When Grammer saw Dave Carter perform three songs at a songwriter’s showcase shortly after she moved to Portland in 1996, she became enthusiastic about her own musical talents.
“Here were stories that could stand alone as poetry, sung with compassion, intelligence, and a hint of Texas twang,” Grammer said. “I knew instantly that I was in the presence of greatness.”
By late 1997, Grammer and Carter came together to create a duo performing guitar, banjo, violin, mandolin and vocals.
Their first album, “When I Go” recorded in Grammer’s kitchen, garnered the unknown duo a full-page feature article in the Los Angeles Times declaring their self-released album “discovery of the year.”
The flood of praise resulted in an invitation to join folk icon Joan Baez on tour as both featured artists and band members. Grammer found herself in the spotlight as the instrumental soloist and backing vocalist, while Carter’s compositions were being performed alongside songs by Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, and Merle Haggard.
Grammer quickly became known in the folk world as “half of an incandescent duo with Dave Carter,” who died suddenly in 2002 at the age of 49.
Grammer continues to perform Carter’s songs and has produced three solo and two duo albums since his death, including the critically acclaimed tribute CD, “Flower of Avalon” with Mary Chapin Carpenter contributing backing vocals and liner notes.
“Flower of Avalon presents more songs by Dave Carter, with Tracy at the helm as artist, interpreter, co-producer and beating heart at the center of it all,” Carpenter wrote. “Her pure voice conveys the simple truths of these songs; her gifts as a musician are like that of a painter who is a master of chiaroscuro, offering light and shadow at every turn. … I was honored and humbled by the invitation to sing on this record.”
Tickets are $15 and available at Wright’s Custom Framing and Art Supplies in Brookings and at Gold Beach Books in Gold Beach. Tickets may also be reserved online at http://www.pistolriver.com or by calling 541-247-2848.