I had a great time playing my way down to Naples the past few weeks. It was good to be back at the Cave in Chapel Hill, and to catch up with some old friends at Natura in Orlando. I've also played a few outdoor shows in the Naples/ Ft. Myers area, which have been amazing considering it is December and I am from New England. Looking forward to playing Tom and Jerry's in Orlando on the 5th of Jan. and playing with my buddy James Hogan on the 6th in St. Augustine. I'll be back in CT to record the debut episode of Live at Dirt Floor Studios on Jan 21st. Hope to see you somewhere soon.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Click below to find my new c.d. Brand New Again on Itunes!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Tracy Walton has never been afraid to re-invent himself. In this spirit, Tracy released the aptly titled “Brand New Again” in 2011. At once rough and vulnerable, Tracy’s voice cuts to the heart of any story, taking you down back roads, through broken lonely hearts, and into hopeful, open skies.
Tracy picked up his first guitar at the age of 10. He quickly realized that his ear bent towards the low end, and he switched to bass. His teen years brought a string of punk and hard rock bands, local glory, and a gig teaching at an area music store. But alas, the journey to rock and roll stardom has many bumps, and when the only apartment he and his band could afford was condemned, he knew he was in serious need of a plan B.
The eviction, his growing dislike of ramen noodles, and the call of the bass, proved to be serendipitous when he caught an upright bassist in a Hartford jazz club. He bought an old plywood and started playing Zeppelin grooves on it to find his bearings. He soon tracked Dave Santoro down for lessons and after a summer of instruction, Tracy accepted a scholarship to study jazz at the Hartford Conservatory. Yes, Tracy decided that a degree in jazz performance would always lead to gainful employment.
Tracy soon formed a straight ahead jazz trio that logged 200 shows a year in the mid-nineties. After a few years, what started as a joke of quoting classic rock lines during solos, turned into the formation of the female fronted rock act Missing Slim. It was at this time that he also joined the faculty of The National Guitar Workshop and Kent School.
Tracy’s connection with the National Guitar Workshop allowed him to author three books through Alfred Publishing. It also gave him the opportunity to play with world class players; including David Bromberg, Vernon Reed, and Aaron Scott.
Out of a faculty band that found their common ground in artists like The Band, Neil Young, and Johnny Cash, the band Black Lab Project was formed. Tracy was the main songwriter, vocalist and bass player in the group. Pressures of touring, while trying to fulfill the requirements of adjunct teaching positions led Tracy to take a full time teaching position at a prep school in Northwest CT in 2007.
So having finally found that steady gig to fall back on, Tracy decided in 2010 that it was time to start “Brand New Again” and focus all of his energy on his solo career. Listening to Tracy sing, one can’t help but hear the years of struggle that all musicians go through. Yet, there is a hope to his deep voice that demands attention. And while it may be easy to hear the Americana flavor, if you listen close you’ll hear Ziggy Stardust trying to show himself, and maybe Chet Baker’s smooth voice singing a harmony or two.
Labels: about me
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Instruments: Bass, guitar
Education: A.S. Northwest Connecticut Community College, Hartford Conservatory of MusicWhen did you start playing bass? When I was 10When did you start to notice that your playing was different from everyone else's? When I started to play in clubs I noticed I had a different approach than most people. I really settled into myself in my mid twenties.When did you find your voice as a player? When I started to play in clubs I noticed I had a different approach than most people. I really settled into myself in my mid twenties.How do you keep your playing fresh? I try to keep checking out new stuff and revisiting older stuff. As I get better I always find something I missed when I first checked stuff out. I just revisited the 80's hardcore scene and had forgotten how good bands like Black Flag and Minor Threat were.What do you do when you get stuck? Call a friend.What do you still find hard to do? Sleep on the roadHow often are you surprised by your playing, or what you're listening to, or music in general? I would say I cheer out loud at least once a week when I hear something that is really great. I screamed last night when I heard how far they dropped the tempo back on the verse of Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie and how hard it grooved because of this. Thank God they didn't use a click track!Are there one or two core ideas that are central to your teaching that you make sure every student learns? Playing time and rhythmic vocabulary.How do you approach practicing? I start with technique to get my hands warmed up. I try to analyze my playing all the time and see what needs work. Then I make a plan and have at it.Is there a piece of equipment you can't live without? My P-bassDo you find yourself returning to listen to the artists who inspired you when you first started to play? Thankfully I was turned onto great music early on that has stood the test of time so I am always revisiting stuff.Does your playing change when you switch instruments? I think my voice is always there. It's just some instruments I am talking over a neuman and some I am underwater.What music would you suggest for your students?Whatever they like. Preferably something with bass in it, yet I suppose that's not required. I will say though, that once you find something you like, go back and check out where it came from. It's hard to understand McCartney without checking out Jamerson, or Audio Slave without checking out Black Sabbath.What are you listening to these days? Do you search out music that's new and unfamiliar to you? My students actually turn me on to a lot of music. I recently checked out the Decemberists and Arcade Fire, both of which I liked. In turn I get a chance to turn my students on to stuff and re-listen to stuff myself. Today I taught Freddie King's Hide Away Zeppelin's Out on the Tile's, Sing a Simple Song from Sly and California Uber Alles from The Dead Kennedys. Not a bad day. I recently got an ipod so I am headphoning everything lately. It's nice to have my collection at my fingertips. I just revisited some Zeppelin and Leonard Cohen among others.How often, when you're playing, do you find those moments of pure music, when your head is clear, your fingers are working, there are no distractions, and it's just you and the music? I am lucky in a sense that I am usually lost in the moment so I can easily lose myself in music. This can be a hassle in other aspects of daily life, such as driving. It also depends on the players I am with. There needs to be some common ground where you can start to just relax and talk.Do you have a musical wish list - other instruments to learn, people to play with, artists or styles to explore?That's a tough one. Usually if I wish I had something I start the process of getting it. In turn it's no longer a wish. I've always been pretty happy about being a bass player. I play guitar and drums, but I really only started playing them to help with my teaching.Have you ever had a really great teacher? What made him/her so good?I studied with Dave Santoro. He's Italian, and he would make us sandwiches and pasta during our lesson. Something about good sauce and a nice sandwich with roasted peppers makes for good lessons. It didn't hurt that he is a monster of a bass player and teacher as well.How do you learn best? I learn best if I take in a bunch of information and then run off and hide and process it.