Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer were an absolutely brilliant folk duo. People compared Dave’s songs to Bob Dylan, failing to mention that unlike Dylan you could actually hear what Dave was saying, and understand it. If you’ve somehow managed to miss hearing them, you owe it to yourself to listen to a few tracks at Whole Wheat Radio, or samples at CDBaby or Signature Sounds, where you’ll conveniently be able to buy their CDs once you inevitably fall in love with their music.
But then in July 2002, while on tour, Dave Carter came back from a run, and died of a massive heart attack in Tracy’s arms. He was only 49, and they had only had the chance to record three albums together.
Tracy is still touring, still performing the songs Dave wrote, and last December she went into the studio to record her first CD without Dave. Before she started, she took her 220 year old violin, the same one she has been playing for more than twenty years, since she got it in seventh grade, in for “a routine tuneup.” As anyone who has ever taken an aged, much loved car with a sudden odd symptom in for a tuneup could predict, she was told that it was totalled. She was eventually able to get it patched up, and plans to play with it through its two hundred and twenty first summer, but its days are still numbered.
Her friends and fans have started Friends Of Wounded Healer (the name of the violin, though it could as easily be a name for Tracy herself), to raise money for her new violin, when she finds it or it finds her. As she says, “a new violin would cost me several thousand dollars which — and it may surprise you to learn this — I don’t have lying around.” In a reasonable world, she would, but I’m delighted to see that, thanks to her friends and fans, when the time comes, she will. You can donate through PayPal, and an anonymous donor has agreed to match any donations.