From: CA, United States
Genre: Folk, Contemporary Folk, Country
Susan has been making music since singing "99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall" with her sisters as they drove across country on childhood vacations (while driving her parents crazy with the repetition!). Fortunately she evolved and began to develop her own song repertoire, which became her pre-sleep ritual until she was eight or nine years old, singing songs to herself before drifting off to sleep. In addition to songs, she also began composing poetry around this time, a skill that later proved to be a valuable asset in writing song lyrics.
At about twelve years old, Susan’s parents started her musical training with piano lessons from a local pops pianist who taught her how to arrange songs, play with various styles, learn chords, musical harmony and theory. This particular kind of musical education proved to be exactly right for her song and lyric composition style. As she works from the guitar and piano, starting either with chord patterns or lyrics, Susan finds that the creative freedom she discovered all those years ago through piano improvisation has melded perfectly with the way she now "makes music".
Since learning to play to guitar after college, Susan has been singing and playing primarily folk, country, and her own contemporary folk compositions. Her early "muses" were Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, and of course, the Beatles! She now adds Alison Krause and Emmylou Harris to that lineup! Although she has played and sung over the years at various "open mike" settings and community events, she did not start studying voice until ten years ago, when she began working with Elisabeth Howard, the developer of the Vocal Power method. It was at this time that Susan began to learn about her voice as a true musical instrument. She continues to study with Ms. Howard, continually working to improve her vocal abilities. She now plays various gigs in the Canyon and is working on her second and third albums, love songs and songs of "gentle protest".
Most importantly, Susan finds music, song and poetry to be among the most enriching elements of her life, whether listening to others, including classical and jazz artists, or working on her own creations. She aspires to what Oscar Wilde wrote long ago:
Life has been your art.
You have set yourself to music.
Your days are your sonnets.....
As a result of the 'Welcome to Topanga Town' song she wrote and sang on the Discovery Channel reality program, "Red & Blue", about a "house exchange" between a politically conservative family in Clinton, Louisiana, and a politically liberal family in Topanga, Susan was able to obtain her ASCAP card in 2006. She is now a proud member of that music organization. This song is in her new album, 'Topanga Anthem'.