Tracy Walton – Moderately Unknown

Tracy Walton – Moderately Unknown

Record review
Tracy Walton
“Moderately Unknown”
Review written by Jennifer Dauphinais


From the first listen of Walton’s third solo release “Moderately Unknown”, I’m struck with the presence of a performer that is built from the same stock as rock veterans such as Tom Petty and Jackson Browne. Walton spent the past three months in the recording process at his studio On Deck in the Litchfield Hills. The result is another victory for Connecticut music, which continues to enforce its place on the independent music map with tenacious productions from a diverse mosaic of studios and musicians.

The album travels through a spectrum of emotions, song structures, and instrumentation providing a diverse feast of original music untethered by genres, and reinforcing Walton’s range as a songwriter. The movement across a wide range of styles within one record has fortified itself as Walton’s signature approach, also a large part of what made “If I Ever Get Away” and “Brand New Again” refreshing works.

Opening track, “Someday”, shines with a patina of wisdom yet left with enough room for a twist of innocence. Walton delivers a balanced portion of grit and sauciness on stand out tracks “Jump Into the Fire” and “Summertime” where horns and keys blend seamlessly around sturdy back beats, and entice listeners to revel in the moment.  “Better Man”, a love song wrapped sweetly with an achy violin, feels a familiar part of the American soundtrack. The melancholy, ballad-esque “Belfast” burrows a serious earworm in the spirit of the listener, backed with the richness of harmonies from On Deck Studio compatriots, Krizta Moon and Julia Autumn Ford, who season the record throughout.


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Song-writer, Jennifer Dauphinais, is the primary force behind band/solo folk performer Ponybird. Both home-recorded releases, “Climb Yourself Up” (2008), and “Full Cold Moon” (2009), were chosen as Top Ten Albums of the Year by the New Haven Register. A third release, “Modest Quarters”, was produced and recorded at Dirt Floor Studios in Chester, CT and released in 2015. Ponybird was nominated for a Connecticut Music Award for Best Americana in 2012 and 2013. In addition to song writing, Dauphinais writes across many genres including academic research, which is part of her doctoral work at Columbia University, Teachers College. She is also known for performing with folk-roots innovator, Christina Abbott, in their duo, The Karner Blues, as well as heavy rock bands, Belle Starr, The Editors, and Spider & Fly. Dauphinais also wrote for the New Haven Advocate entertainment section, and hosted a radio show on WYBC 1340 AM with co-host Craig Gilbert. As Daylight Photography, she is best known for capturing bands behind the lens (see Crooked Hook’s album cover The Captain Will Be Your Guide ) and continues to ghost write for local venues, labels, and independent bands.


One Responseto “Tracy Walton – Moderately Unknown”

  1. Anthony says:

    Is the reviewer a friend of this guy? The music has no depth or feeling and sounds like he’s copying, not being influenced by, but copying styles.