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Folk artist John Gracie has earned a devoted following and critical acclaim in his native Canada for his easy style and introspective lyrics. Born into a mining family in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, the nearby presence of the Atlantic Ocean would provide inspiration for his writing, but it was his mother, noticing his vocal abilities at the age of five, that saw to him taking singing lessons. As a teenager, Gracie began to write his own songs, influenced by fellow Canadian Gordon Lightfoot and drawing from the '60s folk revival. While attending Mount Allison University, he began to make the rounds on the folk circuit and, upon leaving school, hit the road to become a serious working musician. His first album was released in 1988 and, since then, the Juno-nominated Gracie has steadily produced work that has found an appreciative audience, including crossing over to the country field, and earned numerous independent artist awards. Among his releases are a 1995 tribute to Canadian songwriter Gene MacLellan, a Christmas album, and, in late 2000, he released John Gracie Live! Off the Floor But Close to the Ground, a live retrospective of his career. ~ Tom Demalon