Southwest Airlines Blog features "Dreams", a song co-written with Gracie Fleser and her friends for the Country Music Hall of Fame Words and Music program.
The beautiful songs of Tammy Vice, devoted autism parent/advocate and talented singer/songwriter, always induce a tear or two from me. Of this song, above, she writes,
"Th[is] song was originally written after Morgan had a meltdown. She wanted a Swanson Chicken pot pie in the blue box. They didn't make it anymore, and there was no explaining it to her. It was at a family gathering, and we all fell apart. The point is that she's taught me a whole lot more over the years than I've ever taught her. When my friend did the video, he decided to also include Allison and her graduation, because it broadened the meaning.[...]"
Tammy Vice's latest album strikes impressive balance
I’m a few weeks late in getting around to Tammy Vice’s latest album, “More Than Just Getting By,” but it hasn’t lost anything in the wait.
It’s been more than a decade since Vice moved from her native Mobile to Nashville, but she’s still remembered by fellow former members of the Mobile Songwriters Association and other friends.
On “More Than Just Getting By,” those friends will quickly see that Vice has continued to develop songwriting interests she’s had for years. She walks the line between country and Christian music; sometimes the Gospel message is clear enough that the music is called Christian country; other times it’s more subtle, and simply calling it positive country, as some practitioners do, covers it quite well.
What jumps out immediately about this album is its clear, refreshing tone. Released by GodsChild Records, Vice’s label for years, it has a warm, rich sound based on the skillful arrangement of acoustic instruments.
Probably the hardest thing about country music is writing about simple touchstones of daily life without becoming corny. Once you’ve committed to writing only positive messages, unrelieved sweetness can also make an album’s worth of songs too syrupy for the listener to swallow at a sitting.
On “More Than Just Getting By,” Vice skates around both hazards so gracefully you’d never know they were there.
Music meant to be uplifting often glosses over the fact that it’s a hard world. Vice has reached a point in her songwriting where she acknowledges that while having faith can sustain a person, it doesn’t automatically make life easier.
The best of these songs are ripe to be picked up by some of Nashville’s big names. Mainstream country would be the better for it.
“More Than Just Getting By” is available through www.cdbaby.com. To hear samples, visit www.tammyvice.com.
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Radio Interview Part 2
2009 Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards
Direct Service Volunteer Tammy Vice
Tammy Vice has been a volunteer songwriter at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum since 2005. Tammy volunteers through Words & Music, a 30-year-old program where students write original lyrics in their classrooms with the guidance of their teachers. A selection of these lyrics is then put to music by one of sixty volunteer songwriters.
Tammy's commitment to the program, and to Nashville youth, has been remarkable to watch. She not only values each student for who they are, but also has found unique ways to bring this program to groups who would not ordinarily get to experience
Tammy, who is a mother to a child with autism, came up with the idea to extend this program to special needs classrooms. Knowing that this would take extra effort on the part of the teachers and songwriters, Tammy not only identified a school that could benefit from the program, but also volunteered to visit the school once a week for six weeks, along with one other songwriter, to help teach each student one-on-one. This required her
to adapt the curriculum for a special needs classroom and to find new and creative ways to teach students about songwriting. She even made a point to get a list of each student's favorite song and to learn some of them beforehand to help her teach them about components of a song. Her patience
and ability to see the promise in every child is truly inspiring.
Last fall, Tammy gave her time for a two-day event for VSA arts Tennessee, a group that offers special needs students opportunities to experience the arts. Tammy and a fellow songwriter not only helped
develop lessons for the students to experience, but also spent two days at the museum working with young songwriters.
Tammy is always willing to go the extra mile for the Words & Music program and the children who participate in it. When one group was unable to come to the Hall of Fame for a session, she drove to the school to share music with her student co-writers. The school library came alive with the sound of ten student songs that Tammy carefully put to music. The
students were thrilled to hear their songs, and the teachers were especially appreciative that she made a trip to their school.
Tammy approaches each Words & Music session with enthusiasm, care, and compassion. When she speaks to students, she offers genuine praise and feedback. She makes it a point to relate to each student, and to find ways to communicate her passion in a way that is meaningful to them. You can see each student light up when they receive her attention. She
values every unique viewpoint and idea that students present to her, and you can tell that they really enjoy being in her presence.
We feel honored that Tammy graciously volunteers her time for this program and that she has taken the time and care to reach a wider diversity of students than were previously served. We are proud to nominate Tammy for recognition through the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards program.
Article on Page 11:
"Telling Stories Through Songs"
Article on Page 8:
Breaking The Chains Benefit