Archive for June, 2015

June 29, 2015

Oh Shenandoah – #Musicmonday

This is my first attempt at a self-harmonizing video using the new group video feature on Smule. It was a lot of fun creating this. Hope you enjoy it!


Click this link to view the video: Oh Shenandoah -Tracye Dukes

June 28, 2015

New Every Mourning…

God’s mercies are new every morning. And with the dawn, wise men have said that Joy comes.

I have often found this to be true.

Today, as I sat quietly, welcoming the first light of the day, a new perspective came into view. You see, some sunrises don’t hold smiles or giggles. Instead they bring a batch of fresh tears… hot and erupting.

Grief will surprise us with it’s presence from time to time.

It’s been 6 months since my big brother took his last breath on Christmas morning last year. When waves of grief come, it is not a debilitating, soul-crushing experience anymore… not like it was in the beginning. The emotion comes to the surface, spills out and somehow leaves me a little lighter. A little stronger, even. This is new. And in my heart I accept this as part of the journey.

God’s mercies are new every mourning.

Somewhere in the midst of this grieving process, a shift has come. Now, when sorrow passes over me like a cloud, I realize it is only to bring a shower of remembrance and a reminder of never ending connection. For me and those who are growing in understanding of bereavement, there is precious hope.

We still love.

We are still loved.

And that love lives on forever.

Lord, thank you for new mercies that are lavished upon us… especially on the mornings that we are greeted with fresh grief. May we feel the consequences of opening our hearts and lives to deep, deep love. May we look to you for comfort and enlightenment when relationship shifts from the physical form we understand most. Let us never become reluctant to feel our way through the full experience. We choose to let love overwhelm our heart, overflow from our eyes and run down our cheeks… knowing that this, too, is a part of living a gorgeous life. 

Thank you, for the dawn of a new day and the new mercies that are revealed in the mourning.

With gratitude and peace in knowing,


June 19, 2015

New Music Review: Joy Williams – Venus #O2O #JoyWilliams

Disclaimer:  I participated in the Joy WIlliams Venus album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided an album to review but all opinions are my own.

I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time. You see, I was a Joy Williams fan long before the I heard the first release from The Civil Wars and cried my eyes out. Though I’ll never forget that hour I got lost listening to “Poison and Wine” on repeat, it wasn’t an unfamiliar voice to me.

She was Joy Williams, the contemporary Christian artist that I knew and loved. I was a fellow Nashvillian and aspiring singer. Her sound and style… was a mentor to me, of sorts.

I’ve followed her career loosely through the years. In the beginning of her time with The Civil Wars, I was highly intrigued. Their first cd project was a gold mine of folky bluegrass with a splash of contemporary emotion. I drunk it in and wanted more. When the turbulence within the group began, I distanced myself from it all. In doing so, I lost touch not only with the duo’s turmoil, but with what was going on in Joy’s musical career, altogether.

Sheer delight was what I felt the day that a friend of mine posted a rough draft of “Woman, Oh Mama” on her page, tagging me for my input. This was several months ago, and honestly, what I heard was a little disappointing. My friend and I were long time fans, but the production of the song at that time was, for a lack of better words… just weird.
I didn’t think much else about the new album being released after hearing that. Then the day came when I received the offer to preview the new cd before it came out! Thank you, #O2O for this chance to listen to that track again! I’m so glad I did!!

When I heard the very first lines of “Before I Sleep”, which is the first cut from this album, I knew that this project was going to wow me. It was from that moment on that I sat still and listened intently, to every lyric and harmony as though I was sharing a favorite glass of wine with an old friend.
Joy, was back.

I’m not sure what happened to the song (video posted above) that I heard previously… but it was reworked and made into something completely different than before! The world-music-meets- Bluegrass with a splash of contemporary-pop-fire in Joy’s already folky voice was quite enchanting. Dare I say, it may have actually been a NEW sound in music! Be sure to click on the link above and lisen for yourself!

It is almost impossible to choose a favorite from this cd, for me. Each song has something unique and worthy of admiration.
The 2nd song on the project, “Sweet Love of Mine”, hauntingly transported me back to the feel of late 80’s hit grooves from the group “Soul to Soul” and the catchy musical phrase from “Tom’s Diner” (Suzanne Vega).

Then the hauntingly stirring mood and lyrics of “Until the Levee” pull you into the story but I’m not sure if it’s more amazing than “What a Good Woman Does”, which will ruin you with it’s honesty.

I’ll just have to leave the decision about which one of these 11 tracks are the best to you.

1. Before I Sleep
2. Sweet Love of Mine
3. Woman (Oh Mama)
4. One Day I Will
5. Not Good Enough
6. What a Good Woman Does
7. Until the Levee
8. You Loved Me
9. The Dying Kind
10. Till Forever
11. Welcome Home

I could spend several days writing an individual blog post for each song… this cd project is just that moving! Joy’s voice is authentic and tempered. She has gone through many transformations and her voice tells that story with it’s myriad of inflections and colors. There is a subtle fusion of all the musical roles she has played throughout her career, in it’s sound. Are you intrigued? I sure hope so!

Venus’ launch date is June 29th, 2015. If you’re like me and you don’t want to wait… well, I can’t share my copy with you, BUT you can preorder at ITunes or Amazon now.

To connect with her on social media:

Official Joy Williams Website

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