This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 10/04
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
Consider this a transition release. Tracy Grammer has issued an
EP to carry over fans from the point of her partner Dave Carter's
passing to a new, full-length CD to be available early next year.
Grammer, ensconced in
a personal and professional state-of-evolution, has appropriately
selected songs that revolve around the unmapped, zig-zag pathways of
The title cut, "The Verdant Mile," with references to the
Carter songs "Gentle Arms of Eden," "The Mountain" and "I Go Like The
Raven," portrays Grammer's trek in coping and coming to terms with
Carter's surprise death. Infused with catchy, changing rhythms, take
this cut as a marvelous sign of things to come as Grammer moves along the path of
penning and performing more of her own compositions.
Depicting a place of stifling existence, "Dirty Little Town"
possesses one patient soul of vision yearning to escape the stunted confines and immobilizing shackles
of an existence that passes for acceptable living.
Made famous by The Byrds, the infectious, "I Wasn't Born To
Follow," penned by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, seems straight out of
the Dave Carter songbook. Given a 'bluegrassy' feel by Grammer and
new performer partner Jim Henry, here's the opening Carter-esque verse of this song of seeking:
Neil Diamond's "Solitary Man" could be exhibit A of a schmaltz-fest in the wrong hands. Not so here. Grammer produces a more plaintive version and splits the song with a pleasing instrumental break.
"Oh I'd rather go and journey
where the diamond crest is flowing
and run across the valley
beneath the sacred mountain
and wander through the forest
where the trees have leaves of prisms
and break the light in colors
that no one knows the names of ..."
"...I will fly beyond this valleyThe lively fiddle instrumentals "Jackson's Tune/Trickster Tale/St. Anne's Reel" bring to mind numerous scenes: an Irish ceili, a frontporch full of musicians in Appalachia or even a square dance.
I will open up the gate
and when I reach the place I'm goin'
I will surely know my way"
"We have hands to hold our sorrow
we have tears to heal the pain
although your eyes ask many questions
on your lips, I hear my name..."
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