Book of Sparrows

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Book of Sparrows
EP by Tracy Grammer
Released December 23, 2007
Genre Folk
Label Tracy Grammer Music
Producer Tracy Grammer and Jim Henry
Tracy Grammer chronology
Flower of Avalon
(2005)
Book of Sparrows
(2007)

Book of Sparrows is a seven-song EP by American folk singer Tracy Grammer released in December, 2007. Grammer accompanies herself on a number of different instruments and also receives support on vocals and various guitars from Jim Henry. She and Henry have been touring together since September 2003.

The songs[edit]

The seven compositions are all covers from highly acclaimed writer/performers and many of the songs have themes of love and loss. These include titles by established artists such as Paul Simon's "April, Come She Will", and Tom Russell's "Blue Wing". There are also songs by artists who are relative newcomers to the folk scene, like David Francey's "The Waking Hour". Kate Power's "Travis John" tells the story of Corporal Travis John Bradach-Nall, one of the first soldiers from Power's home state of Oregon to die in the Iraq War.

Also, notable are the two songs by her former partner, the late Dave Carter. "Lord of the Buffalo" is a previously unreleased song, and this version of "Gypsy Rose" has been described as a "slower more reflective" take than the one that appeared on her previous album.

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Folk Alley 4/5 stars [1] link
FolkWax (8/10) [2]
Kevin McCarthy (favorable) [3] link
MusicMatters (favorable) [4] link

Reviewers have noted that Grammer does make each of these songs her own.[3] Writing for MusicMatters Review Michael Devlin sums the album up stating, "Each song has a lingering beauty that makes this a book of unique creations that all fly in a similar direction. Well-done in every way!" Kevin McCarthy outlines the albums themes as follows: "Longing for difference yet also connectedness, for independence but not separateness, wishing at times to be someone or somewhere else, with harmony just maybe over the next rise."[3] A couple of writers while giving favorable reviews of this EP seem to express an even greater anticipation for a full release from Grammer to follow up on 2005's Flower of Avalon.[1][2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Blue Wing" (Tom Russell) 4:55
2. "Travis John" (Kate Power) 4:02
3. "The Waking Hour" (David Francey) 3:58
4. "Lord of the Buffalo" (Dave Carter) 4:39
5. "Gypsy Rose (aka Gypsy Down)" (Dave Carter) 5:15
6. "April, Come She Will" (Paul Simon) 2:06
7. "In the Shape of a Heart" (Jackson Browne) 6:00

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

  • Tracy Grammer - vocals, guitar, banjo, mandola, violin, percussion
  • Jim Henry - vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, dobro

Production[edit]

  • Produced by Tracy Grammer and Jim Henry
  • Mastered by Dave Chalfant

Charts[edit]

Date chart peak
December 2007 Folk Radio Airplay [5] 3

External links[edit]

  • Music page from the official Tracy Grammer web site (includes lyrics)


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Review: Tracy Grammer - Book of Sparrows, accessed May 20, 2008
  2. ^ a b Arthur Wood, "A Taste While Waiting", FolkWax, January 2, 2008
  3. ^ a b c Kevin McCarthy, "Review of the Tracy Grammer CD Book of Sparrows", Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews, November, 2007
  4. ^ Michael Devlin, "Tracy Grammer - Book of Sparrows", MusicMatters Review, 25, accessed May 20, 2008
  5. ^ Richard Gillmann, Top Folk Albums, Songs Artists and Labels of December 2007, from FolkDJ-L playlists