Music Dish Interview, July 2005
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
Doak - Tracy,
tell me about your songwriting and artist journey and how you became involved
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?
- 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 - yea it was a mind-blowing
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?
- I met Davidlee Slate, who was hosting songwriter
rounds at “The All Good Café” 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.
- 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
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
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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
- 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 super star 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!
Cactus Cafe, Austin
TX, Feb 2006
Acoustic Player Magazine
In Feb 2006, Tracy
toured as an opener for Tommy Emmanuel. The following is a review from the Austin, TX
"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
Artist Spotlight, The Aspiring
Artist, May 2006
"Nashville-based, Canadian artist/songwriter Tracy Rice
has a distinctive alto full of emotion, power and groove."
InsideOut Interview - May 2006
InsideOut Magazine, Nashville
Canadian Finds Musical Home in Nashville
Tracy Rice to headline Church Street Café “sneak peak” this
by Joseph Brant
“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.
is preparing for the inaugural performance this week at the new Church Street
Café. “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
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 Café this