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Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer

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Portland, United States (1998 – 2001)

Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer were an American folk duo formed in Portland, Oregon, who released three albums from 1998 to 2001, as well as additional material released after Dave Carter’s death in 2002. The duo consisted of Dave Carter (songwriter, vocals, banjo, guitar, organ) and Tracy Grammer, (producer, vocals, violin, mandolin, guitar).

Tracy Grammer saw Dave Carter perform three songs at a songwriter’s showcase shortly after she moved to Portland, Oregon in 1996. “Here were stories that could stand alone as poetry, sung with compassion, intelligence, and a hint of Texas twang,” Grammer says. “I knew instantly that I was in the presence of greatness; I knew I had received my calling in life.” They met on their way out the door and by late 1997 had entered into a mutual “marriage in music.”

Their unique strengths and diverse backgrounds came together in powerful synergy. Carter conjured mystical, romantic, true fictions while Grammer complemented his expert guitar, banjo, and voice with beautifully intoned violin, mandolin and emotionally potent vocals. Building on Carter’s impressive songwriting wins at Kerrville, Wildflower and Napa Valley, the duo recorded their first album, When I Go, in Grammer’s kitchen. The simple, no-frills recording garnered the unknown duo a full-page feature article in the Los Angeles Times, naming Carter “a major lyrical talent” and declaring their self-released album a “discovery of the year.”

The duo signed to Massachusetts-based label Signature Sounds in 2000 and released two chart-topping albums of what they called “postmodern, mythic American folk music.

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  • xcduluth

    FYI, folks here will be delighted to know that Tracy Grammer released a new Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer album - Little Blue Egg - in 2012. I just listened. It's sad and wonderful to hear new music from this pair. Some of the songs are eerie. All are good. A wonderful and completely unexpected gift.

    5 Jun 2012 Reply
  • GabzCash

    I've just discovered their sound today, 2/14/2012 ;O GOD, i really wish Dave was still alive... GREAT MUSIC!

    15 Feb 2012 Reply
  • ianakelly

    Awesome style and harmony - love the intensity and the musical depth

    30 Mar 2009 Reply
  • thrynkat

    Dave's voice is one of those that some people can't stand. But it resonates with me on a level I can't even explain. I am sad I did not discover this music until after his passing, and grateful to have seen Tracy perform. His music will live on, though his voice is sadly silent.

    25 Jan 2009 Reply
  • drewvan

    Dave was a genius and will be greatly missed but Tracy will carry on and we're all blessed for it.

    6 Sep 2008 Reply
  • HonkyTonkGurl

    God bless you, Dave Carter

    5 Jul 2006 Reply

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