[dropcap]A[/dropcap] few months ago, I went to Baltimore to play at Teavolve Cafe. The room was full, but chatty, and I was not sure if anyone had really connected with the music. Then afterwards, a young man came up and said he really appreciated the music. He said he was a writer and that he would like to stay in touch–maybe there was some sort of collaboration possible. I gave him a copy of “We Are The Dreamers,” and we went our separate ways.
Weeks later, Eric followed up:
… Thank you again for the gift. I must admit that Past this End was my favorite on the CD. It just has a very sweeping effect as it plays, gripping. Listening to it, I feel lifted up from my own chair to partake in a very human story…
Over the coming weeks, Eric and I exchanged emails about music, stories and came up with a plan to spread the news about my music. His questions were thoughtful and he took the time to get to know my songs and stories.
When someone like Eric is moved by the music and has ideas for sharing it with new people. It’s like a fresh gas tank. A new log on the fire. A deep encouragement.
Below is the outcome of those conversations: a review of ONE VOICE, as published in the The Grayhound. You can also print a hardcopy of the newspaper; this article is on page 6.
Written by Eric Campos
Recently,On Tap Magazine has listed singer/songwriter Tiffany Thompson among its “artists that should be on your radar” list. I didn’t know this the Friday night I walked Into Teavolve, a café-bar near Baltimore’s Inner Harbor known for drawing diverse musical talent. Above a rambling Friday crowd, Tiffany rose to deliver an extraordinary performance that blew me out of the café and into the equilibrium of just listening, feeling the music. Not only is Tiffany Thompson deserving of such praise, but she is a truly gifted and unique artist in the musical community.
Instantly recognizable about Tiffany is her natural gift at singing. When I hear her music, I find myself reminded of such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, even Stevie Nicks; this is not based on their similarities to Tiffany, but because these musicians are each one with their voices. Ella Fitzgerald is Ella Fitzgerald, period. In kind, one of Tiffany’s defining characteristics as an artist is her ability to move the audience with movements of her voice.Perhaps the art of singing is itself the most human, most original mode of music. Before instruments, before paper, it was the voice that gave life to the heart’s music. In our interview, Tiffany related that she took voice lessons throughout high school and into college. When she came to D.C., Tiffany also studied with established singer/songwriter Mary Anne Redmond and continues to study in her travels. Yet, Tiffany’s journey to musician began much earlier:
“I’ve always kept journals and created stories and pictures—around 12-years-old, I turned my journaling into poetry. Then, I took what I knew on piano and guitar and started putting those words to music. From there, I knew I loved to write and sing my own songs. I recorded a record my junior year of high school with a friend.”
Since then Tiffany has been achieving a growing fan base and producing several albums. Her latest release is One Voice. To back up her singing ability, this album especially showcases Tiffany’s ability to write powerful themes into her music. As a lyricist, Tiffany’s songs are inherently deep, often delving into very human themes in content. The majority of these songs contain a very clear narrative component, stories in verse. The entire album is woven together in a way that a novel is compiled of chapters, beginning with “Take it and Run”and ending with “In the Distance.” One will find that the song selections for One Voice are well blended in pace and vibe, but more than often each song tends to contain a rhythmic flow containing soft and hard patterns. This makes each song unique, as does the storytelling aspect so intricately woven into the music.
The themes interwoven include the power/importance of music itself, struggle and following one’s path. Tiffany mentioned that this album was very much a reflection of her own journey in music. It wasn’t always easy, and some of these songs reflect this aspect of artistry and life in general. There are always stumbles in the road of any pursuit, which for me as the listener was very relatable. In the song, “Bed of Decision,”I found my own reflection ingrained within the lyrics. The song ultimately reflected that struggle is the prologue to accomplishment, a burden all must bear. Even in her less upbeat songs, there is no sense of gloom in Tiffany’s music. One Voice is a hopeful and empowering album to listen to.
In terms of genre, Tiffany’s style can be described as a fusion of pop-Americana and soul. There is also influence of jazz and, because of the vivid storytelling in her songs, Tiffany’s work also tends to take on a folk aspect as well. It is this unique sound fusing with the storytelling that makes Tiffany Thompson’s One Voice a triumph. In an interview Tiffany stated, “Music is a passport, bridge-builder, moment-maker, tear-jerker and voice-giver”. One Voice can be described as a collection of sweeping songs of trial, perseverance and ultimately how music itself enriches the soul.