Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dirt City Chronicles podcast episode 20

                                     “Pull me down, I'm lifting off the ground into space”

Anne Tkach died in a tragic house fire in Webster Groves, MO. April 9th, 2015. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. Unless you followed Albuquerque's music scene through the mid to late 1990s you're probably not familiar with Anne and her prolific musical legacy.  I didn't know Anne, though I was fortunate enough to have caught a couple of Hazeldine's live performances before their local concerts grew sparse.

One could be excused for not noticing Anne playing bass on stage during her days with Hazeldine. Tonya Lamm's achingly endearing vocals and Shawn Barton's seductive radiance got all the attention. Even Jeffrey Richards had a je ne sais quoi about him. Not that Anne wasn't beautiful nor lacking in stage presence (a friend of her's Ryan Adams, wrote this on Facebook about her: "I'll never forget watching Anne Tkach play bass for Magic City, duck walking across the stage, putting her foot on the monitor, playing the most badass bass lines in the world, all while wearing a dress”

Anne was a consummate professional musician with a distinctive style of her own. This becomes readily apparent as you listen to the extensive catalog of recordings she participated in. Anne could hold her own regardless of genre (case in point; check out her work with Magic City, available on YouTube)  A native of Webster Groves in the St. Louis area,  Anne followed the trail west to Albuquerque, where she became part of a band that many local music aficionados consider the best to ever come out of these here parts.

Hazeldine in all likelihood was named after Hazeldine Ave. which runs from Broadway to I-25, picks up on the eastside, cuts off again at Roosevelt Park, runs past CNM then dead ends at University Ave.  I don't know the story behind the origins of the band's name (they were originally called Blister) an apartment or a practice space perhaps. I always wondered the same about the John Street Rockets.

 Anyhoot.... Hazeldine rose to prominence once a couple of their tunes were included on a pair of Bloodshot Records compilations. This would lead to four outstanding albums  How Bees Fly (Glitterhouse, 1997) Digging You Up (Polydor, 1998 Double Back (Glitterhouse, 2001) Orphans (E-Squared 2002) a sizable national following and serious critical acclaim everywhere (they're still revered in Holland and Germany)

Eventually, Anne returned to Webster Groves, catching on with St. Louis fan favorites Nadine in 2001 (fronted by highly acclaimed St. Louis, singer/songwriter Adam Reichmann). Nadine broke up in 2003 with Anne hooking up with a number of St. Louis based bands: Ransom, Bad Folk, Magic City, The Skekses, Lost Monkey, Sole Loan and most recently Rough Shop.  A former classmate summed it up; “Her versatility as a player was remarkable; that was clear from a single listen to her onstage or from scanning the diverse nature of acts that wanted her membership”

My intention was to try and post a track from as many of the bands Anne was involved in as possible. That proved problematic, for one, there's nary a track online from Nadine during the time she played with them, (Magic City and Rough Shop are well represented) ultimately I chose to post nothing but Hazeldine with the exception of a Rough Shop track on which Anne sings lead vocals. It's at the end, you can jump to it or listen to the entire playlist.... I recommend the latter.
                                                           Anne Tkach, que en paz descanse.                    
Right to Feel
Summer Wine
Whiskey in the Jar
Drive (live)
Fletcher's Bar (live)
Realize (live)
Digging You Up (live)
Married Man (live)
Dear Mama (Rough Shop w/Anne Tkach on vocals)