Cynthia Summers

Cynthia Summers

 Glen Rock, New Jersey, USA
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

beautiful, expressive voice: intricate, vivid songwriting and covers that sound brand new; sophisticated urban alt-folk

Biography

Cynthia Summers's songs are full of what Sing Out! magazine calls “intricate imagery.” The Online Folk Festival notes that Summers “writes seemingly simple songs about domestic life that explore larger truths.” And, she can sing, with a voice that has been likened to some of the best in acoustic music. Sing Out! says her vocals are “eerily reminiscent of a young Judy Collins.” She has also been compared to Natalie Merchant and Joan Baez.

In addition to originals, Summers and instrumentalist Gregory Lynch perform covers from all over the musical map--American songbook, jazz, folk, rock, traditional--giving each song its own unique interpretation. In performance, the duo is relaxed, quirky, and funny. The combination of Summers's beautiful voice, Lynch's strong instrumentals, great songs, and rapport with both each other and the audience makes for a truly special event.

Summers won the NJ Folk Festival New Folk Showcase and has been a featured performer at many venues for acoustic music, including:
Orchard House Cafe (New York City)
The Minstrel Concert Series (Morristown, NJ)
NJ Folk Project Fall Festival
The Sanctuary Concerts ("Best of NJ" event)
Music at the Mission NERFA showcase
People’s Voice Festival (Beacon, NY)
Berryille Barns Festival (Berryville, VA)
Riverspace Arts (Nyack, NY)
The Belcher Auditorium (Ridgewood, NJ)
Heirloom Café (Glen Rock, NJ)
Bergen Community College (Paramus, NJ)
Elmer's Store (Ashfield, MA)
New Jersey Folk Festival (New Brunswick, NJ)
Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH)

Cynthia's song, "Sort of Old Car," was featured on the NPR radio show, "Car Talk." Her debut CD, “Love at Every Turn,” was released by RedTree Music.

Lyrics

Love at Every Turn

Written By: Cynthia Summers

Summer night at the old fun park
Broken glow, rattletrap
rhinestones and sharks
Mysteries exist
that a teenage girl can learn
At the carousel horses spin
love at every turn

Children fly on gilded chariots
Paint’s peeling but kids don’t care
And she’s as new to this world as they
As new but in a different way

In her best blue shirt and the air is so warm
Young men with big eyes
She makes their blood swarm
Got plans for the evening?
She never felt such yearning.
They bring beer, candy, cigarettes and
love at every burning
Love at every burn

Children fly on gilded chariots
Paint’s peeling but kids don’t care
And she’s as new to this world as they
As new but in a different way

And she thinks:
They do care
See the wind in their hair
Leaping horses, ceiling of stars
A whole world is lost, a whole world is found

Your lips so sweet
like you just ate cotton candy
I got eyes for you, honey,
my blood’s as thick as brandy
Mysteries exist
that a teenage girl can learn
At the carousel horses spin
Love at every turn
Love at every turn
Love at every turn

Words (Song for Keats)

Written By: Cynthia Summers

the shadows of the trees
breath upon your cheek
music on water
a beautiful daughter
a poem spoken into mist

In the picture Joseph made
you rest on your last bed
your hair is dark and curled
your eyes are closed
I imagine Joseph reaching out
to touch you with his hand
the artist who loves you
the genius and the man

you knew that you were leaving
but not what you had done
despairing, grieving
you did not know you'd won
a kind of immortality, the best anyone can do
we read your words

the shadows of the trees
breath upon your cheek
music on water
a beautiful daughter
a poem spoken into mist

Your life so full of sadness
you tried to make it clear
to weave words around
the mystery
death is all and nothing
no victory no defeat
your nightingale keeps singing
music sweet

you knew that you were leaving
but not what you had done
despairing, grieving
you did not know you'd won
a kind of immortality, the best anyone can do
we read your words …. words

and what I have learned from you is not easy to say:
the shadows of the trees
breath upon your cheek
music on water
a beautiful daughter
a poem spoken into mist
a poem spoken into mist

I Walked Out

Written By: Cynthia Summers

I walked out on my friends
I left them high and dry
I turned my back on them
And walked away again
Didn’t even cry
I said this is hard for me
And while it might be hard to do
I gotta think about myself
Think about my life
Can’t think about you
And I walked out on my friends

I walked out on my friends
I didn’t even call
Just sent a hurried note
Vanished in thin air
Wandered into fall
And all I said were lies
Every word and every breath
You can’t pretend to love
Love requires truth
I failed at that test
And I walked out on my friends

I walked out on my friends
I gave no second chance
They faded in my mind
Faces grew so pale
I left them at the dance
I roared off down the road
I scared the sky that day
I ruined everything
Didn’t leave a note to sing
I took my voice away

While there are many kinds of how
I don’t even know one why
I just get to the point where I can’t even try

And I walked out on my friends
I walked out on my wife
I walked out on my kids
Walked out on my dog
Walked out on my life

Who Are You Looking For?

Written By: Cynthia Summers

Who are you looking for?
Who are you missing?
Who are you longing for?
What are their names?
Where are the eyes that smiled?
Are they lost, are they living?
Searching the ruins of another day

He was a gentle man
A friend and a neighbor
He played the violin
He wasn’t half-bad
He had a wife he loved
And a child in the future
What's that they're thinking of
Those who are so mad?

CHORUS:
Y’know, I want to say my life is still all right
I wake into the light each day
But there are shadows cast, they fall like autumn leaves
They are all we’ve lost on one terrible day

I didn’t know him
But I feel like I do
I have not suffered
But I’m still bleeding through
I’m not a widow, I’m not lost or alone
Why am I grieving like he was my own?

The moon keeps its orbit
The sun shows its face
The world keeps on changing
But it’s still the same place
I don’t pretend to be above hate
But I wish, I wish we could make it go away

CHORUS

Discography

"Love at Every Turn" © 2006 RedTree Music
"Love at Every Turn" was recorded at Signature Studios, in Pomfret, CT. Cynthia wrote all but of 1 of the 10 songs; the one cover is of a Greg Brown tune. The musicians include drummer Dave Mattacks, guitarist Duke Levine, bassist Richard Gates, keyboard player Michael Bellar, violinist Edita Blaskova, cellist Roman Placek, and violist Cori Tolda. Steve Santoro did the string arrangements. The record was mastered by Bob St. John at PDQ productions in Miramar, Florida. Moya McAllister took the photos and Roe Intrieri did the design.

Set List

Sets mix originals with highly original approaches to covers.
Sample Partial Set List:
Gentle Arms of Eden (Dave Carter)
Patience (Mark Sandman)
Crying Stopped (Cynthia Summers)
Donald and Lydia (John Prine)
Childish Heart (Cynthia Summers)
Crossing Muddy Waters (John Hiatt)
Don't Think Twice It's Alright (Bob Dylan)
Buckets of Rain (Bob Dylan)
Hazel's House (Richard Shindell)
I Don't Like the Fighting (Cynthia Summers)
Words (Cynthia Summers)
Summertime (Gershwin)
Slow Shoes (Cynthia Summers)
Sort of Old Car (Cynthia Summers)
Wanderer (Cynthia Summers)
Try to Remember (Harvey Schmidt)
My Love Will Follow You (Julie and Buddy Miller)