S. J. Tucker

S. J. Tucker

Infobox Musical artist

Img_size = 150
Name = S. J. Tucker
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = S. J. Tucker
Alias = Sooj, Skinny White Chick
Born = Birth date and age|1980|2|22
Died =
Origin =
Instruments = Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Keyboards, Drums
Genre = Rock, Folk, Singer-Songwriter
Occupation = Musician, songwriter, performance artist
Years_active = 1999-present
Label = Skinny White Chick
Associated_acts = Fire & Strings
Tricky Pixie
URL = http://www.sjtucker.com/
Current_members =
Past_members =

S. J. Tucker (b. February 22, 1980) is an Arkansas-born North American female singer-songwriter. Originally inspired by alternative folk rock artists like Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley and Ani DiFranco, [cite web|url=http://s00j.livejournal.com/profile|title=s00j.livejournal.com/profile ] Tucker – also called "Sooj" or "Skinny White Chick" – soon branched out to assume a more diverse identity. Like The Beatles – another cited influence [Brucato, Phil: "Badass Bardery: S. J. Tucker–Pixie in Overdrive", NewWitch Magazine, #17, 2008] – Tucker prefers an eclectic approach to songcraft. Since her debut album in 2004, Tucker’s work has integrated elements of electronica, filk, spoken word, world music and – with the troupe Fire & Stringsfire-spinning.

Musical style

Based around the "guitar troubadour" model, Tucker’s work originally featured acoustic guitar, multitracked vocals, and low-key bass guitar and hand drum parts. In concert, Tucker often appears with a hollow-body guitar and a microphone. However, her third album, "Sirens", featured backup musicians, a diverse musical approach, and elaborate vocal harmonies. Subsequent releases have favored a world fusion approach over guitar folk arrangements. Stylistically, Tucker has been compared to Ani DiFranco, Fiona Apple, [Renick, Kevin: Backstage Pass: Playback, 2005] and Joni Mitchell, [Ellis, Bill: "Haphazard" review, Commercial Appeal, March 6, 2004] among other singer-songwriters.


Raised in an art-oriented family, Tucker began singing during childhood. Disgusted by "mainstream" employment, she began performing as a singer and guitarist while at college 1997, formed her first band, Skinny White Chick, in 1999, recording one self-produced EP over the subsequent years. Tucker, who identifies as bisexual, also found a home in the Gay and Lesbian community, performing monthly at the Memphis, Tennessee Gay and Lesbian Community Center. [ [http://qsaltlake.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=715&Itemid=64 "S.J. Tucker: The Girl in the Garden "] , Q Salt Lake, 25 August 2008.]

After performing as a featured artist at a string of festivals in 2002, Tucker recorded an EP called "Skinny & the Semi-pros" with the members of Memphis band Stout. Collecting funds from the sale of that EP and from concert earnings, Tucker next decided to self-produce her first LP. The result, "Haphazard", was recorded in the studio over a handful of days and released on March 27, 2004. That album was later cited as one of the "albums no Pagan should be without" in newWitch magazine. [5 Brucato, Phil: "Albums No Pagan Should be Without", NewWitch Magazine #10, 2005] From then on, Tucker began touring full-time, living on the road, in hotel rooms, and in space provided by friends, managers and fans. [*2 Brucato, Phil: "Badass Bardery: S.J. Tucker–Pixie in Overdrive", NewWitch Magazine, #17, Jan. 2008]

In 2004, Tucker met fire-spinner Kevin Wiley during an outdoor festival in Colorado. After a minor accident in which Wiley "hit her in the eye with a flaming ball of Kevlar", [Kevin Wiley, LunaCon, March 2007] the two became lovers, partners and fellow performers. Combining their respective skills and talents, the couple formed the Fire & Strings troupe in 2004, and began performing at the Burning Man festival and across the United States in 2005. [cite web|url=http://www.myspace.com/firestrings|title=www.myspace.com/firestrings ]

Since beginning her career, Tucker has recorded, appeared and performed with numerous writers, musicians, activists and bands. Sharing stages with Phyllis Curott, Gaia Consort, Wendy Rule, Selena Fox, Catherynne M. Valente, Incus, Emerald Rose, Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Alexander James Adams, Celia, and many others, Tucker has incorporated elements of social activism, neopagan spirituality and mythpunk fantasy into her repertoire. A 2006 rally in Washington to protest the Sgt. Patrick Stewart case [Kenner, Caroline: "Your Invitation To An Interfaith Religious Rights Rally: July 4, 2006, Washington, DC", Witch’s Voice, 2006] was later portrayed in the song "Mandolin Holy Man." [cite web|url=http://s00j.livejournal.com/2006/07/05/|title=s00j.livejournal.com/2006/07/05/ ] More recently, Tucker performed several songs from her neopagan album "Blessings" at the 2007 Samhain festival in Salem, Massachusetts. [Temple of Nine Wells, ATC. " [http://www.tnw-salem.org/NineWellsSamhainPoster.pdf Nine Wells Samhain Poster] ." 2007. Accessed on 2008-03-03.] [" [http://www.witchvox.com/music/bardic/dt_bc.html?a=ustn&id=303 Bardic Circle Featuring... S J Tucker] ." " [http://www.witchvox.com/ The Witches' Voice] ." Accessed on 2008-03-03.]


Aside from appearances on albums by Gaia Consort, Incus and Celia, Tucker has collaborated on several book/CD crossovers with author Catherynne M. Valente. Inspired by Valente’s novel "The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden", Tucker recorded the album "For the Girl in the Garden" and the songs "The Girl in the Garden" and "Shipful of Monsters" as "official companions" to that novel. The two also collaborated on the song "The Drowning" (from "Sirens", and–with K Wiley - performed selections from the novel at various fantasy conventions. Tucker’s fire-spinning inspired Valente to include a fantasy version of her–the Fire-Dancer [Catherynne M. Valente, LunaCon, March 2006] - in the 2007 follow-up novel "The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice". [Valente, Catherynne M.: The Orphan’s Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice, pps. 415-433, 517] This, in turn, inspired Tucker’s song "Firebird’s Child" on the album "Blessings", released that same year. The two artists further collaborated on the album "Solace & Sorrow", released in conjunction with "In the Cities of Coin and Spice", on the same publication day. [cite web
title=Solace and Sorrow - Songs and Readings in Celebration of The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice

Tucker and Valente toured the East Coast together in 2007 to promote the Tucker's albums and "The Orphan’s Tales". [ [http://qsaltlake.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=715&Itemid=64 "S.J. Tucker: The Girl in the Garden "] , Q Salt Lake, 25 August 2008.]

Another collaboration of sorts appeared by way of "The Wendy Trilogy" –"Wendy on Board," "Red-Handed Jill" and "Green-Eyed Sue/Sue's Jig." A three-part saga inspired by J.M Barrie’s "Peter and Wendy", this trio of songs follow Wendy Darling in her career as a pirate. Taken from the album "Sirens", the Wendy Trilogy assumes that Wendy took Captain Hook up on his offer to turn buccaneer. The saga sees Wendy join the crew, grow strong, fall out with Peter Pan, and finally attack Hook after hearing him plot to marry her off to Bluebeard. In the ensuing fight, Peter drops Hook into the waiting mouth of the Crocodile–a coincidental fate, given that the trilogy shares an album with the song "Alligator in the House" (see below). From there, Wendy takes command of the pirate ship, trains an all-girl crew, and becomes a Fairyland celebrity. Eventually she retires, handing the captaincy off to first mate Green-Eyed Sue. An illustration by artist Amy Brown was made for a single release of the Wendy Trilogy - yet to be released as a full EP of pirate songs entitled Pirate Girls, and the songs also appear on the album "Tricky Pixie–Live!," a release from Tucker’s West Coast project Tricky Pixie.

Tricky Pixie

Founded in 2006, Tricky Pixie combines music and songwriting from Tucker, Betsy Tinney of Gaia Consort and Alexander James Adams–formerly folk artist Heather Alexander. Tinney and Tucker also collaborated on several other songs, including one of Tucker’s "signature songs," "Alligator in the House". The band made their debut at Soulfood Books in Redmond, WA. The recording of this first performance would become the Tricky Pixie - Live! album. The band also appeared–with Celia - at the 2007 FaerieWorlds festival [http://faerieworlds.com/bands.html] , but due to the divergent careers of the three band members, as of 2008 Tricky Pixie performs only in the winter and summer months. [cite web|url=http://www.trickypixie.com/|title=www.trickypixie.com/ ]


In early 2008, a live video of the joke song "I'm So Sorry" caused a minor dispute on youtube and Live Journal. Recorded at the birthday party of fantasy author Phil Brucato, the video poked fun at fans of Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon 5 and Doctor Who. Supporters of those shows responded with both amusement and vitriol. Despite the controversy, the video garnered over a thousand viewings in one day, and became a brief sensation among fans of Joss Whedon. This song was debuted at the February 3rd, 2008 house concert at Sidhehaven, a household and healing center near Yelm, WA, and the performance of said song was originally purported to be the one and only time Tucker would perform it. Tucker did, in fact, change her mind, thus bringing the frequently-viewed recording into existence. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xspvTKR4eCE ; http://s00j.livejournal.com/tag/dangerous+songs]



* "Haphazard" (2004)
* "Tales 0f I-10, Vol. 1" (Live, 2005)
* "Tangles" (2005)
* "Tales from the Road" (Live, 2005)
* "Sirens" (2006)
* "For the Girl in the Garden" (2006)
* "Blessings" (2007)
* "Tricky Pixie–Live!" (2007)
* "Solace & Sorrow" (2007)


* "The Nathan Session" (2001)
* "Skinny & The Semi-Pros" (2003)
* "To Black Rock with Love: Burning Man 2005" (2005)
* "Fire, Hope, Fear: Burning Man 2006" (2006)


* "Go Away, God Boy!" (2006)
* "The Wendy Trilogy" (2007)


External links

* [http://skinnywhitechick.com/ Tucker's official website]
* [http://www.sjtucker.com/ Tucker's artist website]
* [http://s00j.livejournal.com/ Tucker's LiveJournal]
* [http://www.trickypixie.com/ Tricky Pixie band website]

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