Disc Review: Oh Susanna – Soon The Birds
Toronto folkie Oh Susanna, aka Suzie Ungerleider, is back with her sixth album, her first since 2007. Ungerleider and producer David Travers-Smith took their time, recording over the course of a year, with backup from more than 30 Canadian roots players, including Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy and Bazil Donovan, Madison Violet’s Brenley MacEachern and members of the Foggy Hogtown Boys.
The result is a relaxed but inconsistent collection of songs told mostly from female perspectives: war widows, a new mother picking up the pieces. Ungerleider channels Loretta Lynn and Carol King in So Long, about spousal abuse. She’s a bit of a contradiction – humming pleasantly one moment and swearing and singing about pickup trucks the next. When she’s good, she’s great. Long Black Train, Your Town and Lucky Ones are standouts.
The iTunes version comes with a bonus track, 1941, with orchestral arrangements by Van Dyke Parks.
Top track: Long Black Train
NOW | April 14-21, 2011 | VOL 30 NO 33