Inspiring, tender and passionate, Torres’ songs and performance are soulful personal portraits rooted in universal themes of compassion and hope. It is her unique blend of authenticity and grace that makes Torres' music both refreshing and inspiring. Torres' songs draw you in by being both catchy and lyrically moving.
Such qualities as a songwriter have awarded her numerous honors such as being selected for the prestigious Emerging Artist Showcase for the 2010 FalconRidge Folk Festival, receiving 3rd place in the 2010 Music to Life Songwriting Competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival (out of over 300 applicants) and receiving Honorable Mention in the Telluride Troubador Songwriting Competition.
In addition to these honors, Vanessa has toured nationally, sharing stages with numerous acclaimed artists from Kaki King to Erin Mckeown to Anais Mitchel. In 2008, Torres was asked to join Holly Near, Laura Love, John McCutcheon and Emmas Revolution in the ‘Sing out the Vote’ tour rallying voters for Barack Obama across the battleground state of Ohio.
Good Times Music Magazine describes Vanessa's songs as having"...a lighthearted yet serious contempt for social mores combined with a well of charisma and a smile that can still grab the attention of a society that worships the superficialities championed by prime-time t.v.."
Straddling the lyrical and the political folk music realms, Torres’ songs are full of raw emotion and a strong call to justice
Chris Darling, host of WMPG radio says of Torres, "No stranger to community activism, her music is a testament to her belief that music, community and making a difference are all tied together."
Torres’ latest album "Witness" was released in May 2008. Featuring 13 original songs, Witness was produced by the critically acclaimedBoston producer David “Goody” Goodrich, best known for his work with roots legend Chris Smither and alternative contemporary folk artists Peter Mulvey and Jeffrey Foucault. Witness was recorded by Mark Thayer at the Signature Sounds Studio, one of contemporary folk’s premier record labels.
Vanessa Torres: vocals, guitar
Vanessa Torres, Witness, 2008
Vanessa Torres, self titled, 2005
Ain't No Grave
Bluest of Valleys
Love Some More
My Little Man
Drive Me Home
2010 Emerging Artist Showcase Finalist
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Vanessa has been selected for the prestigious Emerging Artist Showcase competition at the 2010 Falco...Vanessa has been selected for the prestigious Emerging Artist Showcase competition at the 2010 Falconridge Folk Festival!
Winner in the 2010 Kerrville Music to Life Contest
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Vanessa received 3rd place out of over 300 entries in the Music to Life Songwriters for Social Chang...Vanessa received 3rd place out of over 300 entries in the Music to Life Songwriters for Social Change Competition at the 2010 Kerrville Folk Festival. Her song was selected by a panel of judges including Buffy St. Marie, Noel Stooky, Kathy Mathea and Tom Paxton.
Maine Folk Music "Witness" CD Review
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Vanessa Torres - Walking a Path of Passion and Music Vanessa Torres is on a path that has appeare...Vanessa Torres - Walking a Path of Passion and Music
Vanessa Torres is on a path that has appeared gradually beneath her feet, materializing out of her passion for healing the world and her growing confidence and self-awareness as a songwriter and a performer. She sees that path a lot more clearly of late; she is about to release her new CD, “Witness”. This disc presents a stronger solo identity than Vanessa has displayed in her two prior releases, and is a much more professional product.
Talking with Vanessa is at once, energizing and exhausting. Words come pouring out of her in a stream of consciousness, but the stream is cogent, intelligent, and thoughtful. The combination of her rapid expression of ideas, and the depth of those ideas, suggest the solidity of her philosophy and the steadfastness of her moral compass. During our conversation one recent afternoon at The North Star Music Café, I had trouble keeping up with her – thank goodness for my little Zoom recorder!
Vanessa’s music includes fun and upbeat Americana and old time folk music, but she is best known for her songs of social commentary. This focus grows from a childhood influenced by an activist mom who let her see the world as it is from a young age, and taught her to care about making a difference.
“I was writing about Bosnian refugee children when I was in fourth grade” Vanessa recalls. “My mom wasn’t one of those parents who spared my sister and I any information that she thought would be traumatic; she really just let us hear what the world was about. That was both terrifying and educational for me, to be privy to that information. My impetus to write has always come out of a desire to make sense of the world, and to try to understand who we are in that context and why things are the way that they are.”
While her social consciousness was developing as one part of her identity, her musical training began early, and helped to create another important part of who she is today. She studied piano for ten years, beginning at the age of five, and played saxophone and clarinet in middle school. She first picked up a guitar at age fifteen, and taught herself all the songs in the Indigo Girls songbook. Vanessa and her sister, Tamara, began to perform in coffee house open mics around their hometown of Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Vanessa began seriously writing songs late in her college years, but did not see herself pursuing a career in music. She was more interested in traveling and farming, and supporting sustainable communities, and other types of radical lifestyles. She worked on organic farms in New Zealand, and spent time in Spain supporting various political organizations there.
She felt that she was doing important work, but she didn’t feel as though she was using her unique talents, or that she was connecting those talents to something larger than herself. Conversely, she found that if she wrote and performed a song, and it touched someone deeply, that felt much more powerful to her. At first she didn’t feel confident that she was capable in her music. But as she made more room for it in her life, and as she witnessed other artists doing that work, she said to herself, “why aren’t I doing that? I can do that!” Vanessa began to realize and imagine how amazing her life would be if she could pursue music as a way to help create positive change in the world.
She followed her closest friend and sister, Tamara, to Portland during the winter of 2003, eight months after graduating from college. The two young women began to frequent the open mics around town, including Grannies Burritos and the Ale House, often finding that they were the only female performers. Nate Spencer joined the sisters a little later, and the band “Touching Ground” was born. The band went through several incarnations over the next few years. Lauren Snead played percussion for a while, and Ra Criscitiello (on banjo and accordion) replaced Spencer when he went south to North Carolina.
At left, from left, Tamara Torres, Ra Criscitiello, Vanessa Torres
The band’s 2005 release “Vanessa Torres” was a well-received collection of Vanessa’s original tunes. I had some personal favorites from that disc: “Breathe” is the desperate throwing off of a smothering, foundering relationship. “Beauty” is about a plea from a beautiful young girl for the world to know her for more than her body. “I Don’t Exist” documents the feelings of exclusion in the life of a person outside the mainstream popular culture.
Her transition from Touching Ground’s front woman to the more solo artist she presents to the world today was a slow one. She attributes the change to an awakening to the potential for integrating the two most important aspects of what makes her special (social consciousness and music), and a growing confidence in her ability to be successful at her work in that context.
“I started seeing myself more as a performing musician once I developed a home base. It has just been very gradual since then.” Vanessa explains. “I think that the past year has been real decisive one for me musically; I’ve tried to really invest in this 200%, and a lot is coming about for me because of that. But when I look at where I was several years ago, it’s not like I had the dream of being a songwriter my whole life. What’s most important to me is that I feel like I’m able to use whatever gifts or talents I have to create positive change in the world, and that’s really at the center of what I want to do. It really needs to feel meaningful for me, it needs to feel like I’m connecting with people.”
Vanessa’s new CD, “Witness”, was recorded by Mark Thayer, and was produced by David Goodrich (Chris Smither, Jeffrey Foucault, Peter Mulvey, Moses Atwood). She found herself immersed completely in her first studio experience. Vanessa and Tamara spent several days at Mark’s Signature Sound studio in Connecticut. Tamara did all the cooking, and they worked on the album at odd times of the day and night. Vanessa laughs about how she wasn’t able to record anything she liked before 5 PM!
She has high praise for Mark and David. Vanessa did not want to have to explain folk music to her producer and sound engineer; she wanted to focus on getting the music right. Both Mark and David are known for working with singer/songwriters, and they immediately understood Vanessa’s music, and had a lot of appreciation for it. She came to trust David to suggest sounds and instrumentation that she would not have otherwise considered. Vanessa feels that both Mark and David had the independence to allow her to sound exactly as she should, rather than to try and create a sound that conformed to current musical expectations.
“I think the idea nowadays, so often with music and with records, is making something that sound like everything else on the radio: this voice, this compression, this band, instead of making songs that sound like different people with different messages and different feelings and that has that subtlety and texture that you can get into.”
David Goodrich has produced an album for Vanessa that has wonderful dynamics and subtle but intelligent instrumentation that enhances Vanessa’s performance without burying it. Understated piano highlights, a variety of finely played guitar embellishments, and distinctive and unique treats (such as Shakuhachi flute) imbue the record with flavor like a well-seasoned meal. The importance of Vanessa’s and Tamara’s harmonies is acknowledged, and the passion in Vanessa’s songwriting and lead vocals comes through brilliantly. Goodrich has captured Vanessa in her true colors.
The opening track is “Bluest of Valleys”. Tamara’s true, high vocals and Goodrich’s light touch on the keyboard give this track a poignant, sweetly painful feel, and Goodrich’s introspective lead work on the resonator guitar evoke memories and recollections of home lost to the passage of time. The melody stirs the emotions with well-placed lifts and harmonies. The song is about traditions and legacies, some retained, some lost forever.
“Looking back on my home
Those doorways of freedom were
Doorways of stone
Where the old kings of Memphis have
All lost their crowns
It’s the bluest of valleys but
Such a long way down”
“Love Some More” offers a response to intolerance and fear that is generous, forgiving, but also dismissive of the hate that underlies those negative energies. The song is triumphant in its tone and celebrates love as a pure, unassailable force. Ra Criscitiello’s banjo plunks out a nice counterpoint to Vanessa’s rollicking guitar strum, and Tamara’s harmonies are just plain joyful.
“I’m not trying to prove you wrong
‘Cause I won’t
This isn’t political – It’s personal!
And you can call this your crusade
Go ahead and wage your little war
Tell you what I’m gonna do
I’m going to love…
Gonna love some more!”
The final track on the album is a killer. “Live Again” integrates all of Vanessa’s hopes for the world, and for herself, into a series of promises for doing better the next time around. Lush, finger-picked guitar under her soft, solo vocal, and a gentle piano break from Goodrich, that lifts the heart right up into the throat, make this my favorite track, by far.
“If I could wear forgiveness all year round
Then I’d let go ‘o your mean words, your hateful sounds
And I’d see you newborn, when your smile
Could turn the whole world upside-down
If I could wear forgiveness all year round”
This album is a beautiful work of art by a young woman who has come of age and found her place in the world, and discovered the work she must do to be happy in it. It is full of passion, generosity, and above all, love. Vanessa Torres has discovered her path. She doesn’t always see it in total clarity, and she’s not fully certain where it leads, but she’s sure she belongs upon it.
“People are really hungry for kindness and meaning; I feel that there’s something there that I need to follow, and I don’t know what it’s going to look like exactly, but I’m trying to stay open, and not force anything, follow the energy, and trust that I’m on this path for a reason.”
I urge you to own Vanessa’s new CD, “Witness”, and walk the path with her.
The Phoenix "Witness" CD Review
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She Will Become Like Birds-- Vanessa Torres touches fertile ground with Witness Following 12 son...She Will Become Like Birds--
Vanessa Torres touches fertile ground with Witness
Following 12 songs of mostly furious strumming and dense, often politically charged lyrics, Vanessa Torres seems to finally let herself relax with the closing “Live Again,” on her brand-new sophomore disc, Witness. On what’s already a very personal album, the finish makes the piece of art itself seem a living, breathing thing. It has exhausted itself, tired of things that are combative and furious, and resigned itself to the most natural and straightforward of metaphors, as it nears its final spin (and maybe quietly prays someone’s left the player on repeat?).
“If I could live again, I’d be a tree,” Torres sings, quiet like a lullaby, “Hold my arms out to the wind gracefully/I’d be something strong and silent/My story kept for me/If I could live again I’d be a tree.” Or a bird. Or an iris. She wishes she could wear forgiveness all year ’round. And for these simplest of sentiments, we hear for the first time on the album a crisp, clean piano, just before we’re told, “If I had time enough for just one song/Then I’d play this until the morning came along.”
We must come to the conclusion that Torres feels herself compelled to deliver all that came before this tune, songs of anger, ache, and somber love, as though they were things to get off her chest before being called to the great carpet in the sky.
It would have been hard for her to have crafted a nicer-sounding way of doing it. Guided by producer David Goodrich, who last year helped make Moses Atwood’s debut disc something of a revelation, Torres has delivered an interesting and textured instrumentation, augmenting folk’s staples — a crisp voice and an acoustic guitar — with sounds as organic as an old-timey banjo and exotic as a shakuhachi flute, with just a touch of grumbling electric guitar from Goodrich (he plays that piano, too).
She gets great help, too, from sister Tamara, whose backing vocals sometimes recall the Indigo Girls in an atmosphere that often feels that way anyway. In a take on the old spiritual “Ain’t No Grave” that would have been at home on Rites of Passage, Tamara punctuates a heavy sentiment, “So come river take me/Won’t you bring me to my knees,” with a perfectly tortured cry. Later, in “Listening,” her round-like delivery is a perfect companion to the line, “There’s an echo in the darkness and I’m listening.”
That tune also contains the line, “Let’s take a long drink to magic happening,” and you’ve got to make sure you’re down with that kind of sentiment before investing your time in Vanessa Torres. There really isn’t a throwaway tune here. Everything is big and important and often pretty involved. The opening “Bluest of Valleys” is a place where “the old kings of Memphis have all lost their crowns.” Then the title track is “Witness” to “a suicide jumper about to take flight/Bombs are splitting open/Lebanon, Palestine.”
“Love Some More”? Yeah, “this isn’t political, it’s personal/You can call this your crusade/Now go ahead, wage your little war.” Why would someone want to do that? Well, “Boy Scouts don’t trust me with their kids.”
So, these definitely aren’t pop songs, but I wonder if Torres couldn’t look to a band like those Indigo Girls and the way they embraced a really great hook as she develops her sound. The choir should really dig this album, for both message and melody, but a bit of fun here and there could draw in outsiders.
Or go the other way, and get hyper-literary. Though there are a lot of good lyrics here, only a few get beyond the predictable and show some real wit, especially since Torres often eschews the perfect rhyme in her couplets. “My Little Man” has a couple of great turns, though. “Barely 15 years old, he’s got a cynical mind/He’s used up eight lives because he was told he might get nine” — that’s a great couplet. Later, we’re told “he’s a cracked mirror showing off what’s broken in our lives.” What a visceral image.
Her take on the old “When the Levee Breaks” is a gut-check, too. The Memphis Minnie tune couldn’t be more perfect for a take on Katrina, and Torres uses the experience of her time down there to fuel what’s already a great song with anger and disappointment: “There’s no safety in poverty/We don’t run this government/We don’t trust in the police/When there’s a flood that comes to take you away/You just dig your heels in, cuz there’s no help on its way.”
Torres has dug her heels in here and made something that is neither safe nor trusting.
Aimsel Ponti, Freelance Writer for Curve Magazine
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Apr 29, 2008 "Vanessa Torres has reached a higher ground with the album "Witness." Torres has an ...Apr 29, 2008
"Vanessa Torres has reached a higher ground with the album "Witness." Torres has an absolutely gorgeous voice along with songwriting finesse and a superb group of musicians backing her up."
July 5th 2008 GoGirlsMusic.Com
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Says Madalyn Sklar, founder of GoGirlsMusic.com: "How do you describe music that is breathtaking ot...Says Madalyn Sklar, founder of GoGirlsMusic.com:
"How do you describe music that is breathtaking other than saying it's
'breathtaking'? I'm lost for words. This is by far the best music Vanessa
Torres has put out. She captures what she puts out on stage into this album.
And yes, it's breathtaking. It's also mesmerizing and had me at the first
note." - Madalyn Sklar, GoGirlsMusic.com
The Maine Switch interviews Vanessa Torres
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In the studio ... with Vanessa Torres Touching Ground singer at work on new CD By William Earl ...In the studio ... with Vanessa Torres
Touching Ground singer at work on new CD
By William Earl
Since she was old enough to pick up a pencil, Vanessa Torres has been exploring life through song. A passionate singer, guitarist and songwriter, Torres draws inspiration from a politically-active upbringing and keen awareness of the world around her. In 2005, Torres released her eponymous debut album, which received praise for its introspective lyrics and inspired melodies.
Since then, Torres and her band, Touching Ground, have been a presence in the Portland activist community, and have drawn wider audiences at packed monthly shows at North Star Music Café. Torres also has made appearances at folk conferences and festivals, while sharing the stage with artists ranging from Anaïs Mitchell to Drew Nelson.
Torres is currently working on her second full-length, which is slated for release in May. For this album, she is collaborating with roots producer David Goodrich, who has guided many artists including popular Portland-based folkie Moses Atwood. Torres will be celebrating her new album with a CD release party to be held at One Longfellow Square in Portland on May 23, followed by an East Coast tour (www.vanessatorresmusic.com).
She recently talked with me about her inspirations, the songwriting process and the power of performing live.
What inspires the songs you write?
For me, the heart of writing music has always been a search for that place where personal experience intersects with our greater universal experience. If a song can speak through words or simply the texture of the notes — to what it means to be here, living in this time, in this place — then it truly has the power to bring us together. Through music, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing this transformation of a room, when people come together and, even for a moment, can transcend their differences, their stories, and just hold a space for connection. It is this palpable, powerful experience that drives my inspiration and my desire to share it.
Ultimately, I write about things that I have experienced in some way myself — even if it’s not through my own first person lens. I try and find a universal quality to all of the songs I write, whether they are about veterans of this war we’re currently in, or a love song or the victims of Hurricane Katrina that I learned about while I was volunteering in New Orleans. My songs are about how we are intimately connected here, how sometimes our greatest gift is just to witness one another. That for me is what songwriting is.
What artists have influenced your music?
My mother raised me listening to a lot of great folk musicians such as Cris Williamson, Holly Near, John Denver and John McCutcheon. As I began to discover music on my own, I started to listen to artists like the Indigo Girls, Tracy Chapman and Ani DiFranco — artists who not only make great music but, like many folk musicians of the ‘60s and ‘70s, also have a commitment to continuing to ask hard questions.
How is the Vanessa Torres experience different live than on records?
A lot of my songs are lyrically-based, and the recorded experience can give the listener a chance to really focus on the written message. Additionally, a recorded album gives an artist the opportunity to bring in unique instrumentation like upright bass, cello or flute that might not be a part of a live performance. In contrast, an important part of my live experience is the connection that can be co-created between a performer and the community listening — that shared energy. The live performance is also a fun place for me and my band to play some of the more upbeat songs, be they covers or originals.
In what directions would you like your music to take you in the future?
Not only do I have a dream of making music full time, but I would love to continue playing venues and performances that are geared towards community involvement. For me it’s not just about playing a great show, but about being involved and engaged in a larger human experience and digging deep to find that hope and love in one another.
Maine native Bill Earl is a student at Ithaca College and is currently serving a writing internship with USA Today in Washington, DC. Check out his blog at http://theithacan.org/blogs/sharpnotes.
Copyright © 2007, Maine Community Publications
North Star Cafe Review 2008
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Apr 29, 2008 North Star Music Cafe owner Anna Maria Tocci: "Vanessa Torres is one of my absolute...Apr 29, 2008
North Star Music Cafe owner Anna Maria Tocci:
"Vanessa Torres is one of my absolute favorite performers. Her songs are beautifully crafted, lyrically and melodically. She sings with passion and subtlety, creating community through her stories and generous presence. As a venue owner, I can always count on Vanessa to draw a wonderful crowd and to deliver a memorable, entertaining and emotionally connected show."
Telluride Troubador Honorable Mention 2006
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Honorable Mention in the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Vanessa Torres and Touching Ground rec...Honorable Mention in the 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival
Vanessa Torres and Touching Ground received Honorable Mention in the 2006 Telluride Troubador Contest. Vanessa was placed in the top 5% of the 600 applicants.
South by Southwest
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In Tune Arts and Entertainment March 4 2007 Vanessa Torres and her band, Touching Ground, are an...In Tune Arts and Entertainment
March 4 2007
Vanessa Torres and her band, Touching Ground, are an example of the many Maine performers and songwriters who are helping to build a reputation for Portland, and for Maine, as an incubator for great independent music that is headed for national recognition. You have an opportunity to help Vanessa and her band capitalize on their hard work and their savvy, by helping them get to Austin, TX later this month.
This wonderful Portland band just returned from the National Folk Alliance conference, in Memphis, TN, and they made the most of that trip by impressing some key players in the national independent music scene. The result was an invitation to perform on one of the showcase stages at the incredible gathering of independent music industry mavens that takes place each year in Austin, TX, called the South by Southwest Music Conference (SXSW).
Vanessa describes her Folk Alliance Experience as “an incredibly inspiring journey”. She got the opportunity for the band to play at a showcase at the conference through her use of the band’s “Electronic Press Kit” on Sonicbids, an on-line community and utility that helps independent musicians and bands promote themselves and find gigs.
Through Sonicbids, Touching Ground was selected for two slots in a Folk Alliance private showcase sponsored by Go Girls, another on-line community that helps independent female acts develop their music, promote themselves, and learn about the music industry.
Vanessa enthusiastically describes the scene at the Folk Alliance conference: “The (Memphis Marriott) Convention Center was filled with thousands of talented folk musicians playing their hearts out for five days! At any given moment, there were multiple shows in all of the big conference rooms, for the larger names in folk music, and then upstairs, there were three floors of hotel rooms filled with private showcases. Everybody promotes themselves shamelessly, and the idea is to get heard by as many people as possible!”
Their final showcase, at 1:00 AM on the last night of the conference, was a huge success; they packed the room for a five song un-plugged set of their killer harmonies and courageous, politically-charged lyrics, and the reception by the audience was exhilarating to the band. The founder of Go Girls, Madalyn Sklar (who is also an independent music industry coach), was in the room during their set, and asked Vanessa to bring the band to SXSW and play at the Go Girls showcase at Austin Java. This Go Girls gig opened the door to two other showcase performance opportunities in Austin during the conference: another set at Austin Java, and one at Ruta Maya’s.
The SXSW MUSIC AND MEDIA CONFERENCE showcases hundreds of musical acts from around the globe on over fifty stages in downtown Austin. By day, conference registrants do business in the SXSW Trade Show in the Austin Convention Center and partake of a full agenda of informative, provocative panel discussions featuring hundreds of speakers of international stature. SXSW Music 2007 will take place March 14 - 18, 2007. Other Mainers attending the conference include Emilia Dahlin, who is performing, and Bob Ludwig of Gateway Mastering Studios, who will be sitting on a panel discussion.
Vanessa Torres and Touching Ground is Vanessa Torres, her sister Tamara Torres (who provides beautiful backing vocals), Lauren Snead (percussion on djembre and ashiko), and Rae Criscithello (banjo and vocals). These talented women are extremely excited about the opportunity that the showcases at SXSW represent for their career, and are working hard to put the trip together. You can help – here’s how:
The band has put together a seven-song demo CD of new material; they’d love you to purchase the disc for $10 (and they won’t mind if you tack on a small extra donation!) to help them raise the money they need to get everyone down to Austin later this month. You can email Vanessa to make arrangements to buy the CD at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I have listened to this CD, and it is every bit as impressive as the band’s first self-titled CD, and then some. Lauren’s relentless rhythms drives the music in a way that keeps it very tight, and the tone of her exotic drum resonates deep inside some primal part of who you are. Rae’s banjo playing, especially on the second cut, “Hero’s Parade”, has such clear tone, and her phrasing is so well executed, that is sometimes sounds more like a steel drum. But the lyrics and harmonies laid down by the two sisters, Vanessa and Tamara, are what make these recordings so special. Vanessa’s heart is strong enough to write and sing about the political and social issues of our time, when many folk musicians these days will not take on that responsibility. Tamara’s backing vocals highlight these messages in a way that sound like our own thoughts coming back and reverberating inside out heads, as we try and sort out what these ideas mean to us personally as human beings.
“Caterpillars make good butterflies
But me I’ve got no cocoon, I’ve got no good place to hide
And So I’m gonna let this rain take me in”
- from the first cut, “Saturate”
They also have scheduled a special house concert for this Thursday, March 8, at 7:30 PM at 44 North Street, Apt. 2, in Portland (in the East End). Admission is just $3.00, and snacks and drinks will be provided (you can also buy the demo CD at the concert!) As if you needed any further reason to go, the great local bluesman Samuel James will be playing an opening set!
Vanessa and her band are working hard to bring their music into the national spotlight – this helps all Maine musicians and anyone who enjoys or supports Maine folk music. Buying the demo CD, going to the concert, or making a donation of money, airline frequent flyer miles, or other support, would go a long way toward helping this very deserving band capitalize on the good work that they are doing to bring their plans to fruition. It’s great music – I recommend that you listen to it, and do what you can to keep it flowing!
All the best to you
Live Performance Review
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“Torres gives one the impression of Lori Petty in the movie Tank Girl, containing a lighthearted yet...“Torres gives one the impression of Lori Petty in the movie Tank Girl, containing a lighthearted yet serious contempt for social mores combined with a well of charisma and a smile that can still grab the attention of a society that worships the superficialities championed by prime time television. It is these attributes that help Vanessa create an enjoyable stage presence.”
“Vanessa Torres’ self-produced CD shows the work she puts into her music. All songs, lyrics, lead vocals, and guitar are performed by the artist. The album also includes a collection of local musicians.”
Blue Venue Review
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“Having had the opportunity to see numerous artists perform at Blue, it is not everyday that I take ...“Having had the opportunity to see numerous artists perform at Blue, it is not everyday that I take in the kind of stirring musical and emotional experience one feels when Vanessa Torres & Touching Ground take the stage.
With a strong socially conscious message, folk and Appalachian influences, they combine passionate vocal harmonies with highly communicative instrumentation, comprised of guitar, banjo and percussion.
“I Don’t Exist” (a favorite of mine) is a song about marginalized people striving to achieve an ideal set by the privileged and is one example of how this music plugs into an audience at a visceral level. Something in us is beckoned and brought to life on the evenings Vanessa Torres & Touching Ground appear at Blue.”
Barry P. Martin,
Proprietor of Blue
A range of original songs. Sets aim to inspire, engage, and motivate audiences through diverse musical arrangements, and poignant songs.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.