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Episode 12 — Tracy Bonham

Down Here (2000) on the Abandoned Albums Podcast

On this episode of Abandoned Albums, Rob Janicke and I talk with Tracy Bonham about her album Down Here, the follow-up to her 1996 Grammy-nominated album The Burdens of Being Upright.

Released in 2000, Down Here has been well regarded critically but woefully overlooked commercially; however, as any fan of music knows, the rock and roll highway is littered with brilliant albums that have been tossed aside.

What’s great about doing this podcast is that Rob and I get the opportunity to pull our motorcycles over to the side of that highway, stretch our legs and kick around the vinyl detritus until we find an album that moves us. As a long-time fan of Tracy’s, it didn’t take him long to find Down Here.

The four years between the two albums doesn’t sound like much. But as the dawn cracked on the new millennium, those four years had seen a tectonic shift in the music industry and people’s musical tastes.

The three of us talk about a lot of those changes, and how those helped seal the fate of Down Here.

Tracy’s openness and warmth made the interview easy and super fun. As a natural storyteller, she got some great ones to share, including:

  • Brunch with Lyor Cohen at Trump Plaza.
  • Being in the studio with Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake and the inspiration behind Cold Day in Hell.
  • A little crush on the tousle-haired Boomtown Rat — Sir Bob Geldof (eh, to each their own).

The coolest thing?

You’ll hear her eyes light up when she talks about her album Young Maestros, Vol 1. I don’t even have kids and found the album a hoot — if your feet don’t immediately start tapping when you hear “Let’s Take the Subway,” check your pulse. Even if you’re not from NYC, you’ll get it simply because it’s a solid jam.

The kids’ album is part of her Melodeon Music House where Tracy has created a curriculum to explore the world of music in a mindful and creative way. This is the place where the world of music converges with creativity and mindfulness. Melodeon Music House has teaching centers in both Woodstock New York and Brooklyn.

We were so honored to have Tracy swing by Thunderlove Studios to have a chat about Down Here and unleash some of her awesomeness on us.

Check out the podcast, wherever you get podcasts.

“The only music podcast that matters.”

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Keith R. Higgons

Keith R. Higgons

Writer & Podcaster — Abandoned Albums

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