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Susan Werner

NEW NON-FICTION • Susan Werner

The razor honed talent and sheer musical power of this woman is staggering. She makes most folk performers I've seen look like they're going backwards. In a mythical world where adults have been effectively reached by musical marketing, she is to them what Pink is to the younger set. (Imagine if car manufacturers simply hid behind the maxim that "all the people buying cars are between 18 and 35"…the pathetic fact of the matter is that no one has learned how to reach the adult market with music for grownups.)

Canadian Colin Linden (those Canadians again!) does a fantastic job producing this varied and demanding record, and plays numerous great guitar (electric, acoustic, baritone) and dobro tracks. It's recorded in Nashville, but it doesn’t sound like it was. That's a lot more amazing than it appears to be. We've heard him do strong work of his own and with a number of artists, but we're really knocked out by this in particular. I've been seeing him around Nashville lately, we'll have to catch up with him soon.

There's not a moment that goes by that Susan Werner is not absolutely kicking ass on this recording. That's what her live show is like, too. She comes out with guns blazing and it doesn’t quit until the show is Done. There may be quiet sections, but even they are pregnant with energy and meaning, with intention.

She's an operatically trained and masterful singer. She plays the living hell out of the piano, and is a fine guitarist. Her songwriting is worldly and literate, and sardonically humorous. Her melodies are vastly musical, and there's nowhere her voice can't seem to go. She's confident, and strikes fearlessly--her low tech, passionate read of the Fred Neil classic "Everybody's Talkin" is telling. Her vocal and guitar demo was played on a little cassette recorder held up to a mic and Colin put that up on a 2 track and got the band to play along. We include clips from two standout tracks, "Stationary" and "Misery and Happiness." This woman is major, check it out. And buy it here. • FG

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