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A legend in women’s music
Tret Fure will perform in Asheville and Fayetteville

by Donald Miller

Tret Fure plays Asheville and Fayetteville during September.

There’s no question that singer/songwriter Tret Fure is a musical legend.

Fure began her musical career when she was 19 and worked for a time as a vocalist and guitarist for Spencer Davis. Her first (self-titled) solo album was released in 1973 on MCA Records and shortly thereafter she toured extensively, opening for such groups as The J. Geils Band, Yes, and Poco before leaving the mainstram music industry to work as a successful engineer and producer for Olivia Records. It was there that she engineered, co-produced and performed on albums for Cris Williamson, Meg Christian and June Millington, as well as Olivia’s landmark double album, “Meg/Cris at Carnegie Hall.” Following the release of her second album, “Terminal Hold” (Olivia), Fure focused on her solo career. With the appearance of her third album, “Edges of the Heart,” she became firmly established as a leading pop-rock performer with unusual depth and diversity. She has recently released her new album, “Anytime, Anywhere.”

Fure took the time to speak with Q-Notes by phone from her home in Madison, Wis.

Q-Notes: Tell me about your latest CD, “Anytime, Anywhere.”

Tret Fure: I feel — and many of my listeners feel — it’s my best CD yet. I always hope to get better with each new work. I think there’s a more joyful experience evoked in the CD. In my last three CDs there were darker issues and political issues, but I think this one is a lot more about joy and positivism.

QN: What’s life for you like in Madison, Wis.?

TF: It’s a great city — the best move I’ve ever made. Its a lot like coming home — you know — because I was born in the midwest. Of course by the time I grew up I fled as quickly as I could to L.A. and then Oregon. I needed a change and I needed to come back home. When my mother died I felt a tremendous since of loss. I also went through a relationship and a career change. I think I chose Madison because it’s the most progressive city in the midwest and it’s right between where I was living and where my partner lived. We promote concerts every year and I have a retail store that is on the east side where they call it “dyke heights.” I love it here.

QN. You were with Cris Williamson, as a musical and life partner, for so many years. I know the split wasn’t very good. Have the two of you spoken since then?

TF: Unfortunately, we barely speak. We saw each other for the first time at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and I saw her this past week in Montreal. I think there is a great sense of loss — not just for us, but for the fans of our music together. They can’t see the “Cris and Tret” show again. Hopefully we’ll be able to do something together again in the future — our voices meshed together beautifully — but I don’t think the time is quite yet. For all of the sadness that surrounded our break-up, I think there was a positive side to it, too. It gave a lot of people hope that you can find happiness no matter where you are or what age you’re at. We tend to get stuck in our lives. Women especially. They forget about change and passion and they just stay because that’s easier than leaving.

QN: Tell me about your partner Jane.

TF: She’s a wondeful human being. She’s been really helpful in managing my career. When I moved away from Cris I lost my agent that I’d had for over 20 years — so she stepped in. She’s wonderful with people. She toured with me for the past four or five years. Last fall she realized it was time to go back to her career. She was in hospital administration before and now she’s the director of practice management at a facility just south of town.

QN: Tell me about your dog, Dulcie.

TF: She fills the role of a young thing to take care of, but having children is still something very much Jane thinks about. Just having a newborn puppy, you’re up three or four times a night, so I’m not sure I’m ready for children. Jane always had dogs around, so when she finally got off the road with me she had this dog in mind. It’s called a pocket beagle and they’re very small. Only a couple of breeders in the country. Much smaller than the American beagle which is actually a cross between a basset hound and a beagle.

QN: What are your feelings about current world politics?

TF: It scares me to death. Everything that’s happening. The scariest thing is that people are buying into it. The way [Bush] talks about saving democracy is absurd. I am really afraid of this sick and imperialistic trend that’s been developing. People are not fond of Americans right now because we’re seen as so agressive. I don’t know what’s gonna happen. Rights are being taken away from us right and left — women,s rights and gay rights are being threatened. How far can it go?

QN: What will you be performing while you’re in Fayetteville and Asheville?

TF: My show is a mix of the last three CDs, drawing more heavily on the new one, with pieces from “My Shoes” and “Back Home.” I’m a storyteller as well, so I think it’s a good mix of words and music. I don’t think anyone would be disappointed.

QN: Do many gay men come to your

performances?

TF: I do wish I had more of a gay male audience. In addition to the women, I have a straight following because I’m part of the folk music world. But I really would encourage the men to come see my shows because I think they would enjoy the message — it’s pretty universal and one I think they can appreciate. Gay men have always been an important part of my life.

QN: What have you not done — that you’d still like to do?

TF: Complete a novel I’m trying to write. I started a few years ago and I would really like to get it finished. I’d like to have more time to paint, as well.

info:

Cath Tret Fure live in Fayetteville, Sept. 24 and Asheville, Sept. 25

See the Out & About calendar for more details.


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