A Review for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark Horn
This is the first solo effort by Yakima, WA based singer songwriter Tracy Spring. A 1992 winner of the Columbia Music Festival singer songwriter competition, Spring shows why she is considered one to the most powerful talents in the Northwest. It's a good thing that Albert has finished school because he'll need to spend much time taking care of their children; Life and Art will establish Tracy Spring as a national artist.
Life and Art is an amazing collection of the most poignant songs I've heard in years. As the title implies, this album explores the most intense moments in people's lives. Whether singing of the pain of a still birth, caring for someone with aids, or the passing of a loved one Tracy captures the emotions of these defining moments expressing the compassion of a dear friend.
I recommend this album to anyone working though grief or loss. It is so affective and healing that it should become an indispensable part of every support group and therapist's practice.
Don't get me wrong Life and Art is not only for those who are suffering. It is a splendid showcase for Tracy's exceptional musical talent. Her vocal range and control will blow you away. Whether doing the torchy jazz strains of "Can't Get Enough" or the quirky ditty "Bathing Suit Top," Spring spins her distinctively rich vocal tapestry. Add to this fine finger picking and slide guitar work and you get one of the most well rounded musicians around.
A testament to the esteem in which Tracy is held is the list of performers who appear on this album. Orville Johnson trots out his slide guitar for some hot honkie tonkin' on "Love'll Do." Nina Gerber does some dynamite lead guitar work as does Seattle jazzman John Miller. Joel Litwin, Erin Corday's percussionist, lends his tasty rhythms on eight cuts. Cary Black, every northwesterner's favorite bassist provides the warm bottom end. The last contributor to be mentioned was Janet Peterson, of Motherlode , who played cello on "Morning Song." Background vocals are supplied by the likes of Janis Carper, Heidi Muller, Kim Scanlon, Kelly Harland, Linda Waterfall, and The Righteous Mothers.
Linda Waterfall, someone I never get tired of calling the finest producer in the Northwest, works her magic again as co-producer with Spring on Life and Art. Putting all this down on tape is the top flight engineering of David Lange. He and Cary Black also produced several of the cuts.
This project is dedicated to the memory of John Born whose passing left a huge void in the folk community of the entire region. Thank you for such a beautiful tribute to our friend.
GET THIS ALBUM!
For more information write:AziZ Productions, P.O. Box 2221, Yakima, WA 98907 or e-mail AziZSpring@aol.com.
This review is copyright, 1995 by Three Rivers Folklife Society.
It may be reprinted with prior written permission and attribution.