Musical journeywoman, Tracy Bonham, took a break from recording her upcoming release Modern Burdens (a re-creation of her debut album The Burdens Of Being Upright) to perform and record a live EP at the legendary Levon Helm Studios (home of the Midnight Ramble) in her beloved home of Woodstock, NY. This live EP, consisting of songs from some of her previous releases: Blink The Brightest (2005), Masts Of Manhatta (2010), Wax & Gold (2015), and Modern Burdens (TBA) will be called Tracy Bonham, Live At Levon Helm's Studios (songs chosen exclusively for NoiseTrade).
On a warm November evening, in front of a friendly and devoted crowd, Bonham weaved and spun her melodies spanning over two decades of work seamlessly, like alchemy, sounding as if they had all been written in the same time period. Her band supported her with ease - longtime friend (and producer of Wax & Gold) Kevin Salem on guitar, current producer (Modern Burdens) John Wlaysewski on bass, and Joe Magistro on drums (Wax & Gold).
"Playing the Modern Burdens album from top to bottom was the original idea for this show" says Bonham. "I had been in the studio with John Wlaysewski re-imagining my songs from my debut album The Burdens Of Bring Upright for the twentieth anniversary of it's original release (1996). The songs were starting to morph into something more modern, and less alternative, and I was excited to share them in front of a live audience. It was a joy to sing the songs with a totally different perspective, and with a more mature way of singing".
Bonham and Wlaysewski have taken the idea of a typical "re record" and turned it on it's head for Modern Burdens (Bonham's newest Pledge Music campaign). "At the very least, we wanted to do something different in that we were going to re-imagine the songs, not merely replay them, or make acoustic versions of them. We wanted them to live in today's world" says Bonham. "I had been trying, in vain, to find relevance for the lyrics which were about a misogynistic ex-boyfriend whom I had dated when I was 20 years old. It was excruciating at first because I am not in that place anymore. But it didn't take me long to find new relevance and new energy behind these angry lyrics when all I was hearing on the news was Donald Trump degrading women."
To their surprise, not only would Trump become president, the inane conversations would continue. John and Tracy began to feel that this album could be even more special if they asked other strong female artists to join in and sing on the album as a gesture of solidarity to celebrate female empowerment. As it stands now Modern Burdens will feature the lead vocals of Rachael Yamagata, Kay Hanley (Letters To Cleo), Sadie DuPuis (Sad13), Tanya Donelly (Belly), Nicole Atkins, Kathryn Calder (The New Pornographers), and Angie Hart (Frente). "I can't believe how fortunate I am to be working with such incredible women" states Bonham. 'Not only am I flattered that these amazing artists were enthusiastic about joining me, but I am encouraged that each artist wanted to share the objective to send a message to women everywhere, young and old, of the importance that we continue to speak our minds, share our views, and reach our potential".
Part of the proceeds from the Modern Burdens Pledge Music campaign will go to benefit Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign: Girl Up engages girls to take action. Led by a community of nearly half a million passionate advocates raising awareness and funds, our efforts help the hardest to reach girls living in places where it is hardest to be a girl.
In addition to five previously released full-length and three EP’s, Bonham has toured extensively as a vocalist/ violinist for The Blue Man Group during their live music arena tours, as well as featured vocalist on Aerosmith's Blues album entitled Honkin On Bobo, and a brief stint as violinist with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.
“a riveting, complicated maker of pop music. She is the kind of songwriter who uses pop conventions intelligently, then also dashes them.”- Popmatters
“Tracy's a beautiful, wild spirit and I'm honored to have played a small part on her mighty new record.”-Langhorne Slim
Below is announced record release shows (thus far) and expect other special celebrations/performances to be announced shortly.
More info: www.tracybonham.com