Tuesday, July 15, 2008

News from Tracy Jane Comer (last for a while!)

Hi y'all - FIRST...A reminder about this Saturday's show (July 19) in Cambridge, WI with my good pals Michael Bryant and Randy Green. It will be an evening of variety and fun instrumentation including my new electric cello, which I play standing up with a shoulder harness (tons of fun). You can be among the first to answer the question, "Does this cello make me look fat?"
Advance reservations are highly recommended....
full details here.

I am going to be taking a long break from performing, after my Sept. 13 appearance (see below). I have a few things on the schedule until then, but otherwise have canceled shows and touring plans for the near future. The Likely Stories CD will still be released hopefully by mid-September...I will post news about that when there is definite news. Otherwise -- Below are are my final shows for a while - follow links for full details in printable form.

July 19 (Sat), 2008 - 7 pm
Cambridge, WI - The Oscar H. Hanson House and The Zen Gallery Gallery present:
Trio show with Tracy Jane Comer, Michael Bryant and Randy Green

July 26 (Sat), 2008 - 7:30 pm
Madison, WI - UW Memorial Union -- 2008 MAMAs Winner Showcase
Tracy Jane Comer & Randy Green play starting at 7:30 pm.
(Multiple acts performing one-hour sets between 5 pm and midnight on Friday and Saturday.)

August 1 (Fri), 2008 - 7 pm
Madison, WI - Gov. Nelson State Park - Friday Night Folk Jamboree series
Trio show with Tracy Jane Comer, Michael Bryant and Randy Green

August 2 (Sat), 2008 - 1:00 pm
Madison, WI - Downtown State Street - "Folk on State" series
Trio show with Tracy Jane Comer, Michael Bryant and Randy Green (Also performing: Small Potatoes)

September 12 (Fri), 2008 - TENTATIVE DATE
Likely Stories CD Release Party; details TBA

September 13 (Sat), 2008 - 7 pm
Fitchburg, WI - "Art in the Barn" concert series
"Country Cornucopia" with Graham & Company, Tracy Jane Comer, LJ Booth, and Rising Gael


Saturday, July 12, 2008


Sorry for late notice...But the venue (Project Lodge, Madison) just notified us about 30 minutes ago that due to unforeseen circumstances they are canceling the show tonight (July 12). No other information was given.

I doubt we will want to reschedule at this venue (hmmm) but look for another co-bill between Likely Stories and Amy Curl/Dan Kennedy in the near future - we were really looking forward to sharing a show with them! Also Likely Stories will be planning our CD Release Party soon...stay tuned.

Have a great evening - sorry for any inconvenience!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

3 is a Magic Number!

Related shows (3-way collaborations) - see tracyjanecomer.com for details on shows:
  • July 12, 2008 - Likely Stories performing at Project Lodge in Madison, WI
  • July 19, 2008 - Tracy Jane Comer/Michael Bryant/Randy Green performing for Hanson House concert series, Cambridge, WI
  • August 1, 2008 - Tracy Jane Comer/Michael Bryant/Randy Green performing at Gov. Nelson State Park in Madison, WI
  • August 2, 2008 - Tracy Jane Comer/Michael Bryant/Randy Green performing for "Folk on State," Madison, WI
  • Late summer or early fall: CD RELEASE PARTY to be scheduled for LIKELY STORIES debut CD!

"3 is a Magic Number" seems to be the recurrent theme in my musical world. I have been privileged to be part of some very fine trios and 3-way collaborations over the years, and in the coming weeks I have shows involving a couple of my active collaborations.

A group of 3 can mean several things; for instance, it can be a group with one frontman who has a couple of sidemen playing along. BUT, the type of collaboration I like best is when 3 individual writers each contribute songs and get together to work out arrangements. This way the audience gets to hear each participant's music and result can be a very satisfying diversity.

As a multi-instrumentalist, I particularly enjoy these "in-the-round" style collaborations (i.e., trading off the lead) because it gives me a chance to play different instruments -- like lots of cello, some dulcimer, keyboard, sometimes fiddle etc., and I play some different styles of guitar as well including some lead lines and even some electric guitar. I thrive on variety, and I get that by combining forces with other writers.

Here are highlights of current collaborations (ones with upcoming shows):
  • Tracy Jane Comer/Nancy Rost/Dave Schindele - A.K.A. "LIKELY STORIES"
    We are all "solo" artists with our own performing schedules, but try to perform as a group every few months and we get together fairly regularly to play. We have been working together for a couple of years and actually have a CD that will be coming out very soon!
    In this collaboration I sing (lead and backing vocals) and play guitar, cello, sometimes melodica, piano, fiddle; Nancy sings and plays piano; and Dave sings (lead and backing vocals) and plays piano and hand drums.
    Both Dave and Nancy have very sophisticated and musical styles with superb lyrics -- they blow my mind with some of what they come up with. Folks who enjoy music as much for the poetry of the lyrics won't be disappointed. With Dave's music I often think of Carole King, Stephen Sondheim, Burt Baccarach and sometimes Peter Gabriel. Nancy is well versed (pun intended) in many styles and her music often takes on a jazz flavor. She often incorporates humor (overt or subtle) and/or outright zaniness...Nancy is full of great surprises!
    I count these two colleagues among the best writers I know. I have been very pleased with the arrangements we come up with together. From my standpoint, I get to make much use of the cello in both "regular" (bowed) and bass (plucked) roles, and their music is wonderful to play cello with....so much so that I decided to buy an electric 5-string cello recently to expand my sound capabilities and increase the bass-playing capabilities (with the added low string).
  • Tracy Jane Comer/Michael Bryant/Randy Green -- This is an unnamed entity, but it follows the pattern of "in-the-round with collaboration." This group is myself (guitar, cello, vocals) with two of my longest-term musical colleagues, Michael Bryant (guitar, vocals, bass), former frontman for now-defunct group Sticky Fingers, and Randy Green (keyboard, guitar, vocals), who often performs as supporting artist with me but who is a musician/writer in his own right in addition to being my producer, manager, and co-writer. Again, this combination brings a lot of diversity to the table and lets my try out some different instruments and instrumental styles.
    Michael has an unforgettable voice, smooth as silk and reminiscent of the late Dan Fogelberg, and he writes wonderful and very memorable, infectious (in a good way!) songs. Michael and I were both part of former trio Sticky Fingers and have also done duo shows with him a number of times. Michael works by day as an audio/video software specialist with Sony Digital. Randy, who owns/runs Randy's Recording in Cottage Grove, has started writing again and performing some of his own material lately (after a break of many years) and so we have been working his songs into our duo act and also featuring Randy on lead vocals for some covers. Randy often brings a welcome levity to my shows with his distinctive style of humor, and that humor is reflected in some of his original songs as well. Other times his writing is philosophical and deep (not surprising if you know Randy).
    I think what we do together offers a pleasingly balanced "musical diet."
So - I plan to do more with these and other collaborations in the future...and hope to see some of you at upcoming shows!