Photo: Drew Wiedeman


Tamara Hey

“Tamara Hey’s soaring voice has charmed and captivated audiences throughout her native New York for over a decade. She writes meticulously detailed, magically crystallized three-minute pop songs which, just like her vocals, are disarmingly deep. She’s also one of the great wits in music: an edgy sense of humor spices Hey’s narratives and character studies, even in the gloomiest moments. And her punchlines have O. Henry irony and Amy Rigby bittersweetness. The title of Hey’s album Miserably Happy pretty much says it all.” – New York Music Daily

She also happens to be the rare music-schooled musician who doesn’t waste notes or let her chops get in the way of saying something as directly as possible, musically or lyrically. That sense of purpose and craftsmanship translates to her career as a music educator: she’s a popular guitar teacher and for the past ten years, Hey’s Alphabet City Music Workshops for music theory, transcription and arranging have built a following, especially among singer-songwriters.

Hey got her start in the Lower East Side’s edgy singer-songwriter scene in the early part of this century, in the days before the gritty, artistic neighborhood was taken over by real estate speculators. Inspired by the fearlessness and sardonic humor of classic punk, the catchiness and wit of 60s Brill Building pop and the quirky fun of new wave, Hey quickly gained a following in bars and listening rooms in New York including the Fast Folk Cafe, CB’s Gallery, the Bottom Line, Rockwood Music Hall and the Slipper Room. She’s shared the stage with artists including David Massengill, Jack Hardy, Ellis Paul, to name a few.

Her third album, Miserably Happy, has been called a high water mark of that scene. Tamara’s catalog of original songwriting includes three previous albums: Right This Minute, A Little Space Left, and a children’s album, Sharing the Same Stars. In addition, Tamara’s work appears on three Fast Folk Magazine compilations: Local Charm, New Voices NYC, and Rebirth, issued on Smithsonian Folkways Records.

The Editors
New York Music Daily/Lucid Culture
Review of Tamara Hey at Rockwood Music Hall