Tret Fure has been on my mind of late. Two weeks ago I went to a wedding, and the couple walked into the group of assembled guests to the beautiful sound of Tret's The Wedding Song. I took note of this and had an epiphany—everything Tret writes about and sings about has to do with relationships and the feelings we have for those we love or have loved. Friendships, family relationships, and one's relationship to the world around us all figure prominently in Tret's music. And then there is love—love in all of its myriad forms. And boy does it hurt when love is lost in Tret's world and in all of ours.
This theme of relationship takes center stage in Tret's newest CD, A Piece of the Sky, on her own Tomboy Girl label. It is her fourteenth recording in a very long career as a performing artist. Tret's experience as a producer and arranger show in the quality musicians she surrounds herself with, Pamela Means and June Millington among them, and in the way she skillfully surrounds each song with just the right instrumentation.
The opening cut, A Piece of the Sky looks at our connection with the natural world—the moon, the sky, the water and the earth. Tret's alto, with its gorgeous tone, leaps in and out of the lyrics. Pamela Means accompaniment on the guitar meshes perfectly with Tret's vocal and guitar. Nice work.
The Rain addresses a failed relationship; something that has gone awry. The singer is left alone in the rain in good weather, and in the snow when it grows cold. The hope is that the singer's sorrows will be carried away by the rain, and purified by the snow in order to feel whole and move forward once again.
The passage of time, the loss of a love and the memories left behind characterize Bucket of Tears. It is a very special song in that Tret plays all of the instruments: banjo, mandolin and ebow.
A bit of rock in the form of June Millington and her slide guitar mesmerize in the rock ballad, Medicine Wheel. It is here that the band comes together in this tune about life on the road and the wait for the return to the waiting lover at home. It is a gem of a tune.
Tret closes the recording with a return to the song that put her on the map, That Side of the Moon. First recorded almost thirty years ago, on Tret's album Terminal Hold, the song still holds up beautifully, speaking to a troubled place where friendship holds the key to survival. The lyrics say it all:
My house I leave open
For those who love Tret Fure's music, and for those first coming to the songs of this talented singer/songwriter and producer, this recording is for you. Tret opens both heart and mind and gives herself over to the music. And it is beautiful music, indeed, addressing where we have come to in life, and where we are going—gathering our loved ones around us all along the route. There is wonderful playing by all of the musicians involved. Tret Fure may be offering us A Piece of the Sky, but she offers us her open heart as well. It is hard not to reach in and find a song that speaks directly to you, the listener. Reach in and listen.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society and Roberta B. Schwartz.
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