and strong as you could hope for, Grammer delivers... with a supernatural force that funnels straight through your ear to the deep, deep center of your heart." - Margaret McKenna, The Missoula Independent
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