Experience the time-honored tradition of storytelling with poet Brian Michael Tracy and folk/rock duo Andy Hill and Renee Safier on their spoken word and music CD effort, Midnight Tea
. The CD features Brian reading his poetry interwoven thematically with songs performed by Andy and Renee. Midnight Tea
was produced by Marty Rifkin, who has played pedal steel with Bruce Springsteen on Devils & Dust, The Ghost of Tom Joad
, and Tracks
CDs as well as The Seeger Sessions Band Tour
and Live in Dublin
The selections featured on Midnight Tea are also from Brian's companion poetry book Driving With Dante. The book and CD pay homage to Brian's artistic influences, such as poets Wallace Stevens and Larry Levis and the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia (poem: Jerome," song: Ripple").
Driving With Dante takes the reader through a series of water poems" reflective of childhood innocence, adolescent awakening into the experiences of adulthood, ranging from the depths of arson, murder and war to the elevated heights of music, science, poetry and love. The journey comes full circle with its opening water theme in its ending piece, taking the reader on a ride with Dante to Dante's View in Death Valley where ...the rivers disappear, turning slowly to dust..."
Brian had been working on the book when he attended a Lucinda Williams concert where, between songs, her father Miller Williams read his poetry. Brian thought that Andy and Renee might be the perfect choice to do something similar. The folk/rock duo had carved a niche for themselves in Los Angeles as one of the few acts playing over 200 local and out-of-town dates per year either as a duo, with their band Hard Rain, at their annual Bob Dylan Birthday Party (now in its 17th year), or recreating The Band's legendary Last Waltz concert.
Andy and Renee paired their folk/rock music sensibilities and vast catalogue of favorite tunes and originals with Brian's poetry. We began to place songs within the context of the poems to weave themes in and around each piece to create a kind of conversation," states Brian. This unique performance concept resulted in an Evening of Music & Poetry performed monthly since January 2007 at various venues in Los Angeles.
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Brian graduated from Harvard University and putting his writing on hold, moved to California to start a career in real estate. When his wife introduced him to yoga several years ago, Brian rediscovered his love of poetry and started writing again. Since then his poems have been featured in Gentle Strength Quarterly and several issues of Yogi Times Magazine.
Andy Hill is a student of the folk and rock classics and has won several songwriting awards, including for Two Trains," one of the featured songs on Midnight Tea. In 2005 Renee Safier's blues and jazz vocal chops won the Telluride Blues Festival's Acoustic Blues Competition.
Both CD and book are released through Midnight Tea Publishing, LLC and available on Amazon.com. The CD is also on iTunes.