From: NY, United States
Genre: Folk, Americana
Highway Bouquet is Hudson Valley singer songwriter Susan Kane’s second CD. A beautiful voice, a distinctive point of view, and a knack for memorable melodies make her more than just another musician to listen to. Her songs draw on many strains of roots music, from folk to blues to country. Produced again by Billy Masters, the new CD has two cover songs, and eight new originals. Like her previous CD, the songs range from spare acoustic arrangements to expansive productions, all in the Americana idiom. Her songs often have bittersweet themes, intimately and warmly expressed. The specifically autobiographical “Kesey” is a poignant musing on mortality. The first track “Ring the Bells” is stirring and anthemic. “Big Baby” winks at the inner child in all of us. Many talented musicians contributed to the disc, including fiddler Lisa Gutkin from the Grammy-winning Klezmatics, and Marc Muller (Shania Twain, Steve Forbert).
Born in New York and raised in various suburban locations by artistically inclined parents in New Jersey, she was drawn to music at an early age, but wandered away from her mother’s conservatory piano repertoire to the homespun vibes of acoustic folk and twangy country music. In junior high she formed an all girl folk trio, and in high school went solo and sang folky, protesty, singer songwriter stuff. There was a college duo, and then adulthood. She got back into performing in the mid 1990s after logging time in the corporate world and raising a family with her attorney/writer husband. Songwriting entered the mix only 10 years ago when she was in a rock band that started doing original material, and thought, “maybe I can do that too.” When the band wound down, Kane found herself having coffee with local indie goddess Sloan Wainwright who said “Go to the folk world.” And she hasn’t looked back.
Her debut CD of all original material, So Long, produced by acclaimed guitarist, arranger and producer Billy Masters, (Suzanne Vega, Cry Cry Cry, Richard Shindell) was released in fall 2004. The album showcased Kane's lyric driven songs about relationships, nature, with a few wry observations on various contemporary follies. The tunes are memorable and timeless. A tribute to the humble, blue beauty of roadside chicory is an audience and critical favorite, having won a number of songwriting awards. So Long earned spins at over 100 radio stations nationwide.
Susan has played at a wide variety of well-known venues and festivals in the Hudson Valley and metropolitan area, including the Towne Crier Café, the Peekskill Coffeehouse, the Bitter End and the Pleasantville Music Festival. She has shared bills with such diverse artists as Pete Seeger, Dar Williams, Sloan Wainwright, Terence Martin and Girlyman. With her warm, mellifluous voice, listeners are often reminded of other singers, but can't quite come up with a name. The voice has a distinctive quality that's hers alone.
DJ Catherine Michaels from Westchester’s WHUD FM had early praise for the CD. “Highway Bouquet is an invitation to hit the road with Susan Kane--her voice the fuel, sweet momentum of the strings, the wheels. From the lead track “Ring the Bells”, this lyrical journey with Susan teaches us that even in the darkness of the past, hope blooms. Hallelujah!” Highway Bouquet went on to widespread play on many radio stations across the U.S, in Europe, and the Internet, and was the featured CD of the week on Iain Anderson’s popular BBC-RadioScotland radio show in April 2009. It received a glowing review in the March 2009 of Chronogram from writer Michael Ruby: Susan Kane is the real thing. The lower Hudson Valley-based singer-songwriter has just released her second album, Highway Bouquet, and it’s chock-full of great songs and great singing, all set off with a shimmering production job from multi-instrumentalist and Suzanne Vega side man Billy Masters (who called in ringers like Lisa Gutkin, Fred Gillen Jr., and Marc Muller to assist). Kane would have been comfortable in the “Mellow Mafia” of late-’70s Los Angeles, but her music has a stronger country edge and occasionally even leans into the alt.folk territory of her peers. Since Kane covers the Eric Kaz/Libby Titus chestnut “Love Has No Pride” on the album, one assumes she won’t mind the comparison to Linda Ronstadt. But, truth be told, Karla Bonoff—who wrote many of Ronstadt’s most enduring songs—is an even stronger touchstone. And that’s not a bad thing, especially when you combine Kane’s irresistible voice—you can live in it for days—with hooks as big as those on the lush, anthemic “Ring the Bells,” the witty “Big Baby,” and the intimate, acoustic “Tenderhearted.” Kane also covers “To Lay Me Down,” a lesser-known gem from Jerry Garcia’s first solo album, which will certainly pull in casual listeners from the Dead side of the tracks. Further proof of Kane’s Me Decade leanings is the fact that Highway Bouquet clocks in at a vinyl-friendly 41 minutes. If only other songwriters would take the hint and offer this kind of quality, rather than simple quantity. “The Tale of Missus” was been selected for Acoustic Rainbow’s 2010 summer sampler CD which features a Pete Seeger song as the lead track. She's working on her third CD which should be released later in 2011.
Thanks for listening!!!!