Tracy Jane Comer

Singer-Songwriter and Multi-Instrumentalist

www.tracyjanecomer.com

Tracy Jane Comer - 2013

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Guitar Player MagazineAnother excellent acoustic track From Madison Wisconsin! Comer dances all over the strings with shimmering note flurries and dynamic flair. (re: Song "Inside Passage"

- Guitar Player Magazine - June 2009 issue

An international award-winning songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist influenced by a wide range of musical experiences, Tracy Jane Comer has been described as "a musical force" (Kweevak’s Tracks). Her current repertoire includes tunes from dozens of artists from today and past decades in many styles (click the REPERTOIRE tab, above) in addition to some of her own award-winning originals.

Named Instrumentalist of the Year by the Madison Area Music Awards (2008), Comer is often noted for her intricate fingerstyle guitar work plus impressive skills on piano, cello, fiddle (violin and viola), and hammered dulcimer. She was featured in Guitar Player Magazine in June 2009. She has also been nominated numerous times by the Madison Area Music Awards (MAMAs) in various categories including Best Acoustic Artist (2004, 2005), Best Acoustic Album (2004, 2005), Folk/Americana Artist of the Year (2007), Jazz Song of the Year (2011), Jazz Album of the Year (2011), Folk/Americana Album of the Year (2011). She was tapped for a coveted performance spot at the MAMAs ceremony in 2006, a performance reviewed as the standout of the evening by by the Wisconsin State Journal.

Her multi-flavored original music has been heard on MTV and on hundreds of radio and TV stations on four continents. She has opened or shared shows with notables such as Dar Williams, Willy Porter, The Wailin' Jennys, Holly Near, L.J. Booth, Ellis Paul, Peter Mulvey, Nathan Rogers, Joe Jencks, and other national acts. She has also performed as supporting artist on cello with Holly Brook, now known as Grammy-nominated artist Skylar Grey. The MTV show Made has featured her music on several episodes, and she has received radio airplay around the world.

Performance Presentation: Tracy usually performs her original music as a soloist, using guitar and/or piano, and often with supporting musicians such as percussion (Alan Maslowski) and/or cello (Kristin Landis) and/or backing vocals (Delores Jenison or others). Tracy is also currently co-director of collaborative Americana/folk project Common Chord (with Michael Bryant et al.) and band leader for Briana Patrice Trio. See the STAGE PROJECTS tab (above) for more.

Brief Background: Originally from the south but now based in Madison, WI, Tracy has been called "North Carolina's gift to Wisconsin." She studied music at various institutions in North Carolina and Wisconsin at undergraduate and graduate levels, and has been performing professionally since she was a young teen, as a church musician, plus accompanying for musical theater and for vocalists and instrumentalists, and playing for weddings using piano and guitar. Later she also began playing professionally as a solo cellist and chamber musician. Comer began a focus as a solo entertainer, including her original vocal and instrumental music, in the late 1990s. Currently she performs mainly near her current base in Madison, WI, with occasional tours in surrounding areas and in her native state of NC. (See BACKGROUND tab, above, for longer bio.)

"This singer/songwriter is key to moving the whole darn genre forward. Her sound is mature and soaked with talent throughout…"

- Smother.Net Ezine

Repertoire

Tracy enjoys performing music from a great number of well-known as well as independent artists, in a variety of styles. Her stylistic versatility and advanced skills on several instruments including piano and guitar allow her to offer a broad palette of musical styles.

Her song list includes hundreds of songs from today and past decades in styles ranging from pop/rock to touches of blues and jazz. Representative artists include Carole King, Diana Krall, Sara Bareilles, Elton John, Adele, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, The Beatles, Rickie Lee Jones, Heart, Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow, Leon Russell, Laura Nyro, Miranda Lambert, Mary Chapin Carpenter, plus standards from the American Songbook and more. Her stylistic versatility and advanced skills on both piano and guitar allow her to offer a broad pallette of musical styles.

Performance Presentation: Tracy usually performs her original music as a soloist, using guitar and/or piano, and often with supporting musicians such as percussion (Alan Maslowski) and/or cello (Kristin Landis) and/or backing vocals (Delores Jenison or others). Tracy is also co-director of collaborative Americana/folk project Common Chord (with Michael Bryant et al.) and band leader for Briana Patrice Trio with vocalist Briana Patrice Bruckner.

Original Music

Tracy Jane Comer's songwriting offers up a burst of diverse flavors, woven together seamlessly. She eschews genre pigeon-holing and writes music that defies categorization.

As both a listener and a performer, Comer is drawn to forms of musical expression that are distinctive and original, regardless of genre. "I am inspired by many forms of music," she says. "I am drawn to music that is unique in some aspect – melody, harmonization and/or rhythm, and music that has a lot of dynamic interest - variable textures in sections, dynamics, dramatic build, reflecting the spectrum of human emotion."

"Although her music is acoustic based,the arrangements go much deeper, culling from classical, folk, jazz, pop and rock...Comer's work is diverse and dynamic. Upon each listen more subtle sounds and styles unfold...Tracy Jane Comer is a musical force... "

Kweevak’s Tracks, 2004

Other Projects - Bands/Collaborations

In addition to her work as a solo performer, she greatly enjoys performing in support of others on instruments and on vocal harmonies. Tracy enjoys participating in several bands and side projects.

Tracy with Wild Heart

Current projects include Americana/folk collaborative Common Chord, which Tracy co-directs along with fellow singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Bryant. In this group Tracy plays guitar, bass, viola, cello, and hammered dulcimer and prepares most of the song arrangements for the group which also includes mandolin, clarinet, additional guitars and several vocalists.

Tracy is also band leader of the Briana Patrice Trio, in which she prepares arrangements and plays guitar and keyboard and sings backup for vocalist Briana Patrice (Bruckner) with support from percussionist Alan Maslowski. This act performs covers drawn from a wide variety of styles and eras.

Previous projects include Acoustic Alloy vocal duo with TC Peart; New Country band Wild Heart, in which Tracy shared lead vocal duties and played guitar, fiddle, and keyboard; jazz-folk project 3 of Cups (with Rachel Nelson of Minnesota); folk trio Sticky Fingers (with Michael Bryant and Damon Bourne, both of Madison); and eclectic acoustic trio Likely Stories (with Nancy Rost and Dave Schindele, both of Madison).

Tracy has been part of several classical chamber groups (playing cello, classical guitar, and/or piano) including The JART String Quartet, A Piacere trio, Alchemy Ensemble, and Elixir Chamber Trio.

Tracy has enjoyed being a guest performer on instruments and harmonies on shows for a number of local and nationally touring artists including Holly Brook (Skylar Gray), Joe Jencks, Nelson Graham, Alaria Taylor, Four Wheel Drive, Mud Angels, and more.

"...A strong vocalist and wonderful player on cello, piano, guitar, fiddle, and hammered dulcimer..."

- THE BRIDGE WORKS

In The Studio

Comer uses her instrumental and vocal skills in the studio on her own recordings and frequently records as a guest artist on others' recordings as well.

Tracy Jane Comer - at Randy's Recording

Recordings: Tracy released her debut CD in 2002 and has followed with several additional titles in folk/acoustic and jazz. She also has released two concert DVDs plus several CDs with groups/side projects (Sticky Fingers, Likely Stories). Her music has appeared on several compilations published by Spiritone Records and by Indiegrrl as well.

Additionally, Tracy has appeared as guest artist on many recordings for other musicians, adding cello, guitar, piano, fiddle, hammered dulcimer, and harmony vocals. She has also assisted with musical arrangements and with technical assistance in tracking and mixing. A few of the artists that Tracy has recorded with include Jack Wiliams, Michael Bryant, Mare Edstrom, Kenn Fox, Dave Schindele, Nancy Rost, Rachel Nelson, Tony Bonanno, Nelson Graham, Amy Curl, Stephen Lee Rich, Nancy Irizarry, and more.

Click here to see available recordings.



Additional Background

Tracy was born and spent her youth in North Carolina (Wilmington and Raleigh), and has been called "North Carolina's gift to Wisconsin." She is now based in Madison, WI where she lives with her husband, Allen. She studied music at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Peace College, East Carolina University, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (graduate level). She has an extensive musical background that includes collegiate study in classical piano, cello, theory, and musicology, plus extensive private instruction in violin, voice, and guitar (classical and acoustic fingerstyle).

Comer began a focus as a solo entertainer, including her original vocal and instrumental music, in the late 1990s. She had already at that point had involvement with folk, pop/rock, choral and theater music, jazz, country, bluegrass, Celtic music, and many things in between.

As a pianist, Tracy has had years of performing experience starting at age 13, accompanying for choirs, churches, instrumentalists, vocalists, and musical theater. Having started those activities as a self-taught pianist before ever having lessons, her talent and passion for music were quickly recognized by a favorite aunt and by school teachers who combined to encourage and facilitate her musical education, with the former (the late Jane Stephens -- hence Tracy's use of her own middle name as tribute) providing both funds and transportation to lessons. Later she added other instruments to her skillset including guitar and cello, playing professionally as a solo cellist and chamber musician. As an adult she has added additional instruments to her performing arsenal including fiddle (violin and viola), hammered dulcimer, bass, and even drums. She has also composed, conducted and arranged for choirs, handbells, and instrumental ensembles.

"Comparisons to other adult contemporary artists such as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, and Dar Williams are inevitable, though she displays more range of style than any of them...."

- Rick’s Café, Madison, WI

Press Kit

Press kit items are available on request.

Please inquire if you would like either a physical (mailed) or electronic press kit. (See the CONTACT page.)

 

See the MUSIC/CDs page to listen to samples or see a list of published recordings.