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Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer

DRUM HAT BUDDHA (Signature) • Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer

This very interesting duo based in the Northwest has the biggest buzz in modern folk music at the moment. Their Signature Sounds release Tanglewoood Tree last year drew adulation from the global press. They became rather instantly famous, and continue to rise.

Carter's throwing a lot of spiritual imagery around. Shamanism, Buddhism, Castaneda, myth of various kinds: Merlin, the maiden and the stag, and prophets, hometown and otherwise. He is the son of a "music fearing engineer mathematician father and a charismatic Christian mother who was given to visions and states of ecstasy." Carter says: "My whole life has been a process of reconciling these divergent influences."

They have that something special that took Lyle Lovett, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings immediately out of the pack and put them on the train to somewhere. The lot of them dress like preacher's kids from another time, and to me all look like aliens in their first week on planet earth trying to act normal. But Tracy Grammer has a beautiful voice, and it sounds hella good on the radio. I don't hear the right tune to pierce the mainstream veil on this record, but it might well be around the corner.

The material is superior, in lyric and melody. Dave's a really fine player to boot. I like his guitar work, and he plays some melodious banjo on a few tracks. He's a good singer, and he picked a great one for a partner. Tracy Grammer's voice has that special purity and strength that lends soft authority to the mythical themes of the album. Her fiddle playing is different, very ensemble-wise and lyrical, hangs in tight with the guitar in a way that really works. Some very smart characters here who know what they have, and are really working it. I'm looking forward to seeing them in concert. We strongly endorse the purchase of this fine recording.   • FG


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