Tracy Walton has never been afraid to re-invent himself. In this spirit, Tracy released the aptly titled “Brand New Again” in 2011. “At once rough and vulnerable, Tracy’s voice cuts to the heart of any story, taking you down back roads, through broken lonely hearts, and into hopeful, open skies.
Tracy Walton began his career in music by picking up his first guitar at the age of 10. He quickly realized that his ear bent towards the low end, and he switched to bass. His teen years brought a string of punk and hard rock bands, local glory, and a gig teaching at an area music store. But alas, the journey to rock and roll stardom has many bumps, and when the only apartment he and his band mates could afford was condemned, he knew he was in serious need of a plan B.
The eviction, his growing dislike of ramen noodles, and the call of the bass, proved to be serendipitous when he caught Dave Santoro playing upright in a Hartford jazz club. He bought an old plywood and started playing Zeppelin grooves on it to find his bearings. He soon tracked Dave down for lessons and after a summer of instruction, Tracy accepted a scholarship to study jazz at the Hartford Conservatory. And in case you thought you read it wrong, yes Tracy decided that a degree in jazz performance would always lead to gainful employment when times got tough.
Tracy soon joined the Eric Miller Trio, a straight ahead jazz group that logged close to 200 shows a year in the mid-nineties. After a few years, what started as a joke of quoting classic rock lines during solos, turned into the formation of the female fronted rock act Missing Slim. It was at this time that he also joined the faculty of The National Guitar Workshop and Kent School.
Tracy’s connection with the National Guitar Workshop allowed him to author three books through Alfred Publishing. It also gave him the opportunity to play with world class players; including David Bromberg, Vernon Reed, and Aaron Scott.
Out of a faculty band that found their common ground in artists like The Band, Neil Young, and Johnny Cash, the band Black Lab Project was formed. Tracy was the main songwriter, vocalist and bass player in the group. Pressures of touring, while trying to fulfill the requirements of adjunct teaching positions, and putting food on the table led Tracy to take a full time teaching position at a prep school in Northwest CT in 2007.
“I loved the few years I taught full time, but it just wasn’t the right balance for me. I need to play.” So having finally found that steady gig to fall back on, Tracy decided in 2010 that it was time to start “Brand New Again” and focus all of his energy on his solo career. Listening to “Brand New Again,” one can’t help but hear the years of struggle that all musicians go through. Yet, there is a hope to the record that Tracy delivers in his deep voice that demands attention. And while it may be easy to hear the Americana flavor, if you listen close you’ll hear Ziggy Stardust trying to show himself, and maybe Chet Baker’s smooth voice singing a harmony or two.