This family rises to challenge, makes albums in a month - Newport Daily News March 17, 2019
Terry Grosvenor of Newport performs as Terry Taffinder, and her son Andrew Grosvenor of Concord, N.H., performs as Andrew North. Each created albums of at least 10 songs or 35 minutes of music during the month of February.
NEWPORT — Terry and Rick Grosvenor are a team as real estate brokers, but they are also well-known artists in the city — Terry as a singer and songwriter and Rick as a painter and co-producer of his wife’s 11 albums.
Their son, Andrew Grosvenor, 35, now lives in Concord, New Hampshire, as a practicing attorney, but he also has a strong avocation in music and performs as Andrew North with his band, The Rangers, when he has time.
Mother and son recently took on the RPM Challenge 2019, now a worldwide internet contest in which competitors have the month of February to create an album of at least 10 songs or 35 minutes of music.
Terry Grosvenor, who performs under her maiden name, Terry Taffinder, produced a 12-song album called “Fine Wine,” geared to adults. That has to be pointed out, because some of her more recent albums have been created for children.
“This musical album is like a fine wine — it is intoxicating and gets better and better with each listening,” is the way she describes the album. “The songs have lots of flavor, rhythm and harmony.”
Taffinder brings her music to people around the world through CD Baby, Inc., which distributes her content to online music retailers like Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, as well as You Tube and most other online music sites.
Grosvenor produced a 10-song album called “In the Center” that can be heard on YouTube and other social media sites. He first entered the RPM competition in 2018, when he created an album called “Ursa Verde,” and challenged his mother to try it as well this year.
“He said to me, ‘Just do it,’ “Taffinder said. “Attempting to produce and record a body of work in such a short amount of time was stressful but exhilarating and gratifying once the album was finished.”
Grosvenor got back into music about three years ago, but he and his band now perform regularly, featuring mostly music he has written. He grew up on Redwood Street and Carroll Avenue practicing on his family’s grand piano.
Besides playing the piano, he taught himself to play electric bass to accompany himself on his recordings for a more natural sound.
“I had to keep it all under my control,” he said.
His late grandfather, Richard Grosvenor, is a renowned Newport artist whose paintings have been exhibited nationally and who inspired the Newport Art Museum’s annual “Wet Paint” competition.
Richard Grosvenor’s four children — John and Holly, both architects, and James, a New York financier, besides Rick — are all accomplished painters. Rick, John, Holly and their father have been featured in local art exhibits over the years, including at Arnold’s Art on Thames Street a few years ago. Rick Grosvenor just had an exhibit at the Providence Art Club.
“Almost everyone in my family juggles a conventional career with artistic endeavors,” Andrew Grosvenor said.
Years ago, Terry Taffinder Grosvenor taught music for kindergarten through third grade students at the former Cluny School on Brenton Road.
“I loved that, working with the children every day,” she said.
She did concerts and participated in many performances for children. She composed pieces for the Island Moving Co., all the while working and raising four children.
During her long career, Taffinder has worked professionally in Newport, New Hampshire, New York City, London and Sao Paulo, Brazil, as a soloist, with three rock bands, a trio, and a duet.
“It’s difficult to have a music career while trying to have a personal life at the same time,” she said. “I was always conflicted, but it all worked out.”
Taffinder has not given up appearing in public. Just last September, she her son performed together at Area 23 in Concord, New Hampshire.
“I love live singing,” she said.
But Taffinder is now focusing on writing original pieces – composing, playing and singing all the instrumental and vocal parts for recordings. She has written ballets, theme songs, a film score, and radio jingles besides her albums.
On “Fine Wine,” she plays all the tracks as well as sings. Rick Grosvenor was co-producer and sound engineer for all 11 of her albums: the children’s albums “Fun Songs for Tadpoles to Frogs,” “On the Wings of a Dragonfly,” “Lollipops: Pop Songs for Young Rockers,” and “Feathers, Fur and Fun;” the dance albums: “A Christmas Ballet,” and “Teetoo, the Little Star;” and her albums for grown-ups: “Bull in a China Shop,” “Leaving the Rat Race,” “Tigress,” and “Poof: It’s All Gone,” before “Fine Wine.”
“Thank goodness my husband is tech savvy,” Taffinder said. “I love the process of writing music — giving shape to something that did not exist before.”
Early in her career in Newport, she sang with Sugar and Spice at the former Muenchinger King, among many other venues.
Andrew Grosvenor is one of four siblings and a graduate of St. George’s School in Middletown, Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vermont. He now commutes between Manchester, New Hampshire, and Burlington, Vermont, as part of his law practice.
While he was at Trinity, he formed a band that was called The Woodshed. It was then that he started writing his own music. The band moved to New York City for a while, then to Burlington, Vermont. In 2007, The Woodshed broke up after one member stayed in New York and another left for law school.
Grosvenor also went to law school and took a break from music.
Now, he and his wife have a toddler son and another child on the way.
“Having kids myself gives me a whole new appreciation for what my parents did,” he said.