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Friday Mixtape: Tracy Chapman


That means it’s time for the Friday Mixtape. There is no tape and no mix, just 3 tracks from a single artist. Hope this skates you into the weekend! Today I bring you:

Tracy Chapman

Who She Is: American singer/songwriter, 4-time Grammy Award winner (if that matters to you). Ridiculously talented, she plays guitar, harp, bouzouki, banjo, clarinet, keyboards, organ, harmonica, and percussion instruments. Her voice is like a warm blanket, carved wood.

Why I Love Her (and Why You Should Too): I first heard Tracy Chapman in the late’90s, not long after I first heard Alanis Morissette. I was 13, my family had just moved to Indiana after 8 years in Madison, WI, and I was so lonely I could have chewed off my own arm. I spent the summer before high school lying in a rectangle of light between the garage and the family room, drowning in songs like “One of Us” by Joan Osborne, and “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. For the longest time, I didn’t know who was responsible for this track that so perfectly captured the ache in my heart. For years, I actually thought the singer was a man; it took me a long time to wrap my head around the fact that Tracy Chapman is a black woman. (I know, I know. In retrospect, how could I have thought she was anything but?) “Fast Car” is one of many hits off her first, self-titled album, which came out in 1988 (I was 5 years old!!!!). Continue reading Friday Mixtape: Tracy Chapman