Tara Greenblatt | River Belly

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United States - New Hampshire

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Folk: Modern Folk World: World Traditions Moods: Featuring Drums
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River Belly

by Tara Greenblatt

Singer-songwriter and drummer. Potent and original lyric based contemporary folk backed by a precise and delicious djembe drum. Swirling acoustic guitar, electric bass, and harmonies cradle Tara's unique and universal stories.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Funeral Song
4:13 $0.99
2. Ms. Hand
5:52 $0.99
3. Studio Noise
0:08 $0.99
4. Glimpse
3:15 $0.99
5. God's Bad Jokes
4:34 $0.99
6. Steel Drum Improv. #1
4:41 $0.99
7. Daddy's Chest
4:31 $0.99
8. Studio Noise
0:05 $0.99
9. Song of Defiance
2:36 $0.99
10. Studio Noise
0:06 $0.99
11. Let Them Be
4:48 $0.99
12. Steel Drum Improv. #2
3:41 $0.99
13. She Keeps in Touch
3:43 $0.99
14. Studio Noise
0:12 $0.99
15. Kittens
4:29 $0.99
16. Sing it While You Got it
3:34 $0.99
17. Studio Noise
0:11 $0.99
18. Ground Beneath Where I Lay
4:59 $0.99
19. So Far
5:26 $0.99
20. Owen Noise
0:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Notes & Description:
Tara Greenblatt has crafted a magnificent CD of original contemporary folk songs with producer Jay Williston of IRNoise (Watertown, MA). 'River Belly' is unique, far reaching, and innovative. Tara drums while she sings - a not so easy thing to do. In fact her singing and drumming are inseparable.

Live recordings are what make this CD sound like it's breathing. She and her band recorded the songs live together in studio where they could sit in the same room and look at one another with only minimal partitioning for sound separation.

'In the studio we kept on playing until we were playing as one organism able to express the emotion and essence of each song. I didn't want to lay down separate tracks for each instrument because I don't feel what I'm singing as much when my drum is out of my hands ' -Tara Greenblatt

'River Belly' showcases Tara's versatility. You'll be taken along lyrical journeys into life's shadow side, into the joy and reverence for nature, then to improvisations on a steel drum played with bare hands, sore knuckles, and a rubber ball.

Tara's original music is in the genre of contemporary folk with a 'roots music' feel. Her lyrics tell potent stories while guitarist Brian Potts, electric bassist Richard Hodges, and harmony singer Wendy Wetherbee provide a driving, textural, and groovy landscape. Her voice captures both a wild innocence and age-old wisdom. Her strong melodies, infectious beats, and bold harmonies will suck you in.

Well-known artists such as Boston based blues guitarist Peter Parcek, jazz pianist Mark Shilansky, and local folk singers Rob Laurens, Dylan Callahan, and Rachel Feinstein appear on the album.

'River Belly' would never have been completed without the tireless and always optimistic Jay Williston of IRNoise Studios in Watertown, MA. Jay has a magic touch in the studio. He believed in everything Tara wanted to try in front of the microphone and encouraged her to experiment with sound allowing her to really grow as a musician. He also lugged his recording studio up to New Hampshire numerous times to record the little finishing touches while Tara's belly grew and grew. They were recording up until her due date. Jay always quietly feared the start of labor yet never let on.

Tara studied opera and traps set in high school hiding her difficulty reading rhythm notation in her very keen ear. One night, during her College years, she was riding her bike in Central Square when she heard the thunderous pounding of hand drums. Her bike took control,feverishly following the primal sound of the drums, and brought her to the door of the YWCA. She had to get a piece of what was inside. She joined a circle of ten or twelve African drum students and met her teacher to be MaMa Dou N'Daiye. From that moment on Tara was hooked and began studying under the Senegalese master drummer who made her the drum she plays today. After two years of African drum lessons she forged on to drum and sing her own way in front of audiences in the greater Boston area. That was about six years ago. Today, Tara lives in New Hampshire with her poet and sound artist husband and their very percussive one-year-old son.

Tara has opened for and sometimes accompanied known artists such as Melissa Ferrick, Erin McKeown, Edie Carey, Susan Levine, Oen Kennedy, Dylan Callahan, and Sleepy LaBeef. 'River Belly' is now available for purchase online at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/greenblatt2

Recent Write-ups:
"Call it fate. Call it the beat of a different drum...", Jane Eklund, Monadnock Ledger Staff, Monadnock Ledger, Peterborough, NH.-Jan 13, 2005

"The haunting sounds of djember drummer Tara Greenblatt...", Rick Dumont, Milford Cabinet Staff, Milfrod Cabinet, Milford, NH.-Jan. 13, 2005



to write a review

Mike Jurkovic

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
Though lyrically strident at times (Daddy's Chest, Let Them Be) and a bit indulgent (20 tracks, including studio noise and two un-inspired 'Drum Improvisations') there's a lot of good things to be heard on Greenblatt's second recording. Some of those good things are the organic sound of her djembe drumming, adding an exotic landscape to her folky, roots based songs. Another is her voice, a soaring, expressive instrument, texturing her lyrical observations with both the bright and dark sides of this life. Still another good thing is the New England talent she surrounds herself with, including Boston bluesman Peter Parcek, pianist Mark Shilansky, guitarist Brian Potts, bassist Richard Hodges, and Wendy Wetherbee singing harmony. Highlight tracks: God's Bad Jokes, She Keeps In Touch and Ground Beneath Where I Lay.

Mary Hetrick

earthy, heartfelt, very emotive, spiritually moving. Honest
the sound is balanced. love the emotional content of Tara's voice. Fill a need to hear something unique. Mix is great

Robert P.

Infectious and captivating
pure aliveness- rhythm, poetry, insight and versatility in every piece. Intimate and universal appeal in River Belly.


inspiring, heartfelt, thoughful lyrics
This CD is a change from the last, though still very good. Amazing Harmonies and good lyrics abound from this feel good folky cd. Her drumming is swell as well. I like it. You should buy it, and fill your life with meaningful music.


satisfying fallow up!
tara is an amazing artist... saw her at artspace in gloucester, MA many years ago. the fallow up album to "caught between the woods and the road" is informative, emotional, educational and spiritual. "river belly gets two thumbs up!! she plays the djembe with the beat of her heart, mad props! looking forward to number three...