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Tracy Bonham at 20 Front Street, 3 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019

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Tracy Bonham is best known for her Grammy Award-nominated 1996 hit "Mother Mother," but if that's all you know about her then you're missing a lot.

The New York-based Bonham, 52, has released six studio albums, the latest of which, 2017's "Modern Burdens," made Rolling Stone magazine's list of the Top 50 albums of that year. The classically educated singer and violinist has also collaborated with Blue Man Group, appearing on its Complex Rock Tour and subsequent DVD.

A mother herself now, Bonham is as active as ever musically. Her latest outing finds her touring with multi-instrumentalist and producer Blake Morgan -- who also signed Bonham to his ECR Music Group label. The two have been on the road together since last year making genuinely beautiful music, together and separately...

• Bonham says by phone that she met Morgan a number of years ago, when he asked her to guest at a residency he was playing in New York City. The two found an instant connection, musically and philosophically. "It hit me that we were somewhat kindred spirits. He told me he had a classical upbringing so we started to tell stories about how we're both so grateful for our classical education but we felt very confined by the structure, the discipline. We both are very disciplined in our process. I take it very seriously, but there’s something about the confines of playing in classical music. We both wanted to write songs and both ventured into the alternative rock world. We also have the ability to poke fun and not take ourselves too seriously. I just felt like, 'OK, this guy gets me and I get him' -- and he's a really good businessman, which I also appreciate."

• Bonham says her commercially successful run of the mid- and late-90s "feels like a different world, a different person. It was, like, a bajillion years ago. I had to go through the meat grinder a little bit and do some soul searching -- and, in fact, I decided to burn a lot of my journals from back then, all this stuff about how The Man was stealing my soul. Once I looked back at those journals a decade or more later, I was like, 'Omigod, bore me!' That's not what I want to be, not what I want to be complaining about. There are bigger problems in the world than that."

• Bonham currently has three projects in the works -- a new album of her own, a "musical storybook...for music lovers of all ages" and an album of educational songs about music and music theory. "I just need to give myself the green light now on whichever one feels right and most ready. None of it pays (laughs) but I didn't get into music or the arts to become rich or anything. I did see some glory days in the 90s, but now I feel completely satisfied creatively."

Tracy Bonham and Blake Morgan perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13 at 20 Front Street in Lake Orion. $25. 248-783-7105 or 20frontstreet.com.

Web Site: www.20frontstreet.com

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