New York based Americana songwriter Susan Kane released her third CD in November 2012. Titled A Word Child, its eclectic tracks address timeless and universal themes of love, loss, and hope. In addition to original compositions, there are covers of some famous writers and some lesser known. Produced again by Billy Masters, it was recorded primarily in Austin, Texas, and features many gifted musicians including: bass player Zev Katz, pedal steel artist Bob Hoffnar, percussionist Ben Wittman, vocals from Jess Klein, bass player Glenn Fukunaga, drummer Marco Giovino (Robert Plant Band), and others. A Word Child borrows its name from the title of an Iris Murdoch novel, and features beautifully produced arrangements with carefully crafted harmonies and just right instrumentation to suit the nuances of each song. The CD is enjoying an excellent response from the radio world, as did her two previous releases, which were well received and enjoyed extensive and long-lived radio play around the world. In early December 2012, it was one of the top 5 added CDs to the Americana radio chart, and also debuted at number 23 on the Cashbox Magazine/Roots Music Report’s Folk Top 50 chart. Noted songwriter, producer and PBS Nova composer Rob Morsberger says “It's not the stellar production, or the 'A' list players on this album that matter; it's the songwriting, and the self-assured narrative voice, and the clear bellwether tones of Susan Kane...never overwrought, nor seeking attention. Drawing from the well, and finding beauty.”
A Word Child has received airplay on over 135 stations in over 35 states nationwide, and many countries around the world.
Iain Anderson on BBC Scotland chose A Word Child as Album of the Week for December 10, 2012, calling it “one of the early contenders for one of the best albums of 2013.”
“”Loser” one of best covers of 2012 Cover Lay Down Blog
Americana Music Association (AMA):
Top 5 ‘Most Added’ Weeks of 12-10-12 and 12-17-12.
Debut at #164 Americana Ranking (Terrestrial); peak ranking: #142
AMA Americana Internet Airplay Ranking: Peak at #48.
A Word Child debuted at #23 on Roots Music Report’s Folk Top 50 and remained on the chart for nearly three months, peaking at #15.
Debut at #18 on the Roots Music Report's Roots Country / Americana Internet Airplay Top 50 and remained on the chart for three months, peaking at #2.
The Alternate Root Top 66 Int’l Airplay Chart
A Word Child debuted at #62 and remained on the chart for over three months; peaking at # 20.
FOLK DJ Chart:
December 2012? #35 Top Album "New York Winter" #12 Top Song
January, 2013 #25 Top Album "New York Winter" #15 Top Song
February 2013 #38 Top Album
2008’s Highway Bouquet was featured as Album of the Week in April 2009 on Iain Anderson’s BBC Radio Scotland show, and which also chose her song “Ring the Bells” from that album to celebrate the rescue of the Chilean miners in October 2010. “Susan Kane is the real thing. Highway Bouquet [is] chock-full of great songs and great singing..,” Michael Ruby, Chronogram Magazine. Susan has played at a wide variety of well-known venues and festivals in the New York area, including the Towne Crier Café, the Bitter End, the Pleasantville Music Festival, the Huntington Folk Festival, and the Tarrytown Music Hall. She has shared bills with such diverse artists as Pete Seeger, Garnet Rogers, Sloan Wainwright, the late Terence Martin and Catie Curtis. An active member of the local music scene, she is a past president of Tribes Hill, a Hudson Valley collective of independent musicians.
Born in New York and raised in various suburban locations by artistically inclined parents in New Jersey, Kane was drawn to music at an early age, but wandered away from her mother’s conservatory piano repertoire to the homespun vibes of acoustic folk and twangy country music. The arrival of Bob Dylan and equal time for folk music and its offshoots on Top Forty radio and pop music outlets of the time called to her. “My mom is actually from Wheeling, West Virginia, home of WWVA and its legendary Jamboree USA country music show. She must have taken in some Bill Monroe and Hank Williams without realizing it.” Coming to songwriting later in life gives one time to process everything. Something old, something new: the old bridal rhyme is the perfect recipe for songwriting. If you follow her on Twitter, you’ll find she admits to digging in the dirt, reading books [the paper kind, preferably] and digging the Dead. A connoisseur of words, she’s a reader, a listener; a hunter and gatherer of the raw materials to make songs. You can find out more at her website, www.susankane.com, and her music is available at cdbaby.com, at iTunes, and at Amazon.com.
Solo performer, acoustic guitar; accompanying guitarist if appropriate for event.
A Word Child. Released November 2012; 11 tracks. Produced by Billy Masters. High charted postions on several charts--Cashbox Magazine/Roots Music Report Folk and Americana Charts, and the Alternate Root's Roots 66 Airplay till mid March 2013. Also Folk DJ Chart.
Highway Bouquet. Released August 2008; 10 tracks. Produced by Billy Masters. Charting on Folk DJ Chart, also receiving airplay by EuroAmericana DJs.
So Long. 12 Track CD of all original material, released late 2004. Produced by Billy Masters (guitarist for Suzanne Vega, Richard Shindell, Cry, Cry, Cry) All tracks have enjoyed play on more than 100 radio stations.
Charted in the twenties over Spring 2005 on Roots Music Report Folk Chart.
"Chicory Blue" won an "Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting Award," placing second in the Contemporary Acoustic/Folk category of the 2005 Great American Song Contest.
"Lottery Ticket" was named a Top Finalist in the same category.
"If You Were Paper" earned an Honorable Mention in the 13th Billboard World Songwriting Contest.
"If You Were Paper" was named a finalist in the Country cateogory of the 2007 Great American Song Contest.
I Know About Your Broken Heart
Around the Bend
A Long Time Ago
New York Winter
Review of A Word Child
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hen you hit the play button on A Word Child by Susan Kane there is a bit of a snaky guitar lead into...hen you hit the play button on A Word Child by Susan Kane there is a bit of a snaky guitar lead into her warm, enveloping voice for the song, Around The Bend, one of the seven songs she wrote for this disc. There are two songs written by the Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia; and one each by Stephen Ray Kirkman and Rich Deans, and then S. Gregory Palitz composed the music for Donal Og which is a poem written by Lady Gregory. The songs have a cohesive feel to them and range from warm folk, to bluesy in feel to twangy, to haunting, all within that mode that is called Americana. Ms Kane is a skilled songwriter and her songs remind the listener that there are writers who present their thoughts in a cohesive linear manner, so that the listener doesn't have to search for hidden meanings, a pleasant reprieve from some of the writers who use seven veils for their words and then there are all these subtexts.
This disc was recorded mostly in Austin, Texas, and a few cuts at Woody's House in Croton, NY, and here and there. As with many albums that are recorded in multiple locations there are a plethora of musicians playing on here. The main constant is Billy Masters who handles the guitars and also produced the disc. The musicians are all top notch and there is no drop off no matter who was playing on a particular song with Ms Kane. It is a disc that lives up to its name and I venture to guess that she is a woman that appreciates the correct word at the right time by the craftsmanship of the songs.
Review of A Word Child
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Wanting some sultry southern slide driven gumbo to start your weekend with? Look no further as the o...Wanting some sultry southern slide driven gumbo to start your weekend with? Look no further as the opening song, Around The Bend on Susan Kane’s excellent album A Word Child should satisfy anyone reared on Little Feat and early Bonnie Raitt. Sliding into view with Billy Masters’ superb guitar slink buttressed by Mark Addison’s soulful organ Around The Bend grabs the attention even before Kane starts singing. And when she does the contract is signed, sealed and delivered with her voice strong, and effortless, an equal to Raitt back in the seventies. Add some fine harmonies from the ever excellent Jess Klein and you have the best opening song of the year so far.
Kane is a NY based singer who’s recorded this, her third album, in Austin, Texas and it’s certainly far removed from the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle. Instead we have the aforementioned southern blues style along with some sweet country best exemplified by the fiddle laced Buffalo Jump. Aside from her voice Kane is a fine writer with Buffalo Jump‘s jauntiness for example offset by the lyrics which appear to be a valedictory from an elderly woman preparing for her end. Elsewhere she uses a classic country sound to bemoan the life of a woman who considers herself invisible in the shadow of her partner on the heart tugging I Know About Your Broken Heart while Paulita’s Lament is a great narrative on the life, crimes and death of Billy The Kid as seen by his lover. Kane sounds great on all of these however she turns in her best performance on Aquamarine , a homage to a friend which flows as sweetly as a mountain stream. Here as elsewhere the playing is excellent with Masters (who also produced the album) dripping some magical notes from his guitar.
There are four cover versions. A fine twangy rendition of Stephen Ray Kirkman’s Black Roses which is energetic and engaging while an adaptation of Irish poet, Lady Augusta Persse, Lady Gregory, founder of the Abbey Theatre’s Donal Og takes Kane into Richard Thompson territory temporarily. Again Masters’ guitar is, well, masterful. Intriguingly the other two covers are both penned by the late Jerry Garcia in partnership with Robert hunter. The classic gambler’s tale Loser is given a fine reading while the more obscure Row Jimmy (from the Dead’s Wake of the Flood album) returns to the opening song’s organ and slide guitar groove and slides down as easily as honey.
Review of A Word Child
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This is a quite wonderful album from Susan Kane, a folk singer from the New York area with a beautif...This is a quite wonderful album from Susan Kane, a folk singer from the New York area with a beautifully rich voice and a superbly understated technique. Her previous album (her second) was picked up by the excellent Iain Anderson on Radio Scotland as an album of the week – easy to see why if it was anything like as good as this.
Word Child takes its title from an Iris Murdoch novel and features half a dozen Susan Kane original songs. The rest of the album is an eclectic range of covers – two Grateful Dead songs and an adaptation of an old Irish poem that, itself, was translated from the Gaelic being the further reaches of Susan Kane’s song searches. Through all these songs runs a deeply romantic thread that takes us into a sensual world where the emotion of the moment is paramount. Much as I appreciate social commentary, protest and all the other staples of folk song, it’s a lush pleasure to be taken into this timeless world of pure feeling.
Musically, this album is nigh on perfect. Recorded in Austin under the guidance of guitarist Billy Masters, there’s quite a list of stellar support from the likes of fiddle maestro Warren Hood and bass player Glenn Fukunaga. Opening with the Susan Kane song Around The Bend, these guys offer an immediate demonstration of controlled power; they sound as tight as a drum skin as they strut their way through an arrangement that borders on a kind of swampy funk. Susan Kane’s voice is imperiously relaxed, like the master midfield player who doesn’t seem to break sweat and always has time in hand to apply the killer touch. That sets the mark, and the quality is maintained from start to finish as quite beautifully sympathetic playing from the band always seems “just right” in support of Susan Kane’s warm, thoughtful singing. If I had to pick one track to highlight, then it would be the Grateful Dead song, Loser. This has such a gorgeous melody – milked for all it’s worth here – that it’s just irresistible; the harmony vocals when the chorus comes round are killer, but then so is the mood conjured by Billy Masters on guitars and J J Johnson on drums – perfectly elegiac in tone.
Susan Kane’s got as beautiful a folk voice as you could hope to hear but, better than that, she sings her songs like she’s living them and thereby gives them huge force and resonance. This feels like a proper collection of songs and an album to be treasured through the years ahead.
Review of A Word Child
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No Depression.com March 19, 2013 Had I'd known of this artist and the album titled A Word Ch...No Depression.com
March 19, 2013
Had I'd known of this artist and the album titled A Word Child that was released last November, it likely would have made my annual list of favorites. It's not only that good, but far better than that. When something new comes my way, sometimes I'm taken by the songs, sometimes it's the instrumentation, sometimes the vocals and always the vibe. Susan Kane has delivered on all fronts, far exceeding the expectations I had when she chose to reach out to me last week. We're sort of neighbors in this Lower Hudson Valley I've recently moved to, a land rich in musical tradition and especially fertile for folksingers and acoustic players.
Susan is a member and past president of the Tribes Hill music collective, a group that includes several artists I had already heard of (Anthony da Costa, Abbe Gardner and Red Molly) and many, many more I'm now discovering. There's a compilation called We're All Here on CD Baby that showcases some of the members. This non-profit organization is "uniting musician(s) of the Lower Hudson Valley region and their patrons, in support of a music community that aspires to common goals and beliefs. It is a conceptual gathering place for people of all races, politics, and faiths coming together to explore and celebrate the human experience through song." Some of the groups goals include creating public showcases, bringing music to schools, encouraging regional radio programs and "promoting the music of our independent artists through the support of patrons and the many resources of Lower Hudson Valley, as well as beyond."
The first thing that caught my attention when Susan sent me the files for her latest album (she has also released two others: Highway Bouquet and So Long ), was that she covered two songs I knew well..."Loser" from the first Jerry Garcia solo album, and "Row, Jimmy" off The Dead's Wake Of The Flood. "Jerry and Robert[Hunter] are deep in my DNA" she wrote, and as I've curled up with the rest of the album over these past few days, I've found myself feeling the spirit of the Dead surface and intertwine with her own songs. But the music goes far, far beyond just that touchpoint.
Susan's voice is a beautiful instrument; both solid and soaring. When she lets the high notes fly, it feels like frost being thrown through the fresh night air. Her lyrics are sophisticated and intelligent, which I would imagine they must be with the album's title being what it is. The songs are layered with seasoned and tasteful instrumentation and production values. Recorded primarily in Austin, Texas, the musicians include bass player Zev Katz, pedal steel artist Bob Hoffnar, percussionist Ben Wittman, vocals from Jess Klein, bass player Glen Fukunaga, drummer Marco Giovino from the Robert Plant Band, and others. It was produced by Billy Masters who she has worked with before.
Those of you who have been reading my posts these past four years, have heard time and again how much I dislike doing reviews, yet here I am once more. I tried to engage Susan to share some things, but she replied that "focusing on the music is fine with me...my personal story is very boring, I am happy to say." Well...Susan, I believe that your story is pretty interesting. It took me a little while to find it on her website, but I'll share with you what I found:
-She grew up in Waldwick, N.J., near the Paramus Mall. Her mother taught piano and her father was an aspiring actor who finally packed it in to sell insurance. When the Beatles hit America Kane asked for a guitar, and by the time she was in 7th grade she was leading her own folk music trio.
-Studied economics at Bryn Mawr College and kept up her songwriting on the side, graduating in 1975. After a stint at the European American Bank in Manhattan she moved over to the Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company, teach¬ing brokers and bankers in the Credit Training Program for several years before marrying and staying at home to raise three children. Not that she transformed herself into a soccer mom...she kept doing the corporate stuff on a project basis, and has been a "hands on" finance person in a bunch of nonprofits for years, including deep involvement in prison education programs.
-As her kids got older Susan started to feel the itch of performing music again. She helped start a Dead cover band, August West in 1998, and then worked in another outfit, Bad Dog, that featured some of her original songs. Coaxed into the singer-songwriter genre by her friend Sloan Wainwright, she has been a regular at Tribes Hill and the open mic scene.
Susan found me by reading a recent post I wrote about seeing Mary Gauthier, a show she attended as well. Mary is an artist who began her career at age fifty, and she's someone that has inspired Susan's latest journey. ”You do what you do," she said, "and don't look back if you can help it. I don't view my corporate life as a sidetrack I shouldn't have been on. For now, it's great to be doing something new and challenging. I have a lifetime to draw on for my songwriting, and I'm making the kind of music where you don't need a stylist to find an audience."
I've sprinkled her songs throughout this piece, and I hope you take the time to explore more of her work. Her ReverbNation site offers quite a bit to stream. You can buy her albums on CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes and through her own site.
What you don't want to do? You don't want to miss the music of Susan Kane....she's a very gifted artist.
Posted by Easy Ed
Review of A Word Child
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Just looking at her, you could never foresee that this mom ,homemaker (no equivalent to this idiom -...Just looking at her, you could never foresee that this mom ,homemaker (no equivalent to this idiom -like housewife, mother, homemaker), who used to work in a bank, was destined to record albums. Nothing you could foresee except a wonderful desire to compose and to sing. In fact, she was always in the midst of the musical world practicing piano and playing in different groups in her youth. When, in the late nineties, as a member of a rock group playing original material, she tells herself that she too can write songs. And it is on the advice of Sloan Wainwright that she directs herself toward folk. Good choice, as proven by her first two albums and confirmed by A Word Child. Because the talent was there and her various musical experience, she has a palette that enables her not to be confined to a single genre. From the blue-sy Around the Bend (with the participation of Jess Klein) to a New York Winter, which is a mid tempo homage to her city, Susan paints some pictures with nuance and finesse. A song like Paulita's Lament, the story of Billy the Kid as seen by the women he left behind, is particularly remarkable; its rhythm of a slow waltz accompanied (K says not really right word) by the accordion played by Daniel A. Weiss quickly haunts the listener. Billy Masters’ production is, as usual, impeccable, and the guest musicians know how to bring the right note where it is necessary. Warren Hood on the mandolin (New York Winter) or on the violin (Buffalo Jump) or Bob Hoffnar on pedal steel (I know About Your Broken Heart, Aquamarine) bring a country sound to some of the titles. Susan Kane is also a dedicated "Deadhead" and takes two titles with the signature (Kristina says not influence, more as if it is written by), of Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter (Loser and Row, Jimmy). New York Americana has good days ahead with artists of this caliber.
Highway Bouquet Review
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Susan Kane is the real thing. The lower Hudson Valley-based singer-songwriter has just released her ...Susan Kane is the real thing. The lower Hudson Valley-based singer-songwriter has just released her second album, Highway Bouquet, and it’s chock-full of great songs and great singing, all set off with a shimmering production job from multi-instrumentalist and Suzanne Vega side man Billy Masters (who called in ringers like Lisa Gutkin, Fred Gillen Jr., and Marc Muller to assist). Kane would have been comfortable in the “Mellow Mafia” of late-’70s Los Angeles, but her music has a stronger country edge and occasionally even leans into the alt.folk territory of her peers. Since Kane covers the Eric Kaz/Libby Titus chestnut “Love Has No Pride” on the album, one assumes she won’t mind the comparison to Linda Ronstadt. But, truth be told, Karla Bonoff—who wrote many of Ronstadt’s most enduring songs—is an even stronger touchstone. And that’s not a bad thing, especially when you combine Kane’s irresistible voice—you can live in it for days—with hooks as big as those on the lush, anthemic “Ring the Bells,” the witty “Big Baby,” and the intimate, acoustic “Tenderhearted.” Kane also covers “To Lay Me Down,” a lesser-known gem from Jerry Garcia’s first solo album, which will certainly pull in casual listeners from the Dead side of the tracks. Further proof of Kane’s Me Decade leanings is the fact that Highway Bouquet clocks in at a vinyl-friendly 41 minutes. If only other songwriters would take the hint and offer this kind of quality, rather than simple quantity. www.susankane.com
Michael Ruby, Chronogram magazine, March 2009
Review in April/May 2009 Cri du Coyote
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"Highway Bouquet" is New-Yorker Susan Kane’s second. It was produced by the guitarist Billy Masters,..."Highway Bouquet" is New-Yorker Susan Kane’s second. It was produced by the guitarist Billy Masters, known also for his work with Suzanne Vega and Richard Shindell. For many years now, Susan Kane has gained a strong reputation in the folk music world along the Hudson River. Her voice, without any vibrato, is very pure, rather similar to Kate Wolf's. Masters plays guitar, as well as dobro and mandolin on many of the tracks. Eight of the ten songs were written by Susan. The other two are a beautiful version of The Grateful Dead's "To Lay Me Down" and 'Love Has No Pride", a song written by Eric Kaz and Libby Titus for Bonnie Raitt nearly 40 years ago.
Jon Sobel Reviews So Long
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This lovely set of hummable country-folk, beautifully produced by Billy Masters (Suzanne Vega's guit...This lovely set of hummable country-folk, beautifully produced by Billy Masters (Suzanne Vega's guitarist), has been getting some airplay on prestigious folk programs, and deservedly so. Kane has a sweetly unassuming but clear and sure voice, a good command of American idioms from country-western to blues to coffeehouse folk, a knack for homespun melodies, and an ace collaborator in Masters, whose guitar work and production nests the songs perfectly.
Kane sings folk with a country-singer's voice, merging the pure beauty of an Erica Smith with the worldliness of a Joni Mitchell. As with Linda Nuñez (see below), if you like this style of music, you will probably enjoy this strong album through and through.
I have one quibble. Although lyrics, as a consequence of their dependence on a musical setting, generally sound better sung than they read upon the page, Kane's, curiously, go the opposite way. The simple, rather formal beauty of the song structures and melodies seem to contrast with the natural, tumbling quality of the storytelling, resulting - to this ear, anyway - in moments of diminished artfulness.
That aside, this is a fine disc worthy of a place on your folk shelf. Kane and Masters are also a pleasure to hear live, as I learned at a recent show at NYC's Rockwood Music Hall.
"On the Beat" column by Thomas Staudter
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ON THE BEAT The Gazette November 23, 2005 By Thomas Staudter The singer-songwriter scene here ...ON THE BEAT
November 23, 2005
By Thomas Staudter
The singer-songwriter scene here in the suburbs north of New York City has attracted so many practitioners in the past decade that the murmurs of there being a "Hudson Valley sound" are starting to be heard.
Here they strum: in coffeehouses, natch, but also in bars and restaurants, libraries and muse¬ums, social halls at places of worship and concert halls in venues of all sizes. With dozens of carefully wrought, hard-won songs they know by heart or a repertoire of just a few originals and covers, the crowd of folk-centric musical artists working regularly around these parts (and farther afield) offer plenty of entertainment and enjoyment practically every night of the week.
The humblest of these tuneful soirees-"open mic night" performances-are cropping up continuously, in every comer of the county it seems, and attracting a spectrum of talents, some on the cusp of strong regional popularity, all of them ready to win over the intrepid hearts in attendance who are unwilling to surrender to the cultural imperative of television.
Dollar for dollar, plugging into this scene is the best way to feed your soul. The growing presence of teenagers and young adults at the gigs (which are, for the most part, caffeine-charged), underlines the idea that, as the words go, "something is happening here." It's community building in its purest form, exciting and inspiring, welcoming and inclusive, a true reflection of who we are and how we're faring in this world.
Susan Kane comes from the middle-aged caucus of singer-songwriters presently lifting the Valhalla, NY-based Tribes Hill folk music collective, which has spearheaded the singer songwriter scene around Westchester County since the late 1990s, to national prominence (and thus helping to establish the "Hudson Valley sound"). Listening to her debut album, So Long, released in August 2004, it's obvious that she possesses sterling gifts as a vocalist and songwriter, her country-flavored sound a fitting match for the heartfelt declarations and touching narratives that comprise her lyrics.
Seemingly coming out of nowhere, Kane nonetheless has the mature poise of a music biz vet, and that's part of her allure, undoubtedly, to boomers with lots on their minds. That said, then, music fans who know the digital bits of their Lucinda Williams and Mary Chapin Carpenter CDs through-and-through will want to check out Kane. Plus, she's got a local's perspective, too, and that gives her artistry extra credence in the wilds of suburbia.
Kane had just returned from the North East Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) conference held last weekend at the Kutsher's resort in the Catskills when I caught up to her by phone at her home on the border between Mount Kisco and Bedford Hills. We'd met a number of times over the years, usually at Tribes Hill gatherings, and while she's been hard at work trying to push her musical career I've always been impressed by her unflagging support for all the other singer-songwriters working in the area--checking out their gigs, helping out with their CDs at the merchandise tables when no one else will, lending glorious harmonies to tunes whenever asked. NERFA stands as a big deal for singer-songwriters, as it connects them with radio programmers and concert booking agents. A lot of the musical showcases don't begin until 2 a.m., and then there are informal "song swaps" throughout the resort in different performers’ rooms that last until dawn. “Forget nerves—the hardest part about being at NERFA is staying awake,” joked Kane.
So Long met with decent success for a debut album released independently. Over 80 radio stations nationwide picked up on it, not including some syndicated programs that reached listeners at 75 other stations, and Kane reported that the buzz hasn't died down yet. Apparently, WKZE¬FM in Sharon, Conn, one of the region's top stations for Americana musical artists and acts--has just added a few of her songs to the regular playlist.
"When the Roots Music Report put my album on their Folk Chart, I looked at the list and saw a lot of indies like myself, but there were also names like Mark Knopfler on the chart, and that was amazing," she said.
Originally, Kane admitted, she was hoping to record an EP-length demo to be able to score some gigs and enter songwriting contests with. Working with guitar-ace Billy Masters in between his forays in Suzanne Vega's touring band, Kane cut a handful of songs, "but Billy thought they were
pretty good and suggested I write a few others," she said.
Some of the songs Kane first recorded for So Long, like "Chicory Blue" and "Truth Will Out," contain "road" imagery, which, she maintained, was appropriate enough. "We're a nation of drivers and riders, really, and here in suburbia you spend a good deal of time in the car. So, it's a universal image, a metaphor for life, and a day-to-day experience, too."
Kane knows suburbia. She grew up in Waldwick, N.J., near the Paramus Mall. Her mother taught piano and her father was an aspiring actor who finally packed it in to sell insurance. When the Beatles hit America Kane asked for a guitar, and by the time she was in 7th grade she was leading her own folk music trio.
She studied economics at Bryn Mawr College and kept up her songwriting on the side, graduating in 1975. After a stint at the European American Bank in Manhattan she moved over to the Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company, teach¬ing brokers and bankers in the Credit Training Program for several years before marrying and staying at home to raise three children. She continues to pay close attention to financial matters around the world, and in conversation she mentioned how easy credit has "fueled countless personal disasters and supported the growth of the U.S. economy during the past two decades," posing real ethical dilemmas for those working in the banking and credit industries. Her work also' led to factory visits around the country, "which made me glad to have a college _degree," she said, and gave her first-hand look at how globalization was changing the blue- and white-collar worlds. Local governments, she added, "haven't yet recognized" the effects of globalization on their communities and probably won't either "until it's too late."
All this from a Grateful Dead fan. As her kids got older Kane started to feel the itch of performing music again. She helped start a Dead cover band, August West (named for the narrator in "Wharf Rat;' one of the group's lugubrious tunes, sung by Jerry Garcia), in 1998, and then worked in another outfit, Bad Dog, that featured some of her original songs. Coaxed into the singer-songwriter genre by her friend Sloan Wainwright, she has been a regular at Tribes Hill and the open mic scene for the past three years, gradually emerging as an artist with a sizable collection of arresting songs and a shimmering voice that can carry country ballads and rockers alike.
Kane mentioned being inspired by the example of Mary Gauthier, another singer-songwriter who "got into this game later in life;' but expressed no regrets for the roads she's taken.”You do what you do," she said, "and don't look back if you can help it. I don't view my corporate life as a sidetrack I shouldn't have been on. For now, it's great to be doing something new and challenging. I have a lifetime to draw on for my songwriting, and I'm making the kind of music where you don't need a stylist to find an audience."
WPKN FM, Bridgeport, CT
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If justice were served, "Susan Kane" would be a household name! Her first album is so assured, so fu...If justice were served, "Susan Kane" would be a household name! Her first album is so assured, so full of wonderful songs, so well-produced that in a fair world you'd expect to find her on the cover of Rolling Stone. Susan Kane deserves a much wider audience. She conquers audiences, one coffeehouse at a time.
“…listen closely to the lyrics for maximum enjoyment.!”
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One of the pleasures I find in directing the music collective known as Tribes Hill is seeing the evo...One of the pleasures I find in directing the music collective known as Tribes Hill is seeing the evolution of emerging artists from the unique perspective of both patron and kindred enthusiast. Artists meet at the Hammond House every month to share new songs that they have been writing, take part in a pot luck dinner and discuss business at hand for the many projects that we undertake as a community of artists and patrons. Susan Kane has been an active member of this growing organization since its formative days over two years ago.
With vicarious pride I celebrate the release of Susan's first CD titled "So Long". I believe most of the songs recorded on this CD were first heard around the table at Hammond House as she was just beginning to bring them to life. She made the process of song writing seem second nature by the ease in which she brought fresh material to our meetings month to month. I would often wait with eager anticipation to hear the new song that she would share with us all.
As a songwriter, Susan engages the listener with beautifully crafted verse set to melodies with a familiar yet original musical frame. The songs explore popular, historical and empirical themes with depth and meaning. She finds just the right balance of traditional influence and popular hooks to keep the songs continuing to invite and pique our interest. As a performing artist, she delivers her music with a skilled and familiar voice that resonates from note to note and song to song.
Susan Kane's debut CD is a thoroughly good listen from beginning to end. "So Long" reassures me that the efforts of nurturing the creation of independent music is both worthwhile and rewarding.
WVKR FM Poughkeepsie, NY
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"Susan Kane's music is roots-based with blends of blues and country. She is a gifted performer ...ea..."Susan Kane's music is roots-based with blends of blues and country. She is a gifted performer ...easily able to draw the listener in... with a richness in voice, compelling lyrics and a unique musical style."
Sets consist primarily of original material, including those on the CD and about 10 additional songs as yet unrecorded. The occasional cover might be Hunter/Garcia, Dylan, trad.
|Dec 15, 2013 Sunday||4:30 PM||Common Ground Coffeehouse||Hastings-on-hudson, NY, US|
|Tribes Hill Solstice '13|