Susan Herndon's latest album, All Fall Down, produced under the direction of Lloyd Maines, is a collection of songs that includes country, pop, blues, rock, reggae, bluegrass, jug-band, a ballad, a poetry-ramble, and a French song. (...always a French song thrown-in, car elle parle un petit peu de francais aussi...) The unifying thread being, "quite simply, she has one of the sweetest and most comforting female voices... of course it doesn't hurt that she's also a gifted songwriter."
Said to be "something of a trailblazer, unfettered by labels or boundaries," Susan simply considers herself an existentialist drawing from life experience and observation in order to write. Her last album, 1,000 Pies, "contains tunes ranging from sweet acoustic ballads to straight up country, rock and roll, and even a little red dirt jazz-- skipping with ease between genres and showing hints of her inner bohemian."
Born in St. Louis, but completely Okie bred-- that is, until moving to France, Susan began performing there, busking in the streets, then playing regularly with a group of fellow-vagabonds in Auvergne, in Provence, and in the Dordogne, and then on into Greece. These past several years have also seen her gigging relentlessly from Okemnukov, Ukraine to Okemah, Oklahoma, and playing and touring in venues from Tennessee and Arkansas to Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas and into New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and Florida, and on out to California, Oregon, and Washington state.
Her album credits are a who's who of some of Oklahoma's best musicians, and her latest album, of Austin's most outstanding. But Susan Herndon is best experienced live-- and she lives for the live show, maintaining a commitment to the fun, camaraderie, and love through the mystery and beauty and power of song-- playing solo, or just as often, surrounding herself with a band of great and unique musicians.
"You can call her music singer-songwriter music, Red Dirt music, folk music. Just about the only thing you can't call it is easy listening... she has both a facility for lyrics that mean something, and remains fiercly independent." Whatever the descriptions or comparisons, "Herndon might be described as eclectic or versatile, but never predictable-- and always entertaining."
(quotations compiled from different reviews by music writers, Gary Hizer, John Wooley, and Jim Tilly)
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