Ameri-mf-cana/Ed Vadas, Sue Burkhart
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Ameri-mf-cana/Ed Vadas, Sue Burkhart


Band Americana Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos




It's been awhile since we have heard from SuperKart, the rockin' band fronted by guitarist Sue Burkhart. The band last played together in June of 2005 and since then Burkhart has been busy teaching and performing with the latin musical group Quetzal, as well as pursuing a solo career. But Sue has decided to give SuperKart another go around and the band will perform a show at The Elevens in Northampton on Friday, June 22, at 7 p.m. This is a special early show with Whisky Ina and King Radio sharing the bill.

There have been a few changes in the SuperKart line-up. R%on Burati is now on bass and former bassist Jim Weeks moved to guitar, harmonica, and back-up vocals. Keith Levereault remains on drums.

"So, we have the same core trio but, changed things a bit," Burkhart explained. "It's a great combination - all four of us are really happy with the results. We are really looking forward to Friday."

Burkhart has also recently teamed up with local blues musician Ed Vadas to form a musical partnership they are calling Ameri-mf-cana.

A quick visit to their web site ( provides a glimpse into the varied music they are playing - everything from Tom Waits' "Jersey Girl" to the old stringband tune "Who Broke the Lock on the Henhouse Door?" Ameri-mf-cana performs songs written by both musicians as well as a full array of stylized covers.

When people first started asking them what type of music they played together, they would respond "a sort of Americana." While accurate, they thought that sounded corny. So they decided to tweak the term a bit and call themselves Ameri-mf-cana, a term that not only reflects the sense of humor that they share, but also gives a nod to the fact that many of the songs they play embrace the male/female situation.

"Ed Vadas and I teamed up after he came to one of my solo shows a year ago," explains Burkhart. "We discovered that we had a lot in common musically - we love older acoustic blues, roots music, jugband music as well jazz, folk and country. Both of us are very passionate about early Americana music, music that set trends and had powerful vocals and lyrics.

Burkhart and Vadas have been performing together since February and they will play a free show at the Hallmark Museum of Contemporary Photography, 85 Avenue A, Turners Falls, on Sunday, June 24, at 1:30 p.m. This show is part of the museum's Spring Exhibition and Benefit Print Sale. (The museum does not charge admission.)

"Working with Ed Vadas has made me a much-improved vocalist and musician in general," Burkhart said. "Audiences have reacted quite favorably, plus Ed and I have tons of fun together. We share a slightly twisted sense of humor - hence Ameri-mf-cana. We love to laugh and make audiences laugh. I feel lucky to have very satisfying musical endeavors to promote right now in SuperKart and Ameri-mf-cana." ... Sheryl Hunter - Greenfield Recorder June 21, 2007

"Music: Behind the Beat"

Ed Vadas, on his own and now with Sue Burkhardt, gets the blues.
By James Heflin
Robert Tobey Photo
As a Southerner who's lived in Texas, Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta, I am guilty of blues snobbery. The Valley is not a hotbed of blistering blues. It's a wonderful place, but the blues does not often flourish in the shadow of yoga studios.

My first years here, I saw bands who called their music blues. I was disheartened at the lack of a certain indescribable feel that's present in even most middling Southern music, and too often lacking in Northern imitations of Southern music.

When I first heard Ed Vadas, I wasn't, I think, really listening. Maybe my ears are better now. Or I assumed a white guy born in Worcester couldn't possibly get the blues. But it only takes a few minutes of talking or playing music with Vadas to realize that his mix of studied and unstudied, of dead-on planning and seat-of-the-pants sloppiness goes a long way toward capturing that ineffable quality of proper blues. It's not the kind of thing you can fake without sounding like a wanker.

Play with him (and lots of people do sit in for a song now and then, Wednesdays at Bishop's Lounge in Northampton, including me), and you might receive any number of things from Ed: anger, disgust, a smile, an insult, an on-the-fly lesson, maybe even approval. Ed gets the music, in the way of someone who's accidentally leaking it, not hunting it with deadly precision.

He is a teacher, too, though what he teaches is more along the lines of applied philosophy than how to finger the chords to "Mustang Sally." You might not think of Wittgenstein if you've witnessed any of Ed's famously off-color jokes. So imagine a philosophical jester with a muddy voice and a sloppily dead-on guitar hand, a lewder Voltaire with the complete Chess Records catalogue in his subconcious. Just keep in mind he's famous for pissing off drummers.

Vadas, in a recent wide-ranging interview, latched quickly onto the notion of philosophy: "That's the problem. Most musicians don't even have a philosophy, " he says. "You develop a philosophy and you play that philosophy."

That's why, Vadas says, he's a teacher when he leads a band, why he arranges songs around ideas that make the most of a band. He expresses his ideas with a mix of music theory and general notions, like, for instance, everyone playing different patterns, then the same thing on just one measure in a 12-bar blues form.

Vadas also has strong beliefs about why that hard-to-pin-down blues feel is ever harder to find: "I believe in the 1980s, popular music, disco and whatever—they started using a drum machine. It would play on the beat. I mean, right on the middle of the beat. But blues and a lot of other musics sat behind the beat or in front of it on certain songs, but they very seldom played right smack dab on the middle of the beat. I've had drummers tell me there's no such thing. But some drummers understand this, and great drummers can do it."

Though Vadas respects some technically gifted players, he sees technical dazzle as only a small part of musicianship. "That's what I call 'white ethic.' Fast and clean. That's the way they make love, the way they eat food, that's the way they play music."

Expression seems central to his approach. "I can buy a roadmap from here to Northampton, but the road is 60 feet wide. So I can stay on that road, but Christ, I could go all the way over there to the other side of the lane, or cut over when there's no traffic and come back, or I could stay right in my lane. I could run a couple of lights. I could go 90 over the bridge. I could do all those things and still stay on the road. When you see the printed page, it's a roadmap, but there are lots of things that personalize it. Every day I blow away somebody who can do things on the instrument that I can just dream I could. My favorite line is, 'Boy, if I could play like him, I wouldn't.'"

For much more of Vadas' interview and some excerpts of his playing, check out the online version of this story at

You can see Ed Vadas on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. at Bishop's Lounge in Northampton with a first set with Sue Burkhardt in a duo project dubbed Ameri-MF-cana, and the rest with The Fabulous Heavyweights.

- The Valley Advocate 10/11/2007

"Ed Vadas & Sue Burkhart: AmeriMF-cana CD Review"

Ed Vadas & Sue Burkhart: Ameri-MF-Cana
(Cranus Records)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

by Casey Hayman

Now what ever could the MF in Ameri-MF-Cana (the new album from Ed Vadas and Sue Burkhart) stand for? Mastodon Fur? Mustachioed Frenchman? Michael Flatley? I'll leave it to your imagination, but suffice to say Burkhart and Vadas are not content with the same-old-same-old smoothed-out, harmless blues/folk/roots music. The new album from the Valley blues stalwarts is less coffee shop and more honky tonk, and thank the MF'ing blues gods for that.

The duo runs the gamut from traditional ("Black-eyed Susan") to Duke Ellington ("Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me") to Tom Waits ("Jersey Girl") with a pretty Burkhart original ("I Want a Rock") thrown in. Vadas has a voice that was meant to sing the blues; and as clich as it may be to talk about blues singers in "you either got it, or you don't" kind of terms, Vadas has got the blues, plain and simple. Sue Burkhart seems to have them as well, and the two sing passionately and playfully, and the fact that they seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves really comes across in the recording. A couple of my favorite tunes on the album are the Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens song "Today I Started Lovin' You Again" and the traditional "Rye Whiskey/Whiskey Before Breakfast". Now that's the kind of Americana attitude that this MF'er can get down with.

- Springfield Rebublican


Throughout their different careers Sue and Ed have appeared on 16 CDs 10 of which when either Ed or Sue were the featured artist. They are just now releasing their first disc since forming the acoustic duo....
the self titled "Ameri-mf-cana".



Dave Sokol, noted music critic and editor once wrote of Ed Vadas and Sue Burkhart’s musical treat, Ameri-mf-cana…"an arresting blend of folk, Jazz, old timey, and purely original material performed in an eclectic, humorous, sophisticated, and slightly twisted manner, drenched in a rich slathering sauce of blues!"

With Ed the “M” and Sue the “F”, Ameri-MF-cana brings their unique blend of personalities and highly crafted renditions of rare chestnuts from America’s rich musical heritage as well as classic interpretations of tunes that they have written, to venues large and small across America. Small coffeehouse in church basements in rural vermont,
Performing Arts Center in Easthampton, MA, hip concert venue at Wesleyan University in CT, A large Blues bar in the Florida keys and a crammed NYC nightclub have all warmed to Ameri-mf-cana and their dedication to great music and lots of laughs!

Whatever the genre, they play with fire and exuberance. From the Ledbelly tune "Poor Howard", Dylan's "I'll be your baby tonight!", Duke Ellington's "Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me" to Merle Haggard's "Today I Started Loving you again!", Tom Wait's "Jersy Girl", and the old Stringband favorite "Who Broke the Lock on the Henhouse Door" songs by Muddy Water, Patsy Cline, you name it. people have embraced the duos eclectic approach.

In the live show. there are other styles included...a couple of jazz scat tunes a la Lambert, Hendrix and Ross, , a number of well crafted original tunes penned by Sue or Ed, a smattering of bluegrass and traditional folk, all drenched in a rich slathering sauce of blues!

A deep love of roots music drove them to learn the varied styles and be able to play and sing them with feeling they deserve. Reading their personal bios will reveal how they can traverse these many genres and still be "authentic". Between Sue's command of the jazz and classical guitar and her doubling on the mandolin and Ed's mastery of the old blues and finger-picking guitar styles and his harmonica skills, the two explode on stage with a grand musical excitement.

Both musicians sing somewhere on most every song, often employing a sort of "blues" or "red neck" harmony. Still, on other tunes they get "downright pretty"! And that is the half of it!

The other side of "Ameri-MF-cana" is the way the personalities collide on stage... both Sue and Ed have no problem saying anything that pops into their mind.... they have been known to find something funny and just laugh uncontrolably for what seems minutes before they can continue. They don't really want to advertise that they are funny, but given the opportunity, it gets "fair to partly funny" sometime in most every unplanned outing.

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