The Groovebirds - 'There Are Stars'
Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier & Staff
The Groovebirds cut to the chase with the swift and poignantly emotive “There Are Stars”. A song that tells the story of a loved one's ongoing struggle in life
Acoustic guitar and vocals duties handled by Tracy J bring a very intimate and commanding presence to the music. Both elements here are very prominent in the mix while the atmospheric lead guitar lines and various percussion (I hear bells specifically) courtesy of Bill Barnett serve to fill out more of the background ambient qualities of the piece. Without a drummer to be found, it is bassist Phil Carroll helping solidify the groove alongside Tracy’s arpeggiated chords keeping everything steadily in 6/8 time.
The music itself is Folky with the mood being, in a word, melancholy as its centered around a minor tonality. For the most part at least. Towards the end of the song around the 2:10 mark, the tonality shifts briefly from minor to major. Immediately I was lead to believe that I was going to get a completely different sounding second half of the song but in actuality, this brief shift in mood wound up being the song’s outro. A very clever move there I must say.
Clocking in at about 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the song is short but sweet with lyrics that convey a pensive mood with a sense of reflection back on difficult times. In my opinion, this is best depicted with the lines “You were me, so long ago Could it be? With armor we soldier on. But the heart wants to beat in the end.”
The soothing quality of the performances roped me in immediately so I have to admit, I was wanting to hear more when the song ended, but I have to give credit where its due for well crafted songs that keep you coming back for more.
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Tacy J (The Groovebirds) TracyJ is a bassist, acoustic guitarist, singer/songwriter, and a founding member of The Groovebirds. Her musical studies and journey began in earnest in Portland, Oregon in 2011, but she has always gravitated toward music since her formative years. Her early influences include her grandfather (a successful Southern California studio and touring musician), and her mother (a Colorado folk singer and guitarist). Later influences (too numerous to mention) came from Tracy's early obsession with music as a child, her exposure to the major acts that frequented the Aspen music scene during her teenage years, and a brief career as a disc jockey and program director in Leadville, Colorado. In a relatively short time, TracyJ has compiled an impressive discography, and performed numerous live shows with artists across many genres, including a US tour with The Groovebirds in 2019. For updates about TracyJ's music and upcoming performances, check out The Groovebirds website and Tracy's blog at https://thegroovebirds.com.