Tracy Walton
Gig Seeker Pro

Tracy Walton

Hartford, Connecticut, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Hartford, Connecticut, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Aug
10
Tracy Walton @ Madison Theater

Covington, OH

Covington, OH

Aug
10
Tracy Walton @ Vision & Grit Music Festival

Griswold, CT

Griswold, CT

Feb
28
Tracy Walton @ Arch Street Tavern

Hartford, CT

Hartford, CT

Music

Press


This week I am really excited to have Tracy Walton on here as he releases ‘If I Ever Get Away.’ Tracy is a true talent and he has compiled a diverse and authentic collection of new music. This is Tracy’s sophomore album and with songs like “Songs For You”, “Think You Do”, and “Walls”, this is a winner. Join us at Tracy speaks on his growth between albums, genre diversity, being positive in tough times, and much more!

Stoli: Where are are we talking from today and how is the month of May going so far?

I am in CT in my studio. It just started raining for the first time in weeks so I can’t complain. I recently played the album release concert at Infinity Hall in CT. I had the whole band out for the show and the crowd was really amazing. It’s always great when the audience brings a bunch of energy to the show. It’s so much fun to feed off of that. We were playing a few of the new songs live for the first time so it was a special night.

Stoli: You are getting ready to release “If I Ever Get Away.” How does it feel as a musician when you know that you have an album coming out this month that people all over the world will hear and how are promotions going?

To be honest it really hasn’t hit me. I put so much energy into making an album that there is always a period of adjustment once I finish mixing and approve the master. I spent a solid year obsessing about this album, so it’s been nice to let it go for a bit. The press is starting to roll in and the buzz has been amazing. I am really excited to see what this album can do.

Stoli: How long were you writing the lyrics & instrumentals and where did you record the album?

Brand New Again came out in Oct. of 2011. At that point I had two of the songs written for If I Ever Get Away. I wrote the other 8 songs over the course of the next year. We started tracking the new stuff in Oct of 2012. I have a studio at my house where we do all the basic tracking. I built an addition with 12 foot ceilings so the room sounds really beautiful. We go for a bit of that Big Pink vibe, where we just set up and take our time getting sounds. We’re not on the clock here so we can take our time and just have fun making an album. I mix at Axis Sound in NYC. Steve Rossiter and I have a nice relationship at this point where he knows what I’m after and he twists the knobs to get us there. Andy VanDette mastered it at Masterdisk NYC. Andy squeezed me in between remastering some of Rush’s catalogue. First the hall of Fame snub, and than they get put on hold to master my albumÉ they really need more respect. (2112 is on my top 10 in case the sarcasm was missed).

Stoli: I love how the songs on the album range from indie rock to americana to country in style. Was that on purpose or does that just happen?

I like eclectic records so I try to make records in that style. Your description would describe any Beatles album from Rubber Soul on. They crossed genres constantly. I miss that on a lot of today’s albums. For me, I write the album as a whole. Once I have a few songs written I’ll start to write with a bit of intention. Usually it’s just a feel or vibe, such as needing something minor, or in 6/8. Than I typically try to stay out of the way and let the song go where it needs to go. I actually wrote “Let Me take You Home” the night before the last day of recording. I felt the record needed a rocker to give it a kick in the pants. I taught it to the band the next morning and we tracked it live. The version on the album is the second take. You can hear the rawness and energy come through. Maybe it’s silly in the day of digital downloads, but I’m still trying to make a classic album.

Stoli: If you were to do a video for 1 song what would it be and what would the concept be?

I would love to do a bigger budget video for If I Ever Get Away. I would wrap myself in cellophane from head to toe and have it unraveling during the entire video. I would than superimpose that over some old 8mm footage of people dancing and celebrating holidays. If you don’t mind just visualizing that it would save me a ton of money. Thanks.

Stoli: As a beer and whiskey fan myself, what inspired the song “Beer Is Now Cheaper Than Gas” and what beer do you prefer?

I actually overheard someone say that gas was so expensive that it was cheaper to just stay home on weekends and drink beer. The phrase beer is now cheaper than gas just hit me. I wrote the song in one sitting. Typically I would just get a laugh out of a song like that and discard it. It’s not exactly what I do. But as I thought about it, I realized that sarcasm is 90% of my daily life, so why not sing a song like that. My stage banter is also really sarcastic, so it’s nice to be able to pull out a song that is not as heavy as some of my others. I have to tell you, it’s a fun tune to play live and people have a blast singing it. It’s one of those tunes you know by the end of the first listen. I hope this is not too much of a let - Skope Magazine


Artist: Tracy Walton
Album: If I Ever Get Away
URL: http://tracywaltonmusic.com/home/
Sounds Like; Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, The Band
Connecticut singer/songwriter Tracy Walton is an interesting artist, his music is steeped in country, embracing the rich heritage of the genre, while holding his own with his deep and versatile voice, which ties the album together nicely, even as the music skips around and delves into unsuspected territory.
The album starts off with the track “Walls” which kicks off with an accapella harmony introduction, giving the listener a quick preview of what’s to come. The song has somewhat of an Americana vibe to it, mixed with traditional country sounds. “Songs For You” is an acoustic ballad that really showcases Tracy’s talent for writing classic country melodies. The background melodies are a nice compliment as well. Next is “Sunny Days”, an uptempo bass driven song about days gone by. The track “Redeemed” has a breezy back and forth duet with a gifted female that comes together in harmony for the choruses. The slide guitar really brings it home. From here the album begins to take a turn into new and fertile territory. “Let Me Take You Home” is a total rock and roll song, with distorted vocals and is somewhat of a shock coming after the previous few songs. After that is “If I Ever Get Away” the title track of the album, which crosses over into indie rock turf, though keeping roots in country. This song would be at home with The Lumineers. Suddenly we’re back to familiar territory, with “Beer Is Now Cheaper Than Gas” a country rock satire of our dire economy and our love of cold frothy drink. “Life Goes On” is another acoustic based song that almost takes on Molly Hatchet vocally. “Think You Do” winds down the album nicely with a traditional country sound that would be perfect for a Texas watering hole.
Overall, Tracy Walton’s “If I Ever Get Away” is an enjoyable experience full of surprises and takes the listener on an amusement park of a country vacation.
Purchase Link: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/tracywalton1
Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/tracywalton/songs
Final rating: 8.5/10
Submitted by Drew Blackwell edited by Janne Zawa
Review comments: jannezawa@gmail.com - Rock N' Roll Review


Artist: Tracy Walton
Album: If I Ever Get Away
URL: http://tracywaltonmusic.com/home/
Sounds Like; Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash, The Band
Connecticut singer/songwriter Tracy Walton is an interesting artist, his music is steeped in country, embracing the rich heritage of the genre, while holding his own with his deep and versatile voice, which ties the album together nicely, even as the music skips around and delves into unsuspected territory.
The album starts off with the track “Walls” which kicks off with an accapella harmony introduction, giving the listener a quick preview of what’s to come. The song has somewhat of an Americana vibe to it, mixed with traditional country sounds. “Songs For You” is an acoustic ballad that really showcases Tracy’s talent for writing classic country melodies. The background melodies are a nice compliment as well. Next is “Sunny Days”, an uptempo bass driven song about days gone by. The track “Redeemed” has a breezy back and forth duet with a gifted female that comes together in harmony for the choruses. The slide guitar really brings it home. From here the album begins to take a turn into new and fertile territory. “Let Me Take You Home” is a total rock and roll song, with distorted vocals and is somewhat of a shock coming after the previous few songs. After that is “If I Ever Get Away” the title track of the album, which crosses over into indie rock turf, though keeping roots in country. This song would be at home with The Lumineers. Suddenly we’re back to familiar territory, with “Beer Is Now Cheaper Than Gas” a country rock satire of our dire economy and our love of cold frothy drink. “Life Goes On” is another acoustic based song that almost takes on Molly Hatchet vocally. “Think You Do” winds down the album nicely with a traditional country sound that would be perfect for a Texas watering hole.
Overall, Tracy Walton’s “If I Ever Get Away” is an enjoyable experience full of surprises and takes the listener on an amusement park of a country vacation.
Purchase Link: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/tracywalton1
Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/tracywalton/songs
Final rating: 8.5/10
Submitted by Drew Blackwell edited by Janne Zawa
Review comments: jannezawa@gmail.com - Rock N' Roll Review


If I Ever Get Away, released on the 14th of May on Levon Wilson Records exudes personality and depth; a product of Tracy Walton’s multiple musical influences. The 36 minute long album has been described as “Americana” with its country-folk-rock influences. It rings of unabashed openness and succinctness in songs such as Walls, Songs For You and Home Soon which sometimes rise above the music itself with lyrics like, “Everybody needs a rock that doesn’t roll/So come on home” (Home Soon).

The album features Richard Hinman on guitar and pedal steel while the songwriting, vocal and acoustic and bass guitar credits go to Walton!

Track Rating
Walls
Songs For You
Sunny Days
Redeemed
Let Me Take You Home
If I Ever Get Away
Beer Is Now Cheaper Than Gas
Life Goes On
Think You Do
Home Soon
1. Walls

Walls gives off a country vibe which Walton’s deep but lilting voice is especially suited for. It’s straight forward, homey and the lyrics are surprisingly sweet! I loved the parallel between walls and the relationship. It all comes together in the chorus which is gentle, simple and yet bound to leave you swooning!

2. Songs For You

A song on feelings that never fade. I loved the understated but pretty melody that fully captured the thoughtfulness, hyper awareness, wistfulness and twinge of sadness that is attached to a relationship that probably ended before its time. I liked this song but for me it did not match up to Walls. While Walton sings the part of the chorus that goes “So I’ll sing, I’ll sing, I’ll sing/Songs for you” I felt the last line (“Songs for you”) didn’t sit quite as well.

On the other hand the line “And with each line, I grow close to you, I fall far behind.” is an absolute winner!

3. Sunny Days

This song picks up in terms of pace with the gentle strumming! It’s cheery and a little corny at the same time! There’s a lot of heart in the lyrics; a certain rawness underneath the upbeatness which the vocals capture.

4. Redeemed

A slow duet! Walton’s vocals alternate with that of a female singer, both of which are individually brilliant. They come together in a harmony and sound fantastically genuine and fabulous together. However, some of the underlying themes of the song (you-and-me, us-against-the-world, we’ll-be-all-right) get repetitive at this juncture and start to wear you down.

5. Let Me Take You Home

A big bad rock song that comes out of nowhere! With a brilliant guitar finish, this song stands out from the rest of the tracks from start till end! Walton’s vocals are more rugged and less lucid here which goes well with the track.

6. If I Ever Get Away

The title track is slow and wistful and once again breaks free from the country mold. It’s a simple but magical melody that tells a story that feels real. The narrative is poetic and very visual. One of my favourite tracks of the album!

7. Beer Is Now Cheaper Than Gas

A fun potential bar song that proclaims, “Beers now cheaper than gas!” Takes a dig at the economy and brings smiles along the way with lyrics like, “You can take my car/I can walk to the pub/My house is underwater and I don’t need your love.”

8. Life Goes On

This song tells a story that takes over a generation to reap fruit but well, life goes on! The acoustics soften the vocals and blend well with the message. A noteworthy track!

9. Think You Do

The pause mid- chorus before the restarting of the melody is startling but adds to the intensity of the song! The lyrics are fresh and honest. Like many of the tracks, it reeks of raw honesty.

10. Home Soon

We’re back to what feels like the core sound of the album! Feels like a song that’s dated but that only adds to its charm. While it’s not a stand-out, it’s pleasant to listen to!

Final thoughts: If I Ever Get Away works because of the simplicity and straightforwardness of the lyrics that when paired with acoustics and/ simple melodies, lingers on beyond its airtime! My favourite songs in this album stood out because of the strong and somewhat reckless honesty in the lyrics which Walton’s clear and deep vocals are particularly suited for. In the tracks where Walton experiments with other genres while still keeping to the album’s core sound, he pulls it off admirably!

Album verdict: Walton bears his soul in this lyrically strong and balanced effort!

Picks of the album: Walls, If I Ever Get Away, Life Goes On, Songs For You

Album Rating: - MusicPerk



Tracy Walton spent years of his life carrying his upright bass from gig to gig, discovering just how hard it was to transition from an electric bass to upright in a jazz trio. The Led Zeppelin grooves he learned from playing an album over and over couldn’t be played on his new instrument. His fingers hurt. His back hurt.

“It might as well have been a drum,” said Mr. Walton. “It’s a really physical instrument. You have to play every day. Playing a gig if you haven’t played in a while is like running a 5K with no practice. Like maybe I should have run a few laps.”

Mr. Walton’s desire for the upright outweighed his discomfort. He endured, which is a quality that reflects the rest of his music career as well. He bounced from band to band in Litchfield County, doing stints teaching the bass, until finally setting out on his own.

Mr. Walton will launch his second album, “If I Ever Get Away,” atinfinityhall.com"> Infinity Music Hall & Bistro in Norfolk on April 25.

“Around here, for a 300-seat venue, it’s the premier venue,” Mr. Walton said of Infinity Hall. “After playing the Infinity Music Hall last year, I knew it was the perfect venue to release ‘If I Ever Get Away.’”

Mr. Walton released his first album, “Brand New Again,” in 2011, and played at Infinity Hall in 2012. “If I Ever Get Away” is a continuation of his last work, he said.

“I’m settling into what I do best, which is telling stories,” said Mr. Walton. “I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin. They were my heroes and all these guys have high voices. I do a better Johnny Cash than Robert Plant.”

Mr. Walton’s deep, smooth voice glides over all of his hand-crafted lyrics. He studied the craft of songwriting by doing his homework, which, he explained, involves listening to the classics.

“You have to listen to the Beatles,” Mr. Walton insisted. “I have a lot of what I think are good songs.”

He has been playing some of the tracks on his new album at shows over the last few months, so there will be some songs the audience will recognize at the record launch.

“We’re going to play pretty much the entire album, which probably won’t happen again,” said Mr. Walton.

His fans have been more involved in the creation of this record than anything he has previously done. “If I Ever Get Away,” was fan-funded. Mr. Walton used Kickstarter, a Web site designed to connect artists and supporters, to raise the money for the record.

“It’s been really cool to have people involved,” said Mr. Walton. “Once people back [the record], they’re called “backers,” and I would post things that no one else sees like the album cover. I asked for input.”

Mr. Walton even took his fans advice on changing the name of the album, which he was originally going to call “Songs for You.”

“There’s been a shift,” said Mr. Walton. “People want and expect to be close to the artist through Facebook and Twitter. It’s like they’re hanging out with you. I think it’s neat.”

His “backers” raised $8,500 for “If I Ever Get Away.” Mr. Walton offered different rewards for donations, the largest being a personally written song.

“They wanted a song about siblings,” said Mr. Walton. “It turned out really cool.”

He ended up putting the song, “Sunny Days,” on the album, which was not something he was expecting. The “backer” paid $600, and Mr. Walton promised to write and record the song.

He hopes to use Kickstarter again for his next album and double his sponsorships because fan-funded records allow him to see more of a return on his time. Mr. Walton did spend more than the $8,500 raised online for his record, but he said Kickstarter has been “huge” for him.

“Normally I’d have to sell 1,000 CDs to break even,” Mr. Walton explained of the situation if he had completely funded the album himself. “Now I’m making money out of the gate.”

Growing up in Harwinton, Mr. Walton’s parents bought him an acoustic guitar, but he said it just didn’t feel right to him. He was working in a music shop when he was encouraged to buy a ’72 Fender bass.

“I didn’t want it, but they said trust me, you will. It’s the only bass I’ll ever play,” said Mr. Walton.

Mr. Walton taught himself how to play by listening to his favorite records repeatedly. Then he met Dave Santoro, an upright bassist who worked the Northwest Corner circuit, at a gig and fell for his instrument.

“I needed to play,” said Mr. Walton. He bought himself a case-less $1,000 upright.

After the pair forged a friendship, Mr. Santoro got him a scholarship to the Hartford Conservatory. Mr. Walton said he decided to go to school for jazz performance because he thought it would be more lucrative than a rock career.

“He didn’t realize I couldn’t read music,” Mr. Walton said as he laughed. “Everyone traded riffs. We didn’t have Youtube showing you how to play. Someone would figure something out and share it or you’d spin the tunes till you figured it out. [Mr. Santoro] asked me to translate music and I - The Litchfield County Times


If one can be a "veteran" without the seeming prerequisites of appearing old and grizzled, then the rugged, chiseled and youthful features of Tracy Walton are clearly appropriate for this skilled, experienced artisan. Having studied the craft of songwriting and created many excellent examples of it, Walton has developed an irresistible sound and style. His deep, booming voice draws you in and the intrigue of his lyrics and arrangements makes you keep listening.

The mark of many a great performer has been an absolute willingness to constantly re-invent themselves. In this spirit, Tracy chose 2011 as the year in which to release the aptly titled "Brand New Again." Drawing on his jazz, blues and rock roots, Walton injects them all into a machine called Americana. The resulting country-fied singer-songwriter amalgam takes you on the journey he envisioned as he crafted each tune. That powerful voice grabs you and pulls you down the dusty road, as if you're on the running board of an old Model A, bumping along through lonely, broken hearts, and eventually into hopeful, open fields.

This isn't the first time Tracy Walton has graced the pages of InterMixx. He started his musical career at quite a young age when he plucked his first guitar at the age of 10. This led to the realization that he loved the low end and he switched to bass, which led to his joining a number of punk and hard rock bands once in his teen years. Some of these efforts, such as the band called Iron Horse, brought local glory (and coverage in our mag!), and led to a job teaching at an area music store, but no truly worthwhile journey is without its trials and tribulations. When the only apartment he and his band mates could afford was condemned, it was time to find a more lucrative means of supporting himself.

His growing dislike of ramen noodles and homlessness were heavy on his mind when he caught Dave Santoro playing upright bass in a Hartford jazz club. Despite his dire need of a new place to call home, Walton immediately rushed out and bought an old all-plywood upright bass, and began practicing. In order to gain some footing with the new instrument, he started by playing Zeppelin grooves on it. While crashing back at his Mom's until he could find a new place, Tracy was able to find Santoro and begin taking lessons from him. After a summer of instruction on the upright bass, Tracy accepted a scholarship to study jazz at the Hartford Conservatory.

Although you may think you missed the original point – yes Tracy decided that a degree in jazz performance would always lead to gainful employment when times got tough!

Perhaps his plan wasn't as crazy as it may have seemed at first... Tracy was soon asked to join the Eric Miller Trio, a successful jazz group that logged close to 200 shows a year in the mid-nineties. Walton was soon eating right and sleeping in his own apartment again! (OK so the apartment was upstairs from a junkyard office, but it was his own place!) Conditions continued on the upswing for Walton, as the steady jazz gig eventually allowed him to move again, into a nice house. As the members of the trio settled into their friendship and working relationship, a steady pattern of running gags emerged among them. One favorite past-time involved working rock riffs into their jazz solos: the groove from Sunshine Of Your Love over a Coltrane tune during the solo... Zeppelin, Hendrix... any classic rock riff that they could fit in there.

It was inevitable that all the rocking out during their jazz shows got them itching to form an actual rock band. Enter Brooke Gengras, or Brooke X as she was called when onstage. With their new female lead singer, the jazz trio turned their playful musical joking around into a bona-fide rock quartet, and Missing Slim was born! The newly formed rock group quickly made an impact in the local scene, winning Best New Band in the Hartford Advocate's popular annual reader poll called the "Grand Band Slam." After more than a year of rocking out, Brooke left the group to eventually front Lez Zeppelin, an all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band.

Tracy's meteoric rise as a well-respected music professional continued during this time with Missing Slim, as he joined the faculties of The National Guitar Workshop and Kent School. The teaching positions led to his authoring three books through Alfred Publishing, which are still available through Barnes and Noble to this day! This success in turn, grew into the opportunity to perform in concert with world class players; including David Bromberg, Vernon Reed, and Aaron Scott.

As he got to know his fellow teachers, once again Tracy was finding common musical ground amongst friends and co-workers. Along with several other members of the faculty he formed a band called the Black Lab Project (so named when all the members realized their childhood pet was a black lab!). Tracy was the main songwriter, v - InterMixx


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Biography


Current New England Music Award nominee for Best Male Performer; Tracy Walton has never been afraid to re-invent himself. In this spirit, Tracy released his aptly titled solo debut, "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.

One look at Tracy's cd collection, and you realize you are entering the world of an eclectic songwriter. Through Tracy's songs, you will find yourself on a porch with Neil Young, at a protest with Bob Dylan, in love with the Beatles, and viewing the world through the sarcastic eye of Randy Newman. Yet, you will never lose sight of Tracy's unique voice and his original take on the tradition of song. 

Tracy Walton began his career in music by picking 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 mates 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 Dave Santoro playing upright bass in a Hartford jazz club. He bought an old plywood bass and started playing Zeppelin grooves on it to find his bearings. He soon tracked Dave down for lessons and after a summer of instruction, Tracy accepted a scholarship to study jazz at the Hartford Conservatory. And in case you thought you read it wrong, yes Tracy decided that a degree in jazz performance would always lead to gainful employment when times got tough.

Tracy soon joined the Eric Miller Trio, a straight ahead jazz group that logged close to 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 Reid, 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, and putting food on the table led Tracy to take a full time teaching position at a prep school in Northwest CT in 2007.

"I loved the few years I taught full time, but it just wasn't the right balance for me. I need to play." 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 Brand New Again, one cant help but hear the years of struggle that all musicians go through. Yet, there is a hope to the record that Tracy delivers in 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 Bakers smooth voice singing a harmony or two.

In 2013 Tracy released "If I Ever Get Away" The album features the song "Songs for You" which many are calling Tracy's best song to date and his breakout track. The album received outstanding reviews throughout the industry . 

2015 finds Tracy going strong with the highly anticipated release of his third solo album, "Moderately Unknown" due out in early spring. He is up for Best male Performer in The New England Music Awards for the second straight year. Tracy is currently playing a residency at Daryl Hall's Daryl's House Club. The new album finds Tracy steering the ship back towards the singer songwriter/rock roots of his youth. He feels it is by far his best work to date. 

www.tracywaltonmusic.com

Band Members