What does a long-married, middle-aged Deadhead, mother three times over, and former corporate banker have to say about love and life? Plenty. Although Susan Kane's still a confirmed Deadhead, she's been making her own music long enough to put together her first CD, So Long. Produced by Billy Masters (guitarist for Suzanne Vega, Cry Cry Cry, Richard Shindell), So Long showcases Kane's lyric driven songs about relationships, the struggle of women to define themselves as wives and lovers, mothers and daughters, and the tensions and contradictions inherent in the roles they play in everyday life. Other songs recall simple pleasures - like the myriad joys of childhood and make-believe, or finding solace in the exquisite blue beauty of roadside chicory. Still others are wry observations on various contemporary follies. Kane's song-poems are set to a variety of musical forms - from roots based alternative country and blues to folk riffs and rock. They're memorable and timeless, as if you've always known them. You'll find yourself unconsciously humming the tunes for days after a spin or two. With her warm, mellifluous voice, listeners often think she reminds them of someone else, but can't quite come up with a comparison. And maybe that's a good thing because the voice has a distinctive quality that's hers alone. Production values range from spare guitar and vocals to full-on rock, twanging lap steel and multiple harmonies. The music is brought to life by Masters' expressive arrangements and spot-on guitar playing, from exquisitely delicate acoustic parts to raucous slide. The cover art and album graphics tie into the spirit and originality of the music. Kane's portrait by up and coming New York artist Ali Taylor is a collage executed in wood-grain contact paper, which visually conveys the sensibilities of her music -- organic, homespun, grounded Americana. Kane's music springs from something deep down inside, personal and private. Through her songs, she hopes to make an emotional connection with her audience, one that with a lyric or a bar or two can pierce the heart. 'Chicory Blue' was a Top 5 Winner in the 2005 Great American Song Contest. The judges called it 'enchantingly original.' 'Lottery Ticket' was a Top Finalist in the same contest. The judges found it 'Original, full of fresh and evocative imagery, and almost unbearably poignant.' 'If You Were Paper' got an Honorable Mention in the Billboard 13th World Songwriting Contest.
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