Tracy Grammer, with Peggy Watson

Oct 20 2017 - 7:30 PM

Tracy Grammer, with Peggy Watson

Tracy Grammer rose to acclaim as half of the “postmodern, mythic acoustic” duo, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer. From 1998-2001, the duo released three internationally celebrated, folk chart-topping albums featuring Carter’s mytho-poetic Americana songcraft and in 2002, toured with Joan Baez, both as featured artists and Baez’s band members. In July 2002, Carter died of a heart attack while the duo was on tour in Massachusetts. He was 49; Grammer was 34.

Determined to honor the duo’s journey and bring Carter’s award-winning songs, and those of other favorite writers, to broader audiences, Grammer kept to the road and now tours internationally, releasing solo recordings as well as recovered and reclaimed Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer material. Her latest release, LITTLE BLUE EGG, is a collection of archived recordings from the duo’s home studios. LBE was the #1 most-played album on Folk Radio in 2012, by the #1 most-played artists for the year. It was not an easy journey at first — Grammer admits that the twin fires of insecurity and grief made performing solo quite difficult. But it bonded her to her audiences for life.

“I knew that if I stood on stage and told the story, we could all walk through the sadness together and find our place in the sun again,” she said. “It was not easy work, but I saw that I was the only one who could do it. And so I did. It got ugly for a while there, I admit. But it’s almost 11 years now and we’re well on the other side of it, stronger for the distance we’ve come and closer for the very special experience we all shared.”

Grammer’s evolution has been impressive. Renowned for her springwater-clear alto, perfectly intoned violin, and guitar playing that is by turns percussive and delicate, Grammer has also become a masterful storyteller with an ease and charisma on stage — not to mention a riotous sense of humor — that hardly belie her modest beginnings as Carter’s ethereal but reclusive accompanist. Stories about the duo’s first meeting, Carter’s quirks and fancies, or Grammer’s own misadventures and missteps are woven thoughtfully into the set list to create a uniquely personal evening that connects audiences to performer, to the Carter/Grammer legacy, and most importantly, to one another. As one fan put it, “With her, it’s never just about the music. It’s a soul journey.”

Peggy Watson opens! Peggy has been a Folk Heritage favorite for years, most recently entertaining our crowd at the Songs for Social Justice concert. San Diego’s Beach News has described Peggy as “an on and off-stage gem; her friendly demeanor, intelligent lyrics, and wide vocal range and expressive style, have won her a strong following among local folk and jazz fans.”