…"does something with a song that only great singers can do..."
KCSN, Northridge, CA
"…one of the most beautiful voices in bluegrass and folk music today." KPFK's FolkScene
"…her singing is impressive at all ranges…" Bluegrass Unlimited
"The band is tight, great picking, and beautiful vocals and harmony."
Che Greenwood, KVMR, Nevada City, CA
"…she held the audience in the palm of her hand…." Scott Valley Bluegrass Festival
"...she can blow the roof off any joint lucky enough to book her." Entertainment Weekly
"I especially liked the Jean Ritchie songs.....You captured the lonesome sweetness of her voice and delivery." Laurie Lewis
"Great bluegrass mixed with Appalachian folk songs that nobody can sing like Susie!"
"Susie is as good as it gets…you owe it to yourself to see this band and find out what you've been missing."
Ken Frankel, Freight and Salvage Coffee House
"Blue Eyed Darlin'" Winner Of 2006 Just Plain Folks Music Award for Best Roots Album
Susie Glaze Winner of 1999 Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest for Traditional Singing
"White Swan" - Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band - inspiration of tradition and charisma of contemporary (January 23, 2013)
Reviewer: Tim Carroll
I’ve said it before, ‘new is easy different is hard’ – many artists achieve the former, some the latter, few manage both. Well here’s one that falls into the ‘achieved both’ category. Susie Glaze & The Hilonesome Band have with ‘White Swan’ blended unadulterated Americana folk from a mix of influences – poetic narrative, a soupcon of bluegrass, a touch of mountain-muse and pure invention to create a folk-fusion of that’s both steeped in tradition and fresh as the sunrise. In the process they’ve enhanced songs from James Taylor, Ernest Troost, Steve Earle and Jean Ritchie and a well-travelled 16th century ballad, plus fashioned five Hilonesome Band originals.
As well as some outstanding musicianship there’s Susie’s crystal clear voice, plus some charismatic harmony vocals - from an inspired version of James Taylor’s heart-rending ‘Mill Worker’ augmented with a precisely-placed fiddle intro of Turlough O'Carolan’s ‘Si Bheag, Si Mhor’, through Susie’s painfully emotive vocal on Ernest Troost’s dark narrative ‘Evangeline’ to a stunningly haunting version of ‘Me And The Eagle’ with Steve Rankin’s voice hitting the theme to perfection. There’s a fine slice of interpreted tradition represented by ‘Fair Ellender’ - severally known as ‘Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender’, ‘The Brown Girl’ and ‘Fair Eleanor’ among other titles, through England, Ireland, Scotland and the USA.
‘White Swan’ blends the inspiration of tradition with the charisma of contemporary - and does it faultlessly.
The original songs primarily penned by Rob Carlson with some co-writing from other band members, include ‘White Swan’ a virtuoso take on the time-honoured tragedy of mistaken identity, ‘The Dark Eileen’ a profoundly moving lament, made all the more poignant by Susie speaking the opening lines. And for pure, touching reminesence there’s Fred Sanders’ ‘Rocking in Your Granddaddy’s Chair’ - perfectly embellished by Mark Indictor’s fiddle cuts. Without running down the entire track list, in addition to those listed above, other standout tracks for me are ‘Harlan County Boys’ and Jean Ritchie’s ‘The Soldier’.
Joining Susie (acoustic guitar, mountain dulcimer, lead and harmony vocals) are Steve Rankin (mandolin, bouzouki, acoustic guitar, harmony vocals) Rob Carlson (acoustic lead guitar, resonator guitar, harmony vocals) Mark Indictor (fiddle, harmony vocals) and Fred Sanders (bass, harmony vocals).
If you love your folk from these ‘island shores’ or the other side of ‘the pond’ this album will become one of your favourites. The album release concert for 'White Swan' is at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica on Sunday, 3 March at 7 pm ... and were I in that part of the world I would be there.
LIVE AT THE FREIGHT & SALVAGE COFFEE HOUSE
SUSIE GLAZE AND THE HILONESOME BAND
Hilonesome Music - March, 2011
By: Carl Gage, on No DepressionThe traditional “Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies,” the intro to this well-crafted collection of songs, lets you know immediately that you are in for a vocal treat from Susie Glaze. Recorded live in July, 2010 at The Freight & Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley, California the album features five tunes from the Hilonesome Band’s own songwriter and Dobro/guitar player Rob Carlson, three written or arranged by Jean Ritchie and a thoroughly enjoyable rendition of Steve Earle’s “Pilgrim.”
The album ranges from happy, upbeat songs like Carlson’s “Old Dirt Road” and “Albuquerque” to the sad, brooding, even tragic ones like Ritchie’s “Go Dig My Grave” and Rob’s “River Road.” “Old Dirt Road” with guest artist, the inimitable Bill Evans on banjo shows the fun that this group can have with an old-time melody as does the catchy western swing-styled “Albuquerque.”
More Carlson tunes include “Maggie Bailey,” which tells an interesting and humorous story about an elderly bootlegger who really knew her stuff, not only how to produce a fine product but how to avoid prosecution as well, and “Blue-Eyed Darlin’,” which gives us another listen to the outstanding title track from Susie’s highly-rated 2005 album.
Mandolin player and harmonist Steve Rankin sings a fine lead on Earle’s “Pilgrim” and the excellent banjo licks from Evans and Mark Indictor’s fiddle, as well as Steve’s mandolin fill in the blanks.
The instrumentation in this configuration of the band benefits from the addition of Mark’s fine fiddling to Rankin’s always solid mandolin, Rob’s guitar and resonator guitar, and the rock-solid bass of Fred Sanders. Bill adds his mastery to “Maggie Bailey” and “Pilgrim” as well as “Old Dirt Road.”
The vocals also stand out with exceptional harmonies and the beautiful voice that Susie brings to every performance or recording session. And, any praise I can offer is amplified by the fact the album was recorded live, no small feat to do an outstanding job and not to be attempted by the faint of heart.
The fine live recording was masterfully done by Brian Walker of Articulate Audio and very nicely mixed and mastered by Rick Cunha of Rainbow Garage.
Overall this is another fine production by Susie and the band and should find a welcome home in the music collection of all those that have been captivated by the voice and stylings of Susie Glaze and The Hilonesome Band.
Go to http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/susieglaze to hear samples or purchase.
Reach Carl Gage for Website design at http://carlgage.com/
"With her band the Hilonesome, her strong heartfelt voice makes each song an engaging story worthy of listening and savoring. This concert recording captures the intimacy and powerful connections that can be made when an audience is in synch with the artist .. The band weaves an intricate web around Susie's vocals and the powerful stories are matched with Rob's dobro and Mark's fiddle. Rob Carlson's instrumental skills on guitar and dobro are powerful propellants in the band's sound but he is also a talented songwriter with an ability to capture vignettes of time and place. Susie Glaze and HiLonesome may be based in California, but this album shows they're ready to take over the country!"
~ Brenda Hough of the California Bluegrass Association's "Breakdown"
"I first saw Susie Glaze and The Hilonesome Band at the Grand Annex on 6th Street in downtown San Pedro. That evening was filled with great music, laughter and education on the origins of American music throughout Appalachia....Here we have a live recording done in July of 2010, a stellar example of the new and the traditional bluegrass music blending like a sweet high lonesome harmony. The opening track "Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies" is like a finger sweep aside a lover's temple. The ethereal beauty of Susie Glaze's acappela vocal reaches out across time from an Appalachian hollow. In less than 30 seconds with an empathy that speaks volumes is the warning of the frailty of love, possibly won or loss. The following song is one written by Jean Ritchie titled, "One More Mile." This is an up tempo number that hits like KGJ&E locomotive pulling hard on a heavy load of Kentucky coal....The songs, "Old Dirt Road" and "Maggie Bailey" feature banjo player Bill Evans. The in-demand Evans, a Virginia native (who now resides in San Francisco), sat in for this show in Berkeley. He's probably one of the best banjo players in the world, adding to the evening's excitement...Five of the songs performed during this set are traditional mountain songs written and arranged by Jean Ritchie. Ritchie, a seminal figure during the folk revival of the 50s and 60s was brought up in the Appalachian Mountains. Her family, who has influenced generations of artists, collected the bits and pieces of these songs making them whole....The next three songs are works of Rob Carlson who knows how to write strong acoustic songs tinged in hues of the country. These songs are custom-made vehicles for Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band to shine. Track seven is a dreamy piece taking the listener to a place that sweeps along a "River Road." The next track "Albuquerque" is an acoustic Texas swing number, giving a nod to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. The ninth is the title to the group's 2005 release "Blue Eyed Darlin'," which touches on the Euro-Appalachian vein through contemporary bluegrass - an amazing bit of music...This whole CD is a beautiful collection of traditional and original acoustic music."
SUSIE GLAZE & The Hilonesome Band/Live at the Freight & Salvage:
"Glaze and her high octane traditional music fits right in at the Berkeley muso club house where the mostly organic programs delight adults that can take the BART right to the front door. Obviously a super star of traditional folk, Glaze and her crew are so on the money it's frightening. Not doing the dusty, moldy fig stuff, she's probably a rocker in her heart but wisely chose to use her clear soprano for it's best purpose. A winning set that'll just knock you off your pins, particularly if you re an old, back-to-the-land hippie. Killer stuff."
-- Chris Spector, Midwest Record www.midwestrecord.com
Marilyn Ryan, Bluegrass Jamboree, WERU, Bar Harbor, Maine
"Though surrounded by premier pickers, Glaze's lilting lead vocals and down-home phrasing light up bluegrass standards such as "West Virginia Mine Disaster," swing tunes, and folk-rock songs like Dylan's "Lay Down Your Weary Tune." Glaze explores an eclectic mix, but her special vocal style unites the divergent sources into a cohesive and artistically satisfying bluegrass album." ~ Steven Stone
September 2008 Issue
I listened to this new album by singer Susie Glaze, titled "Green Kentucky Blues," before I read her biography. Glaze doesn't have a typical bluegrasssounding voice, yet her singing is impressive at all ranges. There is a difference between someone's voice being described as piercing or as clear as a bell. Glaze's singing falls in the latter category, along with a strong folk influence thrown in the mix and a vibrato at the lower registers that is smooth and beautiful. And, then, I read her story.
If Glaze's voice sounds as if it has a trained quality to it, it's for a good reason. A native of Tennessee, she is also an actress who was an original cast member of Roger Miller's wonderful Tony award winning musical play, "Big River," playing the role of Mary Jane Wilkes for two years. During her stint in that production, she decided to explore deeper into American roots music, seeking out the Stanley Brothers, Doc Watson, and more. After leaving Broadway, Glaze made her way to California and began to play bluegrass.
On "Green Kentucky Blues," Glaze is backed up by the best of West Coast bluegrass musicians. The album is thoughtfully produced by Laurie Lewis, who brought in fellow pickers Tom Rozum, Herb Pedersen, Mike Witcher, Dennis Caplinger, Rick Cunha, Tom Sauber, Patrick Sauber, Bill Bryson, and Rob Carlson. Glaze has found a love for the original compositions of Jean Ritchie. Three are featured here, including "West Virginia Mine Disaster" and "The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore." There are seven songs penned by Rob Carlson, including three cowritten with Laurie Lewis that includes the title cut and "I Only Dream Of You," a wonderful duet sung by Glaze and Rick Cunha.
(London, October 10, 2008)
"...An excellent production with flawless musicianship, a carefully selected choice of material and a relatively new voice in the bluegrass field that we are certain to hear alot more of in the coming years." ~ Al Moir
Review June 18, 2008
by Dennis Roger Reed
Susie Glaze is relatively new to the Southern California bluegrass scene, but her rise to the ranks of nationally known talent has been fairly well documented here in the pages of FolkWorks. Glaze was raised in Tennessee, and first chose the artistic path of theater. After some success in the New York stage scene, she discovered a love for bluegrass music and moved to California. First she became a member of The Eight Hand String Band, and then began her solo career. "Green Kentucky Blues" is her fourth solo project, and most likely the one that folks will look back to as her "breakout" recording. Don't be surprised if "Green Kentucky Blues" finds its way to a nomination at IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) music awards.
Where "Green Kentucky Blues" is not a major conceptual change from Glaze's prior work, it builds upon the formula established in her earlier recordings. This time around, Glaze enlisted a "who's who" of bluegrass talent, beginning with producer Laurie Lewis, who also lends her musical and songwriting talents to the mix. The musicians working the project include Bill Bryson on bass; Dennis Caplinger on fiddle; Rob Carlson on guitar; Rick Cunha on vocals and steel guitar; Lewis on fiddle and vocals; Herb Pedersen on guitar; Tom Rozum on mandolin and vocals; Patrick Sauber on banjo; Tom Sauber on fiddle; and Mike Witcher on resophonic guitar. Superstar musicians do not guarantee a great recording, but in this case they guarantee that the excellent material and Glaze's performances are accompanied both professionally and passionately.
Glaze has a mentor in Jean Ritchie, and includes Ritchie's best known song, "The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore" and two more of Ritchie's tunes. Glaze has also been a champion of local bluegrass songwriter Rob Carlson, and includes seven of his tunes, two of which were co-written with Lewis. With twelve songs on the project, that leaves Iris Dement's "Hotter than Mojave In My Heart" and Bob Dylan's "Lay Down Your Weary Tune" as the last two pieces.
Although the vocal harmonies and the overall arrangement of Dylan's tune are incredible, and the covers of Dement and Ritchie's tunes are well done, it's Carlson's songs that are the bread and butter of the project. The title tune may well be in the repertoire of a lot of festival parking lot pickers this summer. Two other standouts are "Albuquerque" and "I Only Dream of You." Glaze hasn't tackled western swing on her past recordings, but her voice is well suited for this genre, and Carlson's melody and lyrics for Albuquerque not only pay tribute to swing, but capture the genre's fun based sound quite readily. "Albuquerque is a word that rhymes with turkey" is a line Bob Wills would've loved.
Carlson's "I Only Dream of You" has all the components of a country standard. Rick Cunha does the male voice in this duet, and he and Glaze present a story of love lost and the loneliness that ensues. Cunha and Glaze's voice blend and intertwine quite well. And Carlson's melody and the tag line are the sort that stick in your brain. Someone should hep Tim and Faith about this song.
Lewis' production brings out the best in Glaze. Glaze and her husband Steve Rankin share co-production credits, and Rick Cunha carries the recording credit. This is major league, pristine sound quality.
As the keynote speaker at a mid-1990s IBMA convention, Marty Stuart spoke eloquently about the need to recognize tradition in bluegrass music, but not to be bound by it. Stuart spoke to the need for new material. "Rocky Top is a great song, but we've all heard it many times," said Stuart. With "Green Kentucky Blues," Glaze not only honors tradition in embracing Ritchie's songs, but also brings solid, fresh new material in Carlson's songs. It's the best of both worlds.
"Green Kentucky Blues" is a fine project that should help propel Susie Glaze into the starting lineup at bluegrass festivals nationwide.
Harry Zimbler, Centre Daily Times
(L to R: Kenny Kosek, Peter Pickow, Susie Glaze, Jon Pickow)
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