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Susan Harper


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Rock, with significant blues and jazz influences. (mapravat@prairienet.org)

Status:

Most recent release, Unpredictable (2008)

See also:

CD Baby's Susan Harper page

Comparisons:

Grace Slick, Alice Peacock, Phoebe Snow, Sue Foley

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional co-writing

General comments:

Driving soulful R&B-influenced pop/rock. Susan Harper's rich, low vocals dominate the slightly jazzy acoustic backing. (sophiagurley@hotmail.com)

Recommended first album:

Unpredictable

Recordings:


From Now On

Release info:

2002—self-released

Availability:

See Susan Harper's website

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Susan Harper—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Lai Peterson—guitar, bass
Paul South—guitar, drums
Steve Ossolinski—bass
Jessica Lurie—alto saxophone
Sean Lahay—keyboard
Neil Wilson—percussion

Produced by:

Lari Peterson, Paul South, Susan Harper

Comments:

A lot of the time, the best music is an outgrowth of the artist's ability to synthesize elements from different musical genres. On her initial 5-track CD, Susan Harper has shown that she's good at this.
     Harper is first and foremost a rock artist, but she has borrowed liberally from jazz and blues. The initial track, which her promo materials describe as "a psychedelic romp," reminded me of Grace Slick; on another track she sounded more like Phoebe Snow. A blues-influenced number evoked memories of Janis Joplin, though Harper certainly doesn't sound like her, as well as bringing the name of the white blues singer Sue Foley to mind. The closest overall comparison I can think of is to the excellent independent rocker Alice Peacock, though the latter's style may be slightly less eclectic.
     Harper has indicated that she is working on a full length CD. This is good. She's off to an excellent start, and I look forward to hearing more. (mapravat@prairienet.org)

Unpredictable

Release info:

2008—self-released

Availability:

See Susan Harper's website

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Susan Harper—acoustic guitar, vocals

Guest artists:

Sean Lahay—keyboards
Jessica Lurie—saxophone (4)
Scot Reese—bass (2, 3, 7, 9, 11, 12)
Steve Ossolinski—bass (4, 5)
Dave Kaplan—guitar (5, 7, 9, 10)
Lari Peterson—guitar (1, 8), bass (1, 8, 10)
Neal Storme—guitar (2, 7, 11)
Scott Adams—acoustic guitar (3)
Trever Ridge—acoustic guitar (12), harmonica (12)
Grant Schroff—drums (7)
Paul South—drums (1, 4, 5, 8, 10), acoustic guitar (4, 5)
Tim Miller—drums—drums (2, 3, 9, 11, 12)
Neil Wilson—percussion (10)

Produced by:

Lari Peterson and Paul South, Neal Storme, Sean Lahay, Susan Harper

Comments:

Throughout this album the lyrics capture moments of time and experience, feeling both personal and universal; accordingly the music and vocals feel intimate—like you're overhearing someone's innermost thoughts—and yet they're presented with musical skill and vocal energy. "Enchantment" is my favourite track here—it has such a catchy verve. Unpredictable is recommended for anyone who enjoys pop/rock, especially that edging toward blues and R&B. (sophiagurley@hotmail.com)


Thanks to Mitch Pravatiner and Sophia Gurley for work on this entry.

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