In Claire Holley's childhood, the hills were alive with the sound of "That's a big 10-4, good buddy." The native Mississippian learned to sing by memorizing the soundtracks of her favorite films, The Sound of Music
. Perhaps that's why Holley's voice can alternate between smooth and raspy, sweet and tough, wistful and angry. Now three CDs into her career, Holley is regarded as one of folk music's up-and-coming talents, with songs full of the kind of observances of life that recall another Southerner, Lucinda Williams, but without the mean air of depression.
Joining Holley on the bill is Tracy Grammer, a guitarist-fiddler-singer who got her start in partnership with songwriter extraordinaire Dave Carter. Grammer and Carter released two CDs before Carter died of a heart attack in July 2002, at the age of 49. Carter's death might have forced Grammer to chart another course, but she's picked up the baton and continued to perform the Dave Carter songbook. As did Emmylou Harris before her with the music of Gram Parsons, Grammer is making sure that her late companion's catalog is available to the world.