Hear It First: Tracy Grammer, 'Low Tide'

by Elena See, Folk Alley

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If you've ever walked along an ocean's shore at low tide, you'll see things you don't normally see. Low tide is when the sea is at its lowest level. And so all sorts of the ocean's secrets - the animals, the shells, the plant life you never normally get to see - are exposed. There are no secrets at low tide.

And that's why 'Low Tide' is such an appropriate title for Tracy Grammer's new album. There are no secrets here. With this album, her 11th but her first of all (almost all) original songs, Grammer lays bare her very soul. "These are very personal songs," she says. "Songs about family, loss, hope, and relationships."

Tracy Grammer has been making music since 1997 and is best known for her collaboration with the late Dave Carter. When he died in 2002, she continued to perform, but most often sang Carter's songs, rather than her own material. "I made it my mission to get people to sing along," she says. Her mission changed a few years ago when she participated in a songwriter project and she's eager, she says, to get her own music in front of audiences (who, it should be noted, have LONG been demanding it).

Grammer sings about mistakes. About passion. About failures. And about wishes and dreams that were never - and will never be - fulfilled. As you listen to certain songs ("Hole," "Daffodil Days," a cover of Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting"), you'll be hard pressed NOT to think about Dave Carter and about their relationship, which was both professional and personal.

However, in the midst of this intense pain and self-recrimination, there's also a sense that Grammer is finally able to let go of some her sorrow. Her voice on "Free," for example, is peaceful and light. As she sings about learning to let go, about the wonder that comes when "all the worry, all the running away is done," you know: this is the voice of a songwriter who has made her peace with the past and who is ready - and more than willing - to move forward.

'Low Tide' will be released on January 19th, and is available for pre-order directly at Tracy's Bandcamp page, iTunes, and Amazon.com.

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