Torrington Stories

Proud of Torrington’s Own


No one officially told Sarah Barrios or Tracy Walton they had been nominated in their respective categories, they simply found out like everyone else when the nominees were posted for the New England Music Awards. Tracy Walton, the veteran rock performer, was nominated in the Best Male Performer category and Sarah Barrios was nominated in the Best New Act category.

Tracy is an artist who has never gone in for awards and has always allowed only his music to speak on his behalf.  Going in, the deck was stacked pretty high as one performer in his category had been on the VOICE television program, had thousands of followers on the internet because of the TV program and was also from the home turf of the awards ceremony.   Still Tracy Walton had east coast name recognition and a loyal fan base  and the fans were energized.  Sarah Barrios is a young performer and this was her first nomination for something like this, fittingly in the Best New Act category.  Her mom, Trish, is an amazing “mom-ager”, as Sarah says, and her whole family was supportive in her new career.  I had the privilege and honor to interview both performers and within nutmeg chatter wrote up posts and created artwork about both artists.

There was coverage in the Register Citizen and the Republican American newspapers. Both performers appeared on different days on WTNH Channel 8’s CT Style program.  Both Tracy Walton and Sarah Barrios had interviews and performed live at WAPJ in Torrington on the Miscellaneous Morning Show with Barrie Soucy and Holly Pond.  And the newly elected mayor of Torrington, Elinor Carbone awarded both Tracy Walton and Sarah Barrios certificates of achievement for, among other reasons, elevating the exposure of Torrington within the New England music scene.  I covered the event with the mayor and the performers for

At 7pm at the Lowell Auditorium, the  award ceremony began and fortunately they streamed the ceremony online so I was able to watch. The majority of the show was a showcase for performances of some of the artists who were nominated.  The host was comedian Steven Sweeney (a local favorite and as I’m from Boston, I’m a fan). Still it took an hour before they began to give out any of the awards and Tracy’s and Sarah’s categories weren’t one of the first group.

After more music and more Steven Sweeney, a second group of awards were handed out and the categories of Best New Act and Best Male Performer weren’t given out yet. It must have been excruciating for the nominees.

Then, with a half hour left in the program, they began to give out more of the awards.  They announced the category of Best New Act. After naming the nominees….SARAH BARRIOS WON!

I posted only this..”Big news for NE Music Awards but it’s not for me to share it yet !”  It’s not for me to scoop Sarah or her mom, both active on social media, from sharing that exciting news themselves,  So I waited until Sarah posted “I WON!!!!!! OMG!” before sharing the info on T-Town Torrington Chatter.

Sarah got up on stage and thanked them for the award and thanked her mom and family and fans.  The poise with which this young entertainer spoke at such a moment was wonderful and with continued hard work, by making great music and with the support of her community and fans, she may receive other awards from an even larger music organization at some point in the future!

Now to my mind the award for Best Male Performer should have gone to Tracy Walton but the local New England fan base couldn’t overcome the nationwide audience of THE VOICE.   Tracy took the time to go up to Lowell despite working on an album of his own and seems to be producing everyone else’s album this year, and the nomination can only help with the exposure up north.  So those in the music business can see this hardworking music professional perhaps in a new way and in this new year as Tracy creates, performs, produces and teaches, I am confident that 2014 is Tracy Walton’s year and it might take until 2015 for that recognition.

In all cases I am incredibly proud of the two Torrington performers, Tracy Walton and Sarah Barrios and I look forward to the great things to come in the future.

Here’s how we can support our hometown performers today. Sarah Barrios is working on an EP and it’s being produced by Tracy Walton but it needs funding. Here’s the link to get on board and support them. Every contribution helps move the project forward and the dream gets a little closer to reality. And we in Torrington can play a part!
mayor and sarah and tracy

Categories: Torrington Stories

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