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Tracy Bonham


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Alternative rock

Status:

Most recent release, Wax & Gold (2015)

See also:

Tracy Bonham's site

Comparisons:

Annette Ducharme, other rockers

Covers/own material:

Mostly own

General comments:

Tracy Bonham is from Boston. I think she's great—I saw her at a club in D.C. late '95, had no idea who she was, and was very impressed by her performance. Her originals are very strong, plus she did some surprising cover versions—Pavement's "AT&T" and PJ Harvey's "50 Ft. Queenie"—accompanying herself on violin!! (3/96, trow@interbridge.com)

Hey, just heard Tracy a couple of days ago. Not too bad. A tad bit on the "raw" side, but it was a catchy tune. (Matt.Bittner)

Comments about live performance:

Not too impressed, probably the lowlight of the evening. Even her hit "Mother Mother" (a song I loved) was butchered onstage. Tracy didn't seem to be able to keep up with the band; they seemed off-kilter. Oh well. (c. 1996, miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

Tracy Bonham didn't miss much. she earned bonus points for ending her set with a cover of PJ Harvey's "50 foot queenie", including playing the parts with her violin. excellent choice of covers; everyone else around me looked thoroughly confused when she sung it. the original version was better, but Tracy got bonus points for just trying. (c. 1996, iflin@speakeasy.net)

Recommended first album:

Any

Recordings:


The Burdens of Being Upright

Release info:

1996—Polygram

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended for rock fans

Group members:

Tracy Bonham—guitar, violin, vocals

Guest artists:

Ed Ackerson—guitar
Fred Eltringham—drums
Josh Freese—drums
Drew Parsons—bass guitar
Eric Paul—drums
Sean Slade—organ

Produced by:

Paul Q. Kolderie and Sean Slade

Comments:

This one hasn't grown on me like I thought it might. Only two listens, I'll continue to play maybe listen a little closer. (cockrelt@wpl.lib.oh.us)

Down Here

Release info:

2000—Uni/Island

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended for rock fans

Group members:

Tracy Bonham—bass, guitar, Hammond organ, violin, vocals

Guest artists:

Gregg Arreguin—guitar
Steve Berlin—baritone sax
Mitchell Froom—drum Loop, Mini Moog, optigan, organ, piano
Don Gilmore—bass
Dan Rothchild—bass
Andrew Sherman—clavinet, wurlitzer
Steve Slingeneyer—drums, marimbas, percussion
Sebastian Steinberg—bass, upright bass

Produced by:

Tchad Blake, Tracy Bonham, Mark Endert, Mitchell Froom

Comments:

it has production touches that are mildly annoying (whatever you call the drum sound that so many mainstream records have these days). i want to say that it sounds vaguely industrial, but in a defanged sort of way. it has a couple real stand out songs, though, instant mix tape consideration fodder: "jumping bean" was quite nice. (dmw@mwmw.com)

I loved her first album and didn't know what to expect from the new one because I had been hearing about its release for months and the date kept changing. It finally came out and it's really quite wonderful. Her voice is strong on most of the tracks like it was on The Burdens of Being Upright, but on my favorite song "Second Wind", she really shows how quietly beautiful it can be as well. Other standout tracks are "Freed", "Fake It", and "Give Us Something to Feel". (Melanie.Mattoon@transamerica.com)


Masts of Manhatta

Release info:

2010—Engine Room Recordings—ERR-021

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Produced by:

Tracy Bonham

Comments:

I liked a couple of songs off Tracy Bonham's debut album but did not follow her career after that. Still I got intrigued by her latest album (in part because of the title, which references Native American spelling of Manhattan) and am so glad I decided to give it a listen. It's a very interesting album, stylistically eclectic folk/pop/rock with bits of blues and even gypsy music ("Josephine"). (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Compilation work includes:

  • a live version of "The One" on Lilith Fair: A Celebration of Women in Music, Vol. 1 (1998)
  • a live version of "Meat Hook" on Lilith Fair: A Celebration of Women in Music, Vol. 2 (1999)
  • "Naked" and "Whether You Fall" on The L Word: The Third Season soundtrack (2006)
  • "The Indelible Man" and "The Size of My Fist" on Songs for a Broken Heart (2008)
Collaborations include:

  • My Cruel Joke EP with Soulwax (1998)
  • "Up to the Roof" with Blue Man Group on their album The Complex (2003)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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