© 1999 GoldrushSoundbytes
I remember first seeing Susan at a Tom Russell show in Southport a few years ago when Tom was over here on one of his regular tours. I think she was about 11 years old then. While Tom was in the dressing room getting ready, the compere asked Susan up on stage to sing. She sang Tom's "Blue Wing," acapella Part way through, Tom came out to listen, applauding her as she finished. They have since become good friends and he even wrote the liner notes for this CD, at his request!
For this, her first album, Susan,..............who comes from Little Neston, on the Wirrall here in the U.K............. has enlisted the help of some fine musician's, both from over here and in the U.S. Names like the very talented Mark Wilkinson on Guitars and Mandolin plus Gary Hall, Cathryn Craig and Des Horsefall on vocals and backing vocals give you some idea of the respect this young lady commands from her peers.
Of the 12 tracks on this all acoustic album, 10 are co-written by Susan with her friend Paula Stafford and one by the album's producer, Gary Hall, who also contributes to the 3 way co-write "Basically The Blues," while the 12th and closing track is an excellent version of Tom Russell's "Box Of Visions." Tom's influence on Susan shows up in "The Journey" a wonderful song, with a haunting guitar rhythm, telling a story of coming to the end of life's journey. Other songs that stand out for me include, "Family Friends & Lovers," with it's very catchy Tex-Mex rhythm and "Footprints In The Dust" a song that tells of taking those first steps down the road of dreams where so many others have gone before. This one also sees Gary Hall on duet vocals. I also very much liked "The Ballad Of Carrizo Plain," the song has a western feel to it as it tells of the destruction of a land starved of rain, with legend blaming it on a Myron Angel. I haven't heard of a Myron Angel myself, but I'm sure Susan has a good story of where the name came from.
Country music is well known for it's meaningful lyrics and storytelling and there are some very good examples of that on this album, from a talented young artist, who's writing maturity, far belies her young age. I have absolutely no doubt that Susan Hedges has a very bright future ahead of her and is surely going to be a force to be reckoned with in the world of the singer/songwriter.