Brand New Again, Tracy Walton Interview and Review
Tracy Walton’s “Brand New Again” is a great collection of songs that are unlike anything I’ve heard lately, and yet they are pleasantly familiar. There is a timeless quality to them. The more I listen to this music, the more I am impressed. Tracy Walton is also one musician who’s put his music where his heart is.
The number one killer of teens in this country is car crashes. Every year about 3000 young people (ages 15-19) die in traffic accidents and 350,000 end up in emergency rooms. SAVES (Support Automotive Violence Education Services) is launching a new campaign, “Survive the Drive” to raise awareness of automotive violence among our nations teens.
Tracy Walton’s song “Friend of Mine” from the album “Brand New Again” has been adopted as the campaign song for Survive The Drive. He will be performing at the campaign launch event at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, Ct. on April 4, 2012, with part of the proceeds being donated to the cause. I asked Tracy if he would answer a few questions to give us some inside thoughts on his album and his involvement with SAVES Survive The Drive Campaign.
Brand New Again is an amazing piece of work!
Thanks so much. I am really glad it touches you.
Friend of Mine
Q: Is this a song about wisdom and maturity, how things look when you’re a little older?
It reminds me of a Memorial Day parade. It seems as if there is a slight breeze and people are dressed up a bit. I feel like the song lives back in a day when people put on a tie to go to a parade.
Q: S.A.V.E.S. is using it so tell us a bit about the organization, how you will be working with them, and what it means to you.
They are an organization that educates teens about the dangers of distracted driving. They do this through a more scientific approach rather than the typical scared straight approach. The song Friend of Mine will be featured throughout their 2012 campaign. We are working on setting up festivals and appearances where I will play helping to give exposure to both of us.
Q: Will there be a video to help get the message out?
They are planning a video that will feature still photos of teens. They are actually having a photo contest to choose the photos. People should check out their website if they are interested in entering.
Things Will Never Be The Same
"Please don't make me play, sad songs from yesterday."
Q: Are these lyrics a reference to when you played in bands before you went solo?
For me it’s about being sentimental, and old songs have a way of adding to that longing we all get sometimes for a time we perceive as better. For me it’s about a singer that is hesitant to play old songs, because he feels they will remind him that things constantly get worse in pop culture. Modern day songs, film, books… they all seem watered down to him in comparison to the sad songs from yesterday.”
This song shows the point that I am usually not the narrator in my songs. I don’t necessarily agree with this narrator, and I love playing sad old songs and will play them all night if given my choice.
It's Just Begun (Enduring Devils)
"It's never over, it's just begun. You're the only one."
Q: Is this a song about love that endures through time, mundane days, and temptation?
In my mind the character that the person is singing about has died. It is subtle but it’s there if you listen close. This isn’t to say that you are wrong. That is the beauty of music; once I put it out there it is yours to interpret as you wish. If you hear it and it speaks to you in that way, than I can’t argue with you that you are wrong. I actually like hearing different interpretations than the one I had in mind when I wrote it. I write things a bit abstract to allow for this.
Q: Man, with just that hint of twang this puppy should be the top played song on any juke box south of the Mason-Dixon! Is that intentional? I saw on your website that you've played a lot of gigs down south.
Once you hit that two feel that this song has, it’s hard not to bring in a hint of twang. I actually have to concentrate so I don’t put too much twang on it. There is Pedal Steel on a bunch of the record as well and we intentionally left it off of this tune so it would not bring it to that obvious place. I do play a bunch of Johnny Cash covers when I play live which always gets people going. I did set out to write a tune in that style with this one.
Q: From 92 lyrics: "Where are you, what am I, who are we, where does the time go?"
Is this song about a relationship that drifted apart?
I feel like I have said too much already in terms of what I feel these songs are about. I am going to let this one be a mystery.
Q: Which artists have had the most influence on your music? Do you ever cover any of their songs at your concerts?
I feel like I owe the most to the Beatles. To me they are the best ever, so I intentionally spent a long time studying what makes their songs work. Pretty much everything you need to know about songwriting can be learned from any Beatles record from Rubber Soul on. Typically one of their songs sneaks into the set list most nights. .
Q: Are you presently writing any new music? Got a new single on the way?
I am writing the follow up album now. I feel like I am writing better than I ever have. I am excited to see where this album goes and can’t wait for people to hear it. In terms of the next single from this one; that depends on if I get too deep into the follow up. I may just change gears and dive into writing.
Q: Besides the gig at Infinity Hall, what other performances are lined up for the spring and summer?
I do have a few summer concerts lined up and am working on a house concert tour. Check out my website to find me.
You can get Brand New Again from Tracy Walton’s web site www.tracywaltonmusic.com or iTunes.
To submit photos to S.A.V.E.S. Survive the Drive campaign: firstname.lastname@example.org
REMEMBER: The Survive the Drive kickoff concert is April 4, 2012. Here's the link:
Brand new Again Video
A Short Review of "Brand New Again"
When I got the call about interviewing Tracy Walton and reviewing his debut album "Brand New Again", my first concern was "What if I don't like his music?". That question was answered very quickly. I listened to the title cut “Brand New Again” on his Youtube page and immediately bought the album on iTunes. I was hooked.
I listened to the music in my Avalanche, on my headphones walking around outside in the warm Carolina weather, and at home. I prepared questions about the songs on "Brand New Again" and sent them off and was very happy with the results.
Singer/songwriters are fascinating people. I like to write short stories, articles about things that interest me, and the occasional review of a book. People like Tracy Walton take creativity to a different level. I know very little about music, but I know what I like. I like "Brand New Again".
I like the lyrics. I enjoy a song that is about something. These songs are written and delivered in a way that allows the listener to interpret them. I did so and was probably more often wrong than right. But that's what people do. They bring their own experiences to the music and it speaks to them.
I like the instruments, the sound. The mixing on this album is great. You can get lost in the guitar playing, the keyboards or the vocals.
I appreciate that the songs are all different. Each of the cuts on this CD brings something different to the listener: a hint of country, old school rock and roll, up tempo blues, and songs that make you think about "last call" at some little out of the way hole in the wall joint.
Tracy Walton's "Brand New Again" is well worth buying, listening to, and I can hardly wait to hear the next album.
- CDC - Teen Drivers Fact Sheet - Motor Vehicle Safety
Teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers on the road.
Tracy on Facebook:
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News video/ Tracy sings Friend of Mine!
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