Susan Sherlock
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Susan Sherlock

Band Folk Acoustic

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Sep
24
Susan Sherlock @ Festival In The Park

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Jun
04
Susan Sherlock @ Private Event

Rock HIll, South Carolina, USA

Rock HIll, South Carolina, USA

May
07
Susan Sherlock @ Lilifest!

Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA

Fort Mill, South Carolina, USA

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Music

Press


"Under The Winter Moon features Susan Vinson Sherlock's exquisite hammered dulcimer playing combined with sterling ensemble support from Albert Dulin on fiddle, mandolin and bouzouki; Dan Bright on guitar and concertina; Henry Trexler on bass, and John Trexler on clarinet.  The tunes are traditional except for the title cut -- written for her son and recorded on his sixteenth birthday -- and Come Before Winter, a tune Susan learned from the playing of Jim Taylor. 

The theme is winter and the mood is deliciously somber with a kind of introspective solemnity that befits the season. Of course that's only until you hear the first sprightly dance tune that changes the mood to furiously festive.  This nice set of tunes includes Cherry Tree Carol, Drive the Cold Winter Away/Blessed Be That Maid Marie, and Il est Ne'/Les Anges Dans Nos Campagne." - Dulcimer Players News Magazine


Even as a Northwestern High School teenager, Susan Sherlock was drawn to downtown York.
“My friends all loved going to the mall. I preferred walking among the shops of North Congress Street,” Susan, now a York Tech Engineering Technology teacher, says. “There was just something about all those stately old buildings and the history there.”
It was that same love of all things old that drew Susan to play an unusual musical instrument.
“I always enjoyed listening to folk and old-time music recordings. I kept hearing a particular instrument, though, that I couldn’t identify. It was beautiful! It sounded sort of like a harp, sort of like a piano, yet I knew it couldn’t be either one.”
Then, one day in 1995 Susan was walking down the streets of Black Mountain, N.C. when she heard that mysterious sound emanating from a music store.
“I immediately went in the store and asked what that instrument was. The folks in the music store told me it was something called a hammered dulcimer.”
So began Susan Sherlock’s musical odyssey, a journey that would transform her from casual listener to musician, music teacher, recording artist, and, most recently, event creator and promoter.
Though Susan loved old time music, she had never considered playing a musical instrument. One look at a hammered dulcimer changed her mind.
“My father played mandolin and I grew up in a family of musicians. I never considered playing an instrument myself, though, since I was always more logic oriented and I didn’t think I could do it.”
Fretted instruments, which comprise most of the folk instruments, in particular, didn’t appeal to Susan.
“They just didn’t make sense to me and my engineering-trained mind.”
When Susan saw a hammered dulcimer, though, with its almost geometric layout, Susan’s mind was changed instantly.
“I said, ‘now there’s an instrument I could play!’”
Nine years later Susan has joined the ranks of the true virtuosos of her chosen instrument, performing and teaching at festivals across the United States and Ireland and recording two of her own highly acclaimed CDs, ‘Wateree” and “Under the Winter Moon.” She has even taken up a new non-fretted instrument, the fiddle. AND, Susan, who now resides in downtown York, has found a way to combine her love for downtown York and her love for folk music. The fall of 2002 saw the birth of Susan’s “Yorkville Music Weekend” with a few folks showing up for an event that included a Friday night acoustic music jam session, Saturday teaching clinics and a Saturday night concert finale. 2003’s “YMW” showed a marked improvement in attendance and the 2004 “Yorkville Music Weekend,” which concluded in November, brought the largest attendance yet.
“It’s gotten bigger and better every year,” Susan says of the “Yorkville Music Weekend.”
Interest was so great that Susan created “Winter Concert 2005,“ a concert only event which will be held in downtown York in, January “It is an opportunity for the audience to hear the musicians and instruments in a less formal, more natural environment without microphones or amplification.”says Susan.
Sounds great! But why York? York is still a small town. Wouldn’t attendance be greater if the event were to take place in a larger town, perhaps Charlotte or Rock Hill?
“People ask me those questions all the time. I tell them I chose York because, number one, I live there,” Susan says with an easy laugh.
There is a greater reason, though, that Susan chose York for her musical events.
“When you walk among the old buildings of historic York, you can’t help but feel the rich Scotch-Irish heritage that built much of the town. It’s the same heritage that created much of our American folk and old time music. The music is a perfect fit for downtown York. It’s kind of a reversal of the old ‘bring the mountain to Mohammad’ thing. By having these concerts and festivals in York, I realize that I’m asking the people to come to the mountain, but I think once they’ve seen and experienced the mountain, they will agree it is worth the effort.”
And so, thanks to Susan Sherlock, downtown York and its musical heritage will be operating in perfect harmony (pun intended). Susan would love for you to be there to witness it.
“I tell people I enjoy this music so much it’s a shame to keep it a secret.”
Okay, so now the secret’s out. Come to the mountain!
- Tim Jones, York County Magazine


"All in all, anyone interested in any form of acoustic music will be hard pressed to find a better mix of songs... notable track on disk 1 [Oasis Acoustic Sampler 2 disc set] is from... Susan Vinson Sherlock [Under The Winter Moon]... " - The Inside Connection


Discography

Wateree, 2001
Under the Winter Moon, 2004
Entertaining Angels, contributor, 2005
Oasis Acoustic Sampler, 2002, 2004

Photos

Bio

As a solo artist Susan nurtures a calling that includes performing, composing, songwriting and teaching. Sharing the music and its stories is her passion, and her love for tradition in a new age is evident as each tale, tune and song attain a life of its own.

Since the late 1990s Susan has been invited to teach and perform at numerous music camps and festivals including two years at the Cork Dulcimer Festival in Cork City, Ireland, The Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, NC, Cranberry Dulcimer Gathering, Binghamton, NY, and many others. Susan has also published instructional articles for the hammered dulcimer on the Mel Bay webzine www.DulcimerSessions.com.

Susan stays very involved in her community and is acknowledged as a Folk Art and Traditional Artist by the South Carolina Arts Commission, is a member of the North Carolina Arts and Science Council Talent Bureau, a recipient of Regional Artist Project Grants from the North Carolina Arts and Science Council (2004), Arts and Science Council - Charlotte/Mecklenburg (2009), is a former member of the Charlotte Folk Society Board of Directors, a panel member for the local and regional Collate Country Showdown talent search program, and founder/director of Yorkville Music Weekend.

The daughter of a mandolin player with a rich family history in traditional music, Susan’s childhood was filled with sounds of Tennessee Waltz and Red River Valley on a daily basis. Frequent family gatherings spanning several generations often included fiddles, guitars, mandolins and lots of Carter-style singing! Susan’s father was her mentor and, in the aural tradition, instilled in her a deep connection and love for the old hymns, traditional songs and the wonderful nuances of the old time harmonies.

It was in late 1995 that Susan was drawn to the beautiful, mysterious sounds emanating from a hammered dulcimer in the mountains of North Carolina. Little did she know that this chance encounter would be the beginning of a musical odyssey; a journey that would transform her from casual music lover to hammered dulcimer player/teacher, songwriter, recording artist, and event creator/promoter.

After a time away due to a family illness, Susan enjoys a musical homecoming with greater passion, vision and determination with her third recording due to be released in early 2010. With this album she makes her debut as a singer/songwriter and is joined by James Leva, Jon Singleton, Wes Chappell and many other friends and loved ones to share in the renaissance.

During the summer months Susan spends much of her time performing and teaching hammered dulcimer; however during the nine month academic year splits her time between her music and York Technical College in Rock Hill SC where she has taught for nearly 25 years.