MP3 Vanessa Torres - FOLK: Modern Folk
Lyrically rich, beautifully crafted original folk carried by strong undercurrents of social justic, bluegrass rhythm, and powerful soul. Vanessa Torres''s songs demand listening.
14 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Modern Folk, FOLK: Political
A passionate love of language and deep appreciation of metaphor have been present since Vanessa’s first poems in elementary school. Vanessa spent her early years attending anti-war demonstrations and pro-choice protests with her single mother and her sister, Tamara. Impacted by these and other experiences, Vanessa was including stories and images of struggle and social justice in her writing by the time she was in middle school. Having played everything from classical piano, to saxophone, and clarinet, it was just a matter of time before songwriting would take the place of poetry. In high school Vanessa picked up a guitar for the first time and taught herself to play by learning the Indigo Girl’s first album. It was then she and her sister, Tamara, began playing coffee shops and open mics in the small rural town of Harrisonburg, Va. where they grew up. Mount Holyoke College saw more of Vanessa’s and Tamara’s singing, not just in female a cappella groups on campus, but in performances in the area—including being selected as the college’s single musician to perform the side stage at the Women and Folk Festival in 2002, where Patty Griffin, Toshi Reagan, Jill Sobule and Kris Delmhorst were playing the main stage.
Although college was the stage for her first completed songs, it was also the time that Vanessa was busy learning to be an organic farmer, traveling and volunteering abroad, and working with diverse youth programs. In her own words : “These experiences have deepened my commitment to being a part of creating change in this world—through music, through language—through shared experience and compassion.” Vanessa’s lyrics are poetically soulful, emotionally raw, and full of color. Her songs are intimate, yet reflect a collective voice that demands listening. In one song “I Don’t Exist” she expresses her frustration at the lack of visibility and voice so many people experience in this country due to a narrow understanding of race, sexuality, and class. In the songs “Beauty” she laments the struggle of one woman to overcome the frustrations and entrapments of two-dimensional beauty in mainstream culture.
Shortly after moving to the Portland, Maine area in 2003, Vanessa began recording her first album in an ambitious D.I.Y. model. Two years later, Vanessa’s self-titled 14-song original c.d. was released. The result is a beautifully wrought, thoughtfully rendered portrait that captures both sorrow and hope, tenderness and grit backed by a diverse arrangement of instrumentation. Straddling the genres of folk, bluegrass and a little bit of edgy roots rock, Vanessa Torres’s songs draw you in by being both catchy and moving. Present in the mix is her own powerful melodies and rhythmic guitar rifts, the rich vocal harmonies of her sister Tamara Torres, and the ever-evolving melodic interludes of banjo and accordion. Vanessa lists Ani Difranco, The Indigo Girls, Kris Delmhorst and Patty Griffin as some of her biggest influences.
Vanessa has opened for Kaki King and Erin McKeown, and shared the stage with Natalia Zukerman, Ellis, Anais Mitchell, Raining Jane, and many other talented musicians. In addition, she and her band Touching Ground have played national and regional folk alliances, and acclaimed venues such as The Bitter End (NYC), Club Passim and Toad (Cambridge), and countless colleges and cafes around the country. With her first album under her belt and an increasing loyal following, Vanessa is paving her way with passionate honesty and an undeniable musical gift. Vanessa is currently working on her second album with producer David Goodrich, which will be released on May 23rd 2008.
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