A Review of the CD
"Life and Art"
by Tracy Spring

"Life and Art"
by Tracy Spring

Copyright 1995 AziZ 004
AziZ Productions
P.O. Box 4225
Bellingham, WA 98227
ph: (360)-676-5669

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 8/99
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Combine her especially emotive voice with her more introspective songs and Tracy Spring's unfortunately overlooked 1995 release erupts in flames covering the spectrum of human passion. Spring possesses the kind of radiant voice that sends shivers down the spine, especially so in conjunction with her incisive material. Her most delicate, nuanced compositions dissect the threads of human connections, philosophically spotlighting the search for answers in this thing we call life.

Possessing a seductive rhythm, "Into Someone's Eyes" is the sweet and hopeful opening cut. Tentative and concerned about slipping into love as if under a spell, Spring sings:

This song vividly captures the emotional complexities of exposing and offering the human heart, especially when attempting to determine if this extension is one promulgated by strength or weakness.

"Meaning Of Goodbye" delves into the capriciousness of life--the unexpected loss of a loved one and the feelings that follow. Spring sings:

The advice proffered in moving through the stages of grief and sadness and establishing a new identity, is this: The hymn-like "Work And Hope" is a subdued, genuine plea for continuing on, act-by-act, day-by-day, with those humanitarian deeds that better life for us all, especially for those around us who are less fortunate. What could easily become maudlin and banal remains dignified and powerful in Spring's hands, as her lyrics and delivery elevate this subject matter: The opportunities for resurrection, the chance and choice to begin again is the palette painted in the extremely touching "Empty Arms." The song opens with blessed hope but then careens into a new parent's worst nightmare. Spring sings: This excruciating loss of a newborn results in the husband and wife grieving in very separate and isolating ways--he becomes evasive, she acts very down-to-earth and each is unable to support the other: The pair ultimately conjoins, still in anguish but not wanting to continue down their divergent paths: "Woman On The Road" portrays the ambivalence inherent in the struggle to maintain equilibrium between the workings of life and artistic, creative callings. Spring sings: Displaying a degree of versatility, Spring also includes three bluesy cuts--"Love'll Do," "John Is Gone," and "Oh Sweet Darlin'," featuring slide guitar play that promotes and elevates the blues sound and feel.

For those who enjoy being emotionally moved, Tracy Spring will fill the bill, offering subtle insights and an affective voice that truly embellishes her beneficent and thoughtful material.

Spring on vocals, rhythm, slide and electrical guitar, harmonica and mountain dulcimer, is backed by Kim Scanlon on vocals; Janis Carper on vocals and guitar; Linda Waterfall on vocals; Kelly Harland on vocals; Heidi Muller on vocals; Nina Gerber on lead guitar; Cary Black on acoustic, fretless and electric bass; Joel Litwin on percussion, drums and chimes; Orville Johnson on vocals and slide guitar; John Miller on guitar; John Morton on guitar; James Goforth on alto sax; David Lange on piano; and Janet Peterson on cello.

Track List:

All songs written by Tracy Spring, except "Meaning of Goodbye," written by Tracy Spring and Karen Reitz.

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