Kara Suzanne
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Kara Suzanne

Woodstock, New York, United States | INDIE

Woodstock, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Rock

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May, 2006

Kara Suzanne and the Gojo Hearts, "Aumsville" EP- You know what? Country music is a beautiful beautiful style of music when you do it right and Kara Suzanne is a top notch example of that. The Aumsville EP is quick paced, clocking at only 3 songs and a little over 9 minutes. Its purpose though is to wet your appetite for the upcoming full length and it certainly does that well. "Eleven"opens the EP with an up tempo, semi-rockabilly feel with Kara's distinctly feminine wail leading the way. It kind of reminds me of "Hot Rod Lincoln", as far as the way it's set up but no matter because the band certainly gets your attention with it. "Promise" is up next, slowing the pace down a bit and adding some singer/songwriter flare. Kara's voice is gentle yet strong on this one with the band serving as a beautiful backdrop to it. The EP ends (albeit way too early) with the bluesier "Congratulations." This is probably the least country sounding of the three songs but it's every bit as good as the others. Really what you have here are three songs that are pretty different from each other yet flow together very well. The band proves to be versatile and extremely talented. I'm anxiously awaiting a full length!

CHT Pick: "I Promise" Reviewed by Mark Fisher

http://www.coffeehousetour.com/CHTReviews.htm - by Coffee House Tour.com


Kara Suzanne's voice is a cross between Aimee Mann's velvet texture and Fiona Apple's soul, with hints of Dolly Parton's country vibrato.

- Inquiror & Mirror


Kara Suzanne is part sullen cowgirl, part seductive cabaret singer, and all soulful folk-rock songstress. She bewitches audiences with her original songs that are simultaneously heartbreaking and carefree. Kara is the sort of singer who invites you along on the ride through her life and her loves with a sound and songs that are contemporary and distinctly her own. She's this generation's answer to Dolly Parton and Patty Griffin. - Jack Douglas, grammy-winning producer, John Lennon, Patti Smith & Aerosmith. - Songwriter Magazine


Kara Suzanne is a wonderful singer and guitarist that I think you should all know about. She'd been playing the coffee circuit for years around the Pacific Northwest before relocating to the Big Apple, hoping for a big break (needless to say). And it seems she's gotten a lot closer. Now rounded out by a full band (The Gojo Hearts) and a raw and beautiful arrangement of instruments like the piano, Wurlitzer, dobro, pedal steel, banjo, mandolin, Hammond organ, trumpet, horn, sax and flute. Her steamy, sultry and lush vocals are a bit, just a bit, reminiscent of Neko Case, and definitely the result of a combination of hard work and an inexplicable blessing. Her new, debut album, Aumsville meanders from teary folk numbers and gritty and melodic country cuts to the sort of jangling and stomping piano-led country songs that would sit well in an old West tavern with swinging doors and whiskey, a gorgeous, warm collection of old time-y Southern-tinged country, sweet achy emotion and careful layers of strings, melodies and rhythms.


- MOG Music


Parlor Walls is certainly more Nashville than Big Apple. Yes, there’s country in this album. But don’t expect paeans to pickup trucks or tear-in-the-beer ballads about cheatin’ hearts. Elements of folk, rock and blues are all there, too. But the brilliant thing about this release is how all of the genres congeal together, melodiously, in the same pot. The band bridges the divide between blues, country, folk and rock; but they’re also not afraid of burning those bridges when the muse summons. The music fits under the umbrella of Americana/roots music without getting wet, but in another sense, this is roots music without roots. It’s as close to the farm as it is to the freeway. And that might be what’s most refreshing about this release; it’s homeless and it belongs somewhere at the same time. - Chris Zebo, Maroon Weekly - Maroon Weekly


Kara Suzanne is too hard on herself. On her full-length debut, she opens with the self-deprecating "Stumblin", in which she blows it with a "god among men", even going so far as to offer to "give up all self-medicating/to see him again" From there, Suzanne eases up on herself some, managing in the process to stretch out as a songwriter, but somehow she can't keep from returning to the travails of love and love lost. She and her multi-talented, turn on a dime band, led by guitarist/pedal steel/string player Putnam Murdock, have the melodies to make a success of an album that could've used a change of subject now and then. Among this collection of eleven originals, while there may not be a song as good as "Queen of the Silver Dollar", a cover that has become a staple of her live sets, there also aren't the weak dogs one expects from a first record. That much is clear enough when you hear the Oregon-born, Brooklyn-residing Suzanne wrap her rich, emotive pipes around such quality tunes as the achingly sad "Congratulations", the revelatory "Look Up" (which it's spot-on trumpet and sax accents), and the slow-boil rocker "Eleven" . - No Depression


Kara Suzanne`s expressive, emotionally wide-ranging voice gives this release its kick. One moment she is melting your heart with a mournful torch song, then she`s shaking her sassy finger at you. The Gojo Hearts never let Suzanne get too far out in front. Suzanne is the show, but much like the original Lone Justice kept Maria McKee in line, The Gojo Hearts keep this from becoming all about Suzanne`s terrific voice. Through the course of the album they explore country balladry, bluegrass, jazz, and turn-of-the-century Western barroom music, all of which Suzanne masters. A terrific debut from a talented band. - - Miles of Music


Kara Suzanne and the Gojo Hearts are a powerful new addition to the alt-country scene. She has a smooth and sultry voice, with the occasional, but not overdone, twang. The sound is smooth, full and well produced and her voice is excellent, showing a lot of talent here. - Urban Folk Magazine


Kara Suzanne and her bands lively country rock on this little EP goes some way to make this a nice debut. "Eleven" is what Maria McKee might be doing if she'd stayed true to her roots. "I Promise" points a vivid picture of a woman finding out exactly who her ex is. "Congratulations" is a blue ballad worthy of the Dixie Chicks. Kara Suzanne should have a nice full-length debut to her credit soon.

- Luna Kafe


I'm generally hesitant about indie releases that fall into the general realm of alt-country, country-rock, etc., because so many of them end up being fairly dull, cookie-cutter affairs. This three-song EP by Kara Suzanne and the Gojo Hearts is another story altogether. Though the group does fit that general category of traditional-leaning country with more of a modern pop-rock sensibility, their music has so much more heart and style than many of their contemporaries. Kara Suzanne's songs are humorous but also moving, particularly the EP's middle track "I Promise." That song forms gently around a narrative about a lying ex-boyfriend using a worn-out pick-up line, but it also pulls a certain amount of feeling out of the line itself. That track is sandwiched between a ballad that takes a more serious, melancholy approach to a lover's kiss-off and a quick, upbeat barnburner that jokes about numerology but also has some real pain inside it. All three songs sparkle on the outside, yearn on the inside, and leave me wanting more.
- Erasingclouds.com


"....But if you want to treat yourself, try to catch returning performers Kara Suzanne and the Gojo Hearts. They grace the stage at least once a month, and their sound--Americana, old school country, rock, folk, 60s pop--is best described as a genre mosaic. Don’t be surprised if in one song you hear elements of ragtime and high plains country blended with an interlude suggesting Debussy’s La Mer. And if the pairings sound discordant, think again. The Gojo Hearts’ recipe is quite palatable.

“It’s probably the most difficult place to build up a following,” says Suzanne of New York’s copious free live music scene. “Especially if you’re unknown. People are nervous to take a chance because so much live music on the bottom rung is so painful to sit through. You have to sift through the dirty silt like your panning for gold.”

In today’s overpopulated Americana/folk scene, polluted with cheap pop licks and clichéd formalism, Kara Suzanne’s piquant singing and songwriting cuts through the self-indulgent music scene morass.

Commenting on the Rockwood’s size, Suzanne says size doesn’t matter. “I love the exchange of energy when I'm up there, “ she says. “I like to look at one person and sing to them for a bit, then switch and throw it out to all watching.”

Kara Suzanne and the Gojo Hearts’ debut album is scheduled for release before the end of the year. "

http://www.newyorkartistseries.com/mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=340&Itemid=63

- New York Artist Series


Discography

Live EP: Live From the Dream. Independent Music Award Vox Populi winning album "Aumsville" on Paste Recommends program around the country or get your copy online at http://www.cdbaby.com/karasuzanne. Kings County Caravan: Volume One, compilation. Parlor Walls, 2009.

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Bio

There are reasons why Rock & Roll and Country music continue to be relevant forms of expression in the American landscape. In the early stretch of the 21st century, Kara Suzanne is one of those reasons. While Kara's timeless lyrics and powerhouse vocal delivery are filled with signposts pointing to the classic influence of musicians like Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, and Dolly Parton, there is also a fresh and modern sensibility. With the high-octane drive of her ever formidable band, the songs steer clear of predictability. Her dynamic live shows have become increasingly popular, both in esteemed NYC venues such as Irving Plaza, Gramercy Theatre, and Joe's Pub, and at various film festivals, from Sundance, to Nantucket, to the Hamptons. In addition, Kara's debut album, "Aumsville," won Best Album of the Year from the Independent Music Awards.

Band Members