Tracy Rice
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Tracy Rice


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"Music Dish Interview"

Tracy Rice is a Canadian artist and songwriter. She was a winner in the 2004 Songwriting Contest for Nashville Song Search for the Crisis Intervention Center in Nashville. There were over 2,000 entries, Tracy was the only foreign winner. She is currently working on her first Nashville CD project.

Doak - Tracy, tell me about your songwriting and artist journey and how you became involved in Nashville.

Tracy - It has been a plan for several years to take my work to Nashville. I entered a songwriting competition at a friend�s urging a year and a half ago and won one of the categories, which was �Perfect for Terri Clark�. I had actually opened for Terri about a year and a half earlier in Canada. The contest gave me my first trip to Nashville and an introduction to the music scene.

Doak - I remember you and I were in a car driving back from the contest and some fans that saw you open for Terri in Canada recognized you for your autograph, and I also saw other fans at Terri�s concert in Nashville at the Wildhorse Saloon also asking you for your autograph. How did that make you feel?

Tracy - that tripped me out - I did not expect it! I was in Nashville where no one knows who I am, to accept an award for the songwriting contest and to be picked out of a crowd of people around Terri and asked for my autograph - yeah, it was a mind-blowing experience.

Doak - That impressed me, especially since you did not play at the event in Nashville, the fact they remembered you from over a year earlier! That was pretty incredible that someone that has not played in Nashville, already has fans in this town. From that contest - what happened?

Tracy - I got really motivated and focused on getting back to Nashville as frequently as possible. I started coming to Nashville about a week every month, as that is what I needed to do to get immersed in the songwriter scene. I would play at songwriter rounds at least four nights a week, meeting other songwriters.

Doak - How did you get to play songwriter nights in Nashville?

Tracy - I met Davidlee Slate, who was hosting songwriter rounds at The All Good Cafe and he later started doing the nights at the Hall of Fame Lounge on Music Row. After my first trip to Nashville, Davidlee called to let me know I had a place to play anytime I was in town. I started playing rounds in Debi Champion�s nights at The Commodore Sports Bar, Lee Rascone's rounds at Crossroads and Jack Scott's nights at the French Quarter. I contacted them before coming to Nashville and also made myself available to play when people in town needed someone else needed a filler. I also decided to try working with co-writers, and some good songs have come out of those sessions.

Doak - Now you are working on a project in Nashville, tell me about it.

Tracy - My songwriting is pretty much self-taught. I had never done a seminar, but a couple people contacted me to attend a seminar in Nashville with Mary Ann Kennedy, Pat Bunch and Pam Rose at Mary Ann's ranch outside of Nashville. It wasn't something I had travelled to do in the past and I was leery to attend the seminar. I contacted Mary Ann directly, told her where I was at in my career and asked her why I should attend the seminar.
She said it sounded like a no brainer for me to attend. I took that leap of faith and trusted that the people I knew in Nashville were telling me the right things to do. I attended the seminar and was very comfortable - a cool vibe and I related to what they were saying about their experiences. I did a one-on-one session with Mary Ann and Pam and I felt extremely validated after that session. I hadn't wasted years on a career, after chasing the dream for many years.

Doak - What did they tell you in that session.

Tracy - It was very positive feedback and to tell me to keep doing what I am doing on the journey. That may sound like a minor thing but it really has an affect when it comes from the right people. Mary Ann �got� my music, and she most definately earned my respect that weekend. I was extremely impressed with the achievements of all three of those women. They really inspire me. I went back to Canada with a lot to think about. I decided the next thing was a CD project to continue a fulfillment of mine. I contacted Mary Ann to make sure the project would be constructed properly. She was willing to help as a song coach and help me narrow what we select for the project. We started going through songs and ended up co-writing a song for the project. In working with Mary Ann, my writing was feeling much stronger. Her suggestions and mentoring had such a positive influence. Three of those songs ended up on the project, which was really fulfilling. The project is still going through the mixing stages and ended up being co-produced by Mary Ann and Kim Person. The project was recorded at Azalea Studios. Owner Fett, engineered.

Doak - The project is going to be a five song project, what are you planning on doing with the project?

Tracy - I will do some shows and try to start building a fan base in Nashville and beyond to see how things go. I have a lot of faith in this project with these songs that come from an honest place.

Doak - What kind of timeline are you looking at for the CD Project and does it have a name yet?

Tracy - No name as of yet. I have to think long and hard about the title of the CD, couple things in my head, but still undecided. I'm trying to have it ready by late September of 2005.

Doak - Is there a difference in working with Nashville studios verses Canadian studios?

Tracy - This studio for me had more of a family atmosphere, a sense of belonging. Kim did a great job of organizing the players and Mary Ann made sure the vibe was right by choosing Kim and Fett to work with. It was a collaborative effort and that felt good. Everyone respected the process and I felt very fortunate to be part of such a team.

Doak - I've seen you perform several times in the past year and heard one of your song demos the other night sitting in the songwriter's car - both are totally awesome and you perform with such passion. Where did you learn to perform like you do?

Tracy - I don't know any other way - it is like breathing. Music is a passion in my life and performing it the way I do is just the way I get it across. It's not something I really control or even think about.

Doak - Where is Tracy going to be in three years - what is your goal?

Tracy - My goal is to be happy and love what I do in this business. I have been striving for fulfillment in this business and I think I'll find it here. I've done big shows and smaller venues. I want to take the journey a step at a time. Being a superstar was never my goal - it's just to write and play my music. Hopefully some folks will like what I'm doing along the way.

Doak - Tracy - it is a pleasure talking to you, to see the passion for your music and to watch you progress in Nashville. You are taking great steps on your journey! - Doak Turner,, July 2005

"Canadian Songsmith Tracy Rice Brings Truth to Nashville"

One of the most recent additions to Nashville’s Women’s Music scene is the delightful Canadian transplant Tracy Rice who will be the featured performer at September 16th’s Out on The Deck at Bev & Anne’s as well as September 23rd’s Wild West Showdown. Rice’s intelligently crafted work resonates with sonic references to sources as diverse as Heart, Melissa Etheridge and Stevie Nicks alongside a certain flare for truthful and compassionate storytelling that resonates easily with the power of such performers as Rosanne Cash and Janis Ian. Her original songs are full of equal parts happiness and loneliness; celebration and regret, but above all truth and a compassion for humanity that sees right to the heart of the matter with pitch perfect clarity. - F. Daniel Kent, Out & About (Middle TN), Sept 2006

"CD Review: Truth"

Canadian Rice has been hitting the clubs in Twang Town for the last year or so as she has been working on this five-song offering. Judging by the recording credits alone, this woman means business. For her studio tracks she enlisted an A-list cast of players including Tommy Emmanuel, Alison Prestwood, John Gardner, Katherine Styron, Wanda Vick, Andrea Zonn, and Mark Casstevens among others. Kim Person and Mary ann Kennedy (of 80's pop duo Kennedy-Rose) serve as co-producers. These players have been responsible for some of the biggest hits, both pop and country, to ever come out of Nashville. All this combined experience in hit-making adds up to a slick package of radio-friendly contemporary country with a dash of pop in all the right places. Rice has a strong alto that fits nicely in the pocket created by the songs and arrangements here. The standout track is "I've Been There Before," a meditation in both faith and detachment in the face of a loved one's struggle with addiction. What could have been treacly fluff is instead a shot of encouragement and hope to both the addict and others who care about him or her. Rice has said that she's moving toward a more rock sound with her music and this project clearly shows the transition in progress. As Rice gains momentum in forging her musical identity, expect even bigger results. She already has the rest of the package firmly in place. - Cathey Stamps, Church Street Freedom Press (Nashville), May 2006

"Performance Review: Cactus Cafe, Austin TX"

In Feb 2006, Tracy toured as an opener for Tommy Emmanuel. The following is a review from the Austin, TX show:

"Tracy Rice is as genuine as 24-carat gold. She is the real deal. Her voice is as clean and clear as a mountain stream, but the power behind it is pure white-water rapids. Her original songs are full of happiness, loneliness, hopefulness, fear, and courage. They are personal tales of her unvarnished humanity. And the Cactus Cafe (Austin) crowds loved her. Tracy thanked the audience for their sincere attention, but it was clear that appreciation for sharing her touching songs was a two-way street. Hers is a talent truly worthy of attention and respect."

Editor/Executive Producer
Acoustic Player Magazine - Mike Crixell, Editor, Acoustic Player Magazine, Feb 2006

"Artist Spotlight"

"Nashville-based, Canadian artist/songwriter Tracy Rice has a distinctive alto full of emotion, power and groove."

- The Aspiring Artist, MusicDish E-Journal, May 2006

"CD Release: Canadian Finds Musical Home in Nashville"

"I have a hard time characterizing my sound," says Tracy Rice, before she laughs. "Generally when people see me live they think I'm a rocker," she said. "Others think my music is on the New Country side. Whatever. I like to leave the door open."

Tracy is preparing for the inaugural performance this week at the new Church Street Cafe. "I normally play alone, but on Thursday I'll be performing with a full band. I think it's gonna rock," she says with a grin that is, at the same time, sly and humble: fully Canadian.

Tracy built her career in Southwestern Ontario before moving to Nashville about a year ago. She toured the Canadian bookstore chain, Chapters, always testing new material and building a fan base with her acoustic performances. In 2002 she opened for country singer Terri Clark at a major fair and in 2004 won in a songwriting competition. That song, "Won't Leave You Behind," is included in her new CD, Truth. The 5-song CD will be officially released on Thursday. "I've been coming down here for over two years and I've lived here for about a year," she says. "When I first came down here I immersed myself in the writer's night scene. I played a lot of them. Now I generally play shows where I can showcase my work as an artist."

In advertisements and flyers promoting the show, Tracy's heritage as a Canadian is well noted. I wonder if the Canadian history has influenced the artist at all. "While I don't think there is a big difference between Canada and the US," she said, continuing without hesitation, "obviously politically there are some differences, and yes, that did weigh heavily on me when I decided to move here. But people seem to bring that up [her nationality] a lot. They feel that there are big differences, perhaps because they haven't spent much time in my country, so to them perhaps there is a difference and maybe my music does have a different sound."

This is music that highlights the lyrics, the message, with at times infectious melodies, especially on the up-tempo "Don't Want To Say Goodbye," and a voice that is powerful but (delightfully) cannot hide the hint of vulnerability.

"Music," she says, "is something we all connect with, and when you hear your story, what you perceive to be your story, in a song you feel like you're being heard, and you're being understood. You feel that you're not alone. Even if it's just for four minutes."

The Australian duo, bluehouse, will be opening Tracy Rice for the 'sneak peek' at Church Street Cafe this Thursday evening.
- Joseph Brant, InsideOut Magazine (Nashville), May 2006

"Joint Albums of the Month - Sept 2008"

TRACY RICE – Out Of Light: Some one asked me today what I thought was the best part of the internet. My reply was coming across artists such as Tracy Rice. Tracy has such a great voice and the passion she puts into her lyrics and music is spot on. I'm surprised this Canadian artist isn't signed to a major label or at least a large independent label. 'Out Of The Light' sees Tracy on more of a pop/rock outing and you know what I can't find a single track on this album that I don't like. This album is very catchy from start to finish and I'd be surprised if the majority of music lovers couldn't get into this album. Despite being released in 2001 I still recommend you track this down for tracks such 'Out Of The Light', 'Won't Leave You Behind', 'Too Young', 'I Want To Let Go', 'Say The Words' and 'Don't Leave Now'. I love Tracy Rice and I don't say that lightly. Listening to this album has really made my day. Definitely one album to look out for! Rated 9/10


TRACY RICE – Live At Yadda: This is the latest album from Tracy Rice and this really shows what a talented individual this lady is. There's not many artists out there who can sing/play as well live as what can be captured in the studio. In fact many artists today can't do their stuff live and that's a shame but Tracy really comes at you and for me that's brilliant. Gone are the Pop tunes in favour of a more Folk/Country style which really is Tracy's love as this fifteen track album shows. Kicking off with 'Long Highway' the performance is spot on through the whole recording and numbers to look out for are 'I Couldn't Take It', 'Let's Get Carried Away', 'Let Me Love You From Here', 'I'm In Love With You' and 'I Don't Want To Think About It'. You couldn't ask for a better show and Tracy leaves you wanting more because what is on this album isn't enough. Yes it's that good. What's more Tracy's brother plays drums on this album so making it a real family affair. Top stuff from this Canadian artist. Rated 10/10
- Street Voice UK Music Magazine


Independent Recording Projects:
'Tracy Rice' - 1996
'Out of the Light' - 2001
'Truth' (EP) - 2006
'Live at Yadda' - 2008



In her now two years on the US music scene, Tracy Rice is fast becoming known for her powerful alto and passionate delivery. Onstage, Rice blends Canadian good humour and husky vocals with some rock snarl. Her work has been described in various combinations of rock, pop, folk, acoustic, country, and "blue-eyed soul" and she's been compared to artists like Melissa Etheridge, Lucinda Williams, Michelle Branch and Anne McCue.

Tracy released her first two independent albums in 1996 and 2001, thus becoming a fixture in her native southwestern Ontario musical milieu. She hit the international stage in 2002 when she opened for country music's Terri Clark and subsequently won a Nashville Song Search songwriting award for her single, "Won't Leave You Behind." Two years later, she took the plunge and moved to Nashville to record album number three.

In early 2006 Tracy released the 5 song EP, Truth. On this Nashville-produced album, her goal was for a less electric sound and a more "organic" approach from her previous rock efforts. Australian fingerstyle guitar virtuoso Tommy Emmanuel contributed acoustic parts on 4 tracks and the song 'Runaway Bay' was co-written with renowned Nashville songwriter Mary ann Kennedy, of 80's Kennedy Rose fame.

While fans tend to see the singer/songwriter as a rocker, reviewers of the 'Truth' EP note her ability to walk the line between rock and country, evoking tongue-in-cheek characterizations of the love child of Melissa Etheridge and Terri Clark.

In Spring 2006, Tracy toured solo as an opener for Tommy Emmanuel. The following is a review from the Austin, TX show:

"Tracy Rice is as genuine as 24-carat gold. She is the real deal. Her voice is as clean and clear as a mountain stream, but the power behind it is pure white-water rapids. Her original songs are full of happiness, loneliness, hopefulness, fear, and courage. They are personal tales of her unvarnished humanity. And the Cactus Cafe (Austin) crowds loved her. Tracy thanked the audience for their sincere attention, but it was clear that appreciation for sharing her touching songs was a two-way street. Hers is a talent truly worthy of attention and respect."

Acoustic Player Magazine

Rice released her fourth album, 'Live at Yadda,' in July 2008. This live album was recorded at Yadda Club in Cincinnati in May of 2008 and is the best example of her tour show -- stripped down to acoustic guitar and drums.

Rice is currently touring internationally -- solo and with a band -- in support of the latest album.