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Susan Voelz

Country of origin:


Type of music generally:

A mix of folk/rock and alternative pop with a downhome/countryish flavour


Most recent release, Beautiful Life (Prince covers, 2016)

See also:

Susan Voelz's site

Wikipedia's entry on Susan Voelz

Poi Dog Pondering site

The Ectophiles' Guide entry for Poi Dog Pondering


Early Lisa Germano, Lida Husik, Mary Margaret O'Hara

Covers/own material:

Own, occasionally cowritten

General comments:

This is solo work by Poi Dog Pondering's violinist, which bears a strong kinship to Lisa Germano's early (pre 4-AD) sound, though a little country-ish, too. (Neile)

no, it doesn't rock...and there really isn't an overt blues element to her music. the music is kinda arty, weird, slow pop songs that play havoc with the mind. lisa germano's early efforts particularly are really the best comparison i can think of. (

speaking of being reminded of lisa germano: a big thanks and a see-ya-in-debtor's-prison to woj for recommending susan voelz! she also reminds me quite a bit of lida husik, but this is far from being a bad thing in my ears.... (

Recommended first album:

13 ribs is more direct and might even "rock" (at times). so, if you like introverted stuff, opt for Summer Crashing and if you like more extroverted stuff (though we're not talking van halen here ;), go for 13 ribs. (


13 ribs

Release info:

1993—Pravda Records—PR 6344


In U.S. in stores that carry small label releases

Ecto priority:


Group members:

Susan Voelz—violins, guitar, piano, banjo, percussion, vocals

Guest artists:

Dave Crawford—trumpet, trombone
Bruce Hughes—bass
John Nelson—congas
John Dee Graham—guitar, bass, backing vocal
The Cactus Cafe Orchestra—strings:
     Susan Voelz—4-string violin, 5-string violin
     Ingrid Karklins—violin
     Patrice Sullivan—violin
     Heather Moore—viola
     John Hagen—cello
     Kathy Brotherton—accordion
     Rich Brotherton—banjo
Daren Hess—brush snare, drums, tambourine
Mike Stewart—guitar, bass
Joey Machado—drums
Frank Orrall—tambourines, snare, drum kit
Kris McKay—harmony vocal

Produced by:

Susan Voelz with Mike Stewart


Move over Lisa Germano and Mary Margaret O'Hara, you have company, excellent company! This is one wonderful album! I don't know if Susan and Lisa and Mary have heard of each other, but they'd make a killer trio (especially with Susan's and Lisa's dueling violins). Susan stands on her own, and it may be wrong to associate her so closely with Lisa, but the two albums really do go together so well. 3 times I played Happiness and 13 Ribs back to back and it was almost like listening to one super long album. A bonus is that the lyrics are included and one major difference between Lisa and Susan is that Lisa tends to dwell on unhappiness, especially with regard to relationships, and Susan is more of a storyteller and observer of life's little weirdnesses. She even includes a short "explanation" before each song's lyrics. Susan plays violins, piano and guitars and other musicians throw in bass, guitars, congas, other percussion and, in one song, viola, cello, banjo and accordion! Highly recommended, especially if you're already a Lisa Germano fan. (

this is a marvy record. kinda down home, but not in an annoying sense, music. i want to say this is analogous to tish hinojosa's mexican work, but that's not quite right. it is, however, the perfect kind of music to expect from texas in autumn. yummy...and ingrid karklins plays some violin too! whee! a remarkable album. (

Summer Crashing

Release info:

1995—Pravda Records—PR6352


In U.S. in stores that carry small label releases

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Susan Voelz—violins, guitar, bass, piano, percussion, vocals, backing vocals

Guest artists:

John Ridenour—samples, leslie guitar
Diana Bruschke—bass
Darren Hess—snare, brushes
Patrice Sullivan—tambourine, shaker, claps
Mike Stewart——tambourine, shaker
Dana Thompson, Tawnya LoRae, Kris McKay—background vocals
Jon Sanchez—guitar, backing vocals
Jeff Hoskins—drums
John Hagen—cello
David Grissom—guitar
Chris Searles—percussion
Frank Kammerdiener—cello
Cactus Cafe Orchestra Strings:
     Susan Voelz—violins
     Ingrid Karklins—violin
Heather Moore—viola
     John Hagen—cello

Produced by:

No producer listed, by various tracks mixed by Doug McBride, Malcolm Burn, Mike Stewart, and Susan Voelz


i can't, for the life of me, figure out why i haven't listened to it more often and raved about it here before.
     it's gorgeous, weird, intricate, crystalline, lovely. i can't even begin to describe it. about the only thing i can say is that if you like lisa germano, run, don't walk, to your nearest record store and snap this up.
     there must be something in the water down in austin.... (

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