Lullabies and Love Songs on a Snowy Valentine’s Day
No jawbone tonight! Suz Slezak recently embarked on a brief New England tour to promote her new album, Watching the Nighttime Come, and included a stop at Club Passim on a cold, snowy Valentine’s Day evening. Known for her work with David Wax Museum on fiddle and jawbone with some vocals, Suz has created a completely different project – lullabies.
No doubt inspired by her 15-month old daughter, this music is quite a change from her other work but is no less wonderful.
I did not know that Suz’s project was lullabies; I knew only that I love her other band, that she is quite talented, and that I was looking forward to seeing what she was doing on her own. She sings mostly supporting vocals with her other band, and I was thrilled to hear her lovely voice in the spotlight.
The set consisted of all the songs off the new album and, in a nod to the holiday, a variety of love songs. Some of the lullabies are traditional ones in the public domain, such as ‘Caballito Blanco’ and ‘Leather Winged Bat’. Others are original songs written by Suz, with one written by Suz and David Wax (her partner in music and life). I particularly like the title track; it emphasizes Suz’s vocal range and the beauty of her voice.
Some of the love songs they played was ‘Love Hurts’ (which I did not realize was first recorded by The Everly Brothers), Elvis Presley’s ‘I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You’, and Sam Cooke’s ‘Cupid’.
The band consisted of Suz on fiddle and lead vocals, David Wax on guitar and backing vocals, and Corey DiMario on double bass. On this evening, the local yodeler and fiddle player Alan Kaufman joined the band for several numbers, including ‘Yodel Lullaby’ which was written by Alan. This show marked the first time I have heard live yodeling! What a treat it was to witness their evident respect for each other as well as the friendship they have during that part of the set.
Toward the end of the set, Suz distributed slips of paper and asked the audience to down some details of their first kiss; she also asked the Concert Window audience to either email her or post on Facebook. What fun! One person wrote of his first kiss on a jungle gym at the age of 6, and that it was ‘her idea.’
One of the last songs they performed was a round for which her father, David, joined them. It was a nod to her youth.
I walked out into the silence of the stormy night after this marvelous show and realized that lullabies and love songs were the perfect things to accompany the snow.
For photos of this show, see my post on Suze Review the Blues.