Tracy Grammer plays Chaplin's Music Café

TRACY GRAMMER
TRACY GRAMMER

More than a decade ago, folksinger Tracy Grammer unexpectedly found herself a solo artist following the tragic passing of partner Dave Carter from a heart attack.

As a nationally recognized vocal duo, Grammer and Carter enjoyed success throughout the U.S. and Canada. They released three albums together — ”When I Go” (1998), “Tanglewood Tree” (2000) and “Drum Hat Buddha” (2001).

Following Carter’s death in 2002, Grammer embarked on a solo career honoring his wish that she continue to share his songs with the world. Determined to preserve their musical legacy, Grammer persevered and has become a fixture in the club, coffee house and festival circuits.

Grammer has recorded a series of EP and full-length solo albums, including “The Verdant Mile” (2004). In 2005, she was granted legal control of Carter’s music, including all of the duo’s recordings.

“Flower of Avalon” (2005), featuring a guest appearance by Mary Chapin Carpenter, “Book of Sparrows” (2007), “Seven Is the Number” (2006), “American Noel”(2007), “Little Blue Egg” (2012) and the limited edition “Joy My Love” EP (2012) all established Grammer as a highly regarded folk recording artist and performer while keeping the Carter compositions in the public eye.

“I’ve created a new SoundCloud channel called “tracygrammerlive” to highlight live show recordings from over the years,” says Grammer.

“I thought, with all these live recordings that I have, I might as well put up a couple of free things for people to listen to and give them a different way to stay connected to the music. More versions of something they haven’t heard before and to give a little something to the fans, especially those who I don’t get to see very often.”

“It’s also a promotional tool for me,” says Grammer. “I’m booking myself now, and I can just refer promoters to that site if they want to hear how I sound and the kind of thing I do live. They have found that useful already, which is great and helps the business side of things. Promoters always seem to appreciate talking to and communicating directly with the artist. Folk music is kind of all about hugs and handshakes anyway.”

Grammer has most recently been enlisted to participate in a YouTube Channel-based songwriting challenge starting in January 2014, along with nearly two-dozen women songwriters.

“There’s a lot of up-and-coming songwriters,” says Grammer. “I think I’m the lonely one that comes along as an interpreter. I’m supposed to write a song every week for the entire year, which you will be able to upload.

“I think that, even though I have a lot of years under my belt on the road, I could easily be the least experienced songwriter. The purpose of the project is to inspire people and to give people an idea of what the creative process is like and how much work it takes to make a good song.

“This is going to force me to sit there with the song until it’s done,” says Grammer. “I think this is going to be a really good exercise for me on a lot of levels. I expect some thrills and spills in my songwriting endeavors, but I think I’ll do all right.”

“I expect to have a new album release in 2014,” says Grammer. “How much of this stuff will appear on there, I’m not sure. My father passed away this year, and he’s really the one I learned my guitar from and from whom I got my appreciation for singing. In a way, he put me on this path. He taught me a few chords and taught me some songs.

“I might make an album that pays homage to my musical roots — to the early songs, the ones that I loved to sing when I was little — songs my dad would love to hear me sing even though he is not here. I feel like I should do that.”

Given her long history of touring and her current schedule of performing a hundred or more shows a year, Grammer continues to look for creative ways to balance her home life with being on the road.

“I don’t want to be on the road for weeks and weeks at a time,” says Grammer. “I’ve got a cat and a family. I need to touch base. I need to come back more often than some of my fellow troubadours. I think much of the answer is in house concerts,” added Grammer.

“There are always fans somewhere who are willing to host you and show you off to their 30 or 40 friends, and that’s a great way to start building something in a town. I also like the personal connection with the people that are hiring me.”

IF YOU GO:

Tracy Grammer performs at Chaplin’s Music Cafe, 66 N. Main St., Spring City, Saturday, Dec. 28 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18, day of show. For more inforamtion, call 610-792-4110 or go to www.chaplinsmusiccafe.com.

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