Susan Kane, a Mount Kisco, New York-based Americana singer-songwriter, released her third CD late last year. Entitled A Word Child, its eclectic tracks address timeless and universal themes of love, loss and hope. In addition to original compositions, the CD features choice covers of songs by other writers - both famous and lesser-known.
Like her previous two releases, A Word Child has been well received by radio DJs the world-over. After debuting at #23 on the Roots Music Report Folk Radio Airplay Chart and #35 on the Folk DJ Chart in December, it climbed to #15 last month on the Roots Music Report's Folk Top 50 albums chart and #4 on its Roots Country Internet Airplay Chart. The CD also rose to #31 on the Alternate Root Top 66 international airplay chart. Citing Kane's "perceptive and soulful songs," BBC Radio Scotland's Iain Anderson named A Word Child "Album of the Week" and called it "one of the early contenders for one of the best albums of 2013."
A Word Child borrows its name from the title of an Iris Murdoch novel and features beautifully produced arrangements with carefully crafted harmonies and just-right instrumentation to suit the nuances of each song. The CD was produced by Billy Masters (as was Kane's 2008 release, Highway Bouquet), and her 2004 debut, So Long) and recorded primarily in Austin, Texas. It also features such talented artists as Glen Fukunaga and Zev Katz (bass), Bob Hoffnar (pedal steel), Jess Klein (vocals), Ben Wittman (percussion) and Marco Giovino from Robert Plant's Band of Joy (drums).
"It's not the stellar production or the "A-list" players on this album that matter; it's the self-assured narrative voice and the clear bellwether tones of Susan Kane... never overwrought, nor seeking attention," asserts Rob Morsberger, a noted singer-songwriter, producer and composer for the PBS series, Nova. "Susan Kane may sound like the Hudson Valley's very own Linda Ronstadt, but there's a difference," says Carter Smith, who runs Common Ground Community Concerts in Westchester County, NY locales. "Susan's not only a terrific singer, but also one of the most naturally gifted songwriters that I've had the pleasure of working with in a decade of presenting shows."
A past president of Tribes Hill, a Hudson Valley-based collective of independent musicians and their supporters, Kane has performed at venues and festivals throughout the New York metropolitan area. John Platt, host of "Sunday Breakfast" on WFUV-FM in New York, selected her to perform in the Suzi Wollenberg Folk DJ Showcase during the 2008 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference.
Born in New York and raised in various New Jersey suburbs by artistically inclined parents, Kane was drawn to music at an early age. However, she wandered away from her mother's conservatory piano repertoire to the homespun vibes of acoustic folk and twangy country music, inspired by the rise of Bob Dylan and the presence of folk music and its offshoots on Top 40 radio and pop music outlets of the time.
"My mom is actually from Wheeling, West Virginia, home of WWVA and its legendary Jamboree USA country music show," notes Kane. "She must have taken in some Bill Monroe and Hank Williams without realizing it."
Kane came to songwriting later in life, which gives one time to process everything. Something old; something new -- the old bridal rhyme -- is the perfect recipe for songwriting, she says. If you follow her on Twitter, you'll find she admits to digging in the dirt, reading books and digging the Dead. A connoisseur of words, Kane is a reader, a listener, a hunter and gatherer of the raw materials to make songs.
For more information, visit her website at www.susankane.com. Her music is available online at cdbaby.com and amazon.com, as well as on iTunes.
Photo Credit: William Lulow Photography