Black Eyed Susies

Black Eyed Susies

BandAmericanaAcoustic

The Black Eyed Susies are an all-girl old-time/Americana string band from Trumansburg, NY. Jiamie Pyles (guitar), Leah Houghtaling (banjo) and Amelia Sauter (upright bass) have been lassoing audiences with their lonesome cowgirl tunes and exquisite three-part harmonies since February 2007.

Biography

Blending old-time, Americana and blues, the music of the Black Eyed Susies sings with tight harmonies of decades past, lost love, booze and morphine through both traditional tunes and originals. Their music is both smooth and energetic. Their rich three-part harmonies catch the ears of listeners and they exude a sense of presence when performing that other old-time musicians can’t always capture. They have taken the local old-time music scene by storm, playing “outside of the box,” re-writing traditional tunes to make them more modern and adding an emphasis on well-practiced vocals.

Virginia-influenced Jiamie Pyles plays acoustic guitar and has a voice reminiscent of Gillian Welch. She writes original lonesome cowgirl tunes which croon recurrent themes of love, dissatisfaction and a never-ending search for peace. With a mood that is more Americana than old-time, Pyles’ gentle guitar strumming has been described as “true home-grown Appalachian style.” Leah Houghtaling adds vocals and a unique way of playing the banjo, perhaps best described as claw hammer meets melodic experimental. Her complex banjo melodies mean that listeners don’t miss the fiddle which is frequently a foundation for old-time music. Houghtaling has written numerous high-energy instrumentals that get audiences’ feet tapping. Amelia Sauter plays upright bass and sings with a voice that has been described as “wicked old-school country.” Her voice is high and clear, her bass style clean and refreshing. Absent is the typical slapping and percussive bass playing often heard in old-time music. Rather, Sauter chooses the notes she plays carefully, letting the bass speak volumes with resonant plucking and the occasional bow.

The Black Eyed Susies have graced the stage at such venues as Maxies Supper Club, Felicia’s Atomic Lounge, ABC Café, Simply Red Bistro, The Chapter House and Korova. They have also played as guests with some of the best old-time musicians in the area including Mac Benford, Chad Crumm, Richie Stearns, Long John and The Tights and the Hogwashers and the Evil City String Band. Recently, the Black Eyed Susies have been in the studio working on a cd which is due out in May 2008.

"Best all-girl harmonies in Ithaca since the Burns Sisters and Five2. The Susies are my new f***ing favorite." - some drunk guy at Chapter House

Discography

Jugs of Gin, May 2008