Tracy Bonham gives girls a thrill

Grammy-nominated and Brooklyn-based singer songwriter Tracy Bonham performed for a group of 100 women attending Ladies Rock Camp at the Urban Assembly School of Music in Downtown on Saturday, Aug. 14. Bonham, most famous for her 1996 single “Mother, Mother,” performed on the second day of the three-day camp, where ladies 18 and older learned to play instruments and compose songs.

“It was really fun,” said Bonham. “It was in a cafeteria during their lunchtime.”

Bonham played songs from her new album, “Masts of Manhatta,” which was released last month.

In addition to strumming her guitar, Bonham also took questions from the campers, some upwards of 50-years-old, said Jackie Oberman, program director for Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls.

“They asked a lot of questions about her life and her career,” Oberman said, referring to queries about how Bonham got a record deal and what it’s like to be a musician.

Bonham’s response? It’s easy — “if you believe in what you do,” she said, adding, “Don’t worry about the business.”

Indeed, the singer said, it’s never been easier to be a do-it-yourself musician, thanks to MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Adult Friend Finder. “It’s a really good time for artists,” she said. “It’s wide open.”

Just having someone of Bonham’s name, if not talent, was a big deal for the little music camp that could.

“I do think it raises our credibility,” Oberman said. “We tried to get a good mix of genre and notoriety at camp so people get a feeling of the different types of music they can play, and feel inspired.”

Wille Mae Rock Camp for Girls brings girls from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds to Brooklyn, where they form bands, write songs, create merchandise, then put on their own mini Woodstock on the last day of camp.

For info, visit www.williemaerockcamp.org.

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