The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49697   Message #751873
Posted By: katlaughing
21-Jul-02 - 12:14 AM
Thread Name: Obit: Dave Carter, 49, heart attack (1952-2002)
Subject: RE: OBIT: Dave Carter
From the Portland Oregonian:

Carter: Duo's performances, albums gained popularity



For the past few years Portland music fans have enjoyed watching the local duo of Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer rise from small gigs around town to award-winning performances at prestigious festivals to national tours and rave reviews.
That ascent was cut short Friday by Carter's sudden death from a heart attack at a hotel in Massachusetts.

Carter, 49, died at about 9 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time after jogging, according to his manager, Biff Kennedy. The duo was preparing to perform today at the Green River Festival in Greenfield, Mass.

Kennedy said no memorial arrangements yet been made as yet. Grammer was unavailable late Friday for comment.

Kennedy received dozens of phone calls Friday afternoon from all around the United States, from admirers including Joan Baez, the folk music legend who invited the duo to tour with her last spring and had added several of Carter's songs to her repertoire.

In a Boston Globe interview last September, Baez lauded Carter's rare ability to write songs that can be readily interpreted by other singers. "It's a kind of genius, you know, and (Bob) Dylan has the biggest case of it," she said. "But I hear it in Dave's songs, too. There's a very sophisticated feel to the songs. Dave is masterful with words, and there's a real spiritual connection in there; nothing direct, it's in the imagery, and that really rings bells with me."

"He's probably going to end up becoming one of those legendary guys," said John Malloy, who had booked several Portland shows by the duo. "He died at his most prolific period, when he was being discovered by a lot of people."

Carter was a superb musician, with voice, guitar and banjo, but was most praised as a songwriter. Staff writer John Foyston wrote in The Oregonian last year, "Carter skitters across the language like a water bug but can plunge to depths of the heart and soul without so much as a splash."

Carter and Grammer, who also brought vocals as well as violin to the duo, recorded their first album, 1998's independently released "When I Go," in Grammer's kitchen. But their career quickly advanced from such modest circumstances. They soon won the New Folk category at the Kerrville Folk Festival, the sort of victory that had helped launch the careers of Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen, and they went on to top honors at the Napa Valley Music Festival and the Wildflower Performing Songwriter Competition. The albums "Tanglewood Tree" in 2000 and last year's "Drum Hat Buddha" were well-reviewed and earned the duo a strong national following.

Carter was born Aug. 13, 1952, in Oxnard, Calif., and raised in Oklahoma and Texas. Though he played and studied music since boyhood, he worked as a mathematician and computer programmer, and he studied Jungian psychology until a 1994 epiphany led him to seriously pursue a music career. He and Grammer began performing together in early 1998.

Survivors include father Robert Carter of Tulsa, Okla., and sister Elise Fischer of Lawrence, Kan.

Local music promoter Lisa Lepine, who formerly managed the duo, recalled hearing Carter speak in a songwriting seminar earlier this month at Lewis & Clark College. He described songwriting as "the tongue of angels" and said that his work was "to learn the song from God, then write it down so everyone can hear it."

"It's a huge loss," Lepine said. "Dave had a lot more work to do. But he's with the angels now, though, speaking in their tongue."