Sue Scrofa

Sue Scrofa

BandPopFolk

Sue Scrofa is a pig-loving folk-pop band from the rural outskirts of Birmingham, AL. Front-woman and songwriter Alyssa Crisswell is a backwoods bohemian whose pop sensibilities crash headlong into retro ukulele folk. Kinda sounds like a cool record you dug out of your eccentric grandma's attic.

Biography

Birmingham, Alabama native Alyssa Crisswell started recording under the name Sue Scrofa in 2007. Crisswell’s pseudonym, a play on the Latin term for swine, came from her long time affection for pigs. Her music is a mix of indie-pop, folk and country featuring Crisswell on vocals, piano, and ukulele. She began writing songs while attending Emerson College in Boston and recorded them at her house in rural Alabama during breaks from school. Using her dad’s old recording equipment and her parents and friend John Paul Foster as accompanying musicians, Crisswell wrote, arranged and produced her first album, Alabamulance, which she self-released in June, 2008.

Crisswell came up with the title Alabamulance when she misread a sign that said “ambulance” on her way home from the subway in Boston one night. The album is inspired by the contrast of living in both urban New England and rural Alabama, and in it Crisswell explores the bittersweet feeling of changing homes. Her arrangements are textured with folksy ukulele and banjo, weeping guitars and ethereal flute, all wrapped in the warm nostalgia of singing on the porch in late summer. Crisswell’s voice is the signature instrument with it’s sweet but salty soulfulness, seasoned with elements of folk, jazz, country and a 60’s girl group vibe.

Her striking voice and compelling songwriting are the core of her live set. She sings and plays the ukulele and keyboard, accompanied by guitar, upright bass, mandolin, banjo, electric guitar and drums. She couples her own compositions with some of the classic jazz and folk songs she grew up on. With her charming stage persona and evocative voice, Sue Scrofa live is a special blend of vintage folk, indie-pop and country flair that is truly one-of-a kind.

Currently, Crisswell is back in Alabama recording the second Sue Scrofa album, White Cat, which is scheduled for release in January 2010.

Lyrics

Story Of My Mother

Written By: Sue Scrofa

When I was born they had done me wrong
I loved the spoken word.
But then I found out to get along
I should be seen and not heard.

But I’ve got a lot to say if you’d lend me your ear
I’ve got a lot to say if you’d lend me your ear, dear.

When I was five then I went to school
Minded my qs and ps.
I wasn’t bad and I wasn’t cool
I just said thank you and please.

But I had a lot to say if you’d lended your ear
I had a lot to say if you’d lended you ear, dear.

If you’re gonna stop me now
Cause everything that goes around
And everything that goes around
Don’t stop because it goes around.

My mother’s deaf and my daddy’s dumb
But that don’t make me blind.
I see their fuck ups I see their wrongs
I see them all the time.
Don’t even try to control me now
Already made up my mind.

I’ve got a lot to say if you’d lend me your ear
I’ve got a lot to say, thank you for lending your ear, dear.

Canoe

Written By: Sue Scrofa

Stars fall and they came down
So we took of our coats and stopped watching the ground
We were out late losing pebbles and moss
To the bottom of the river where we took off in the canoe…

Gliding through the bended trees
Listening to the murmur of the whistling breeze
I saw a water snake and a paper crane
That was almost as pretty as the look of your name

After we talked that night I couldn’t look at you
I watched the moon through the blinds
And we had it almost right
Waiting in the corner by the edge of the light

When we got to the riverbank
I was just happy that the boat hadn’t sank
And I looked back when you said you were wondering
About the sound of the sky a thunderin’

We had it almost right
Waiting in the corner by the edge of the light
But we had to turn back then
There was a far off sound and a chill in the wind

And sometimes I wonder what would’ve been
If you hadn’t felt that we should be more than friends
Or if I’d never met you and you were just another name
If I hadn’t come to the city then it wouldn’t have been the same

Stars fell and it rained down
I looked in your eyes as we laid on the ground
And it felt like a part of myself
Was being remembered through somebody else

So always think of me
When you walk through the willow and the sycamore trees
And take every part of me
My mouth and my neck and my knock-legged knees
And the canoe…

Alabamulance

Written By: Sue Scrofa

I was born in an alabamulance.
Two weeks late didn’t take a chance with it.
Mama said she took one glance and then
Decided that I’d be called Alabamulance.

She was so fine that I lost my mind.

Went to school to learn how to tap dance.
Demanded nothing short of excellence.
Thought I’d go perform in France and then
Live a life of glamour and decadence.

I was so blind that I lost my mind.

Fifteen years I sweated and practiced it.
All for nothing I didn’t have the rhythm yet.
Found myself in a ghostlike trance and then
Went back home to Alabamulance.

Then I found a real life romance.
Met a man with some yellow patterned pants.
We got a house and every night we dance
My the light of the moon in Alabamulance.

He was so fine that I lost my mind.

5 Seashells

Written By: Sue Scrofa

When I go it seems that to me
I want to swim to the bottom of the sea.
He stayed up on the shore
But I knew I knew that he wanted more.

Five seashells found.
They were washed up on the ground.

He said he had pain to bear
World on his shoulders and knots in his hair.
I watched him as he walked away
Slippery rocks and it’s a sunny day.

I went to him. He was soft against the wind
And we watched the tide roll in.

Shaking in the frigid air.
My heart is warm but my body is bare.
We’re growing up every day
Can’t stop it now but we’ll be ok.

Far to go, we’ll take it slow.
And I think we struck gold…

Discography

Alabamulance (LP; 2008)

Story of My Mother (Live Single)
The Goodbye Song (Live Single)

Set List

Original Material:
Alabamulance
Canoe
Stuck On You
Bottom And The Top
5 Seashells
The Goodbye Song
Story Of My Mother
Broken Ground
Pining Trees
The Face
Pelicans And Kites
I Don't Mind
Good Morning Mimosa
The Rain Song
White Cat
Who Do You Love

Covers:
Dream A Little Dream Of Me (The Mamas And The Papas)
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere (Bob Dylan)
Lysergic Bliss (Of Montreal)
Pocketful Of Rainbows (Elvis Presley)
Blue Moon (Standard)