Many years ago, during my country music education, I happened to flip past some channel – probably TNN or PBS – and there was Suzy Bogguss, an artist I was already somewhat familiar with, and Jerry Jeff Walker, then to me still a mystery man, singing a lonesome duet about a cowboy. I’d find out later that the song was called “Night Rider’s Lament,” and it was one of those performances I’ll never forget, where the simple beauty and elegant expressiveness of a well-written, well-performed song just smacked me. I’d enjoyed Suzy to that point. After that I called myself a fan.
Hardly anyone you can name during her heyday of country music in the 1990s released or had hits with such cool, intelligent material. “Some Day Soon,” “Outbound Plane,” “Hey Cinderella” and “Aces” are just a few of the gems in her repertoire. And she had major records with updates of classic country songs like Jimmie Rodgers’s “In The Jailhouse Now” and “I Want To Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” by the pioneering Patsy Montana. After her radio career crested, where so many others recycle their hits in casinos, Bogguss continued to pursue real music making. She’s made a swing album with Ray Benson and a jazz recording. Her Christmas albums are some of the best ever. So no wonder I’ve been counting the days until we could enjoy Suzy’s music on Roots. The countdown ends on Wednesday.
To compliment Suzy’s cool contemporary vibe, we’re offering a pair of old-school classicists. Frank Fairfield is a remarkable solo performer with a sensitive touch on guitar and banjo, and an archaic voice that just feels good. He’s a dedicated student of early Americana, and he lets it infuse his music with a timeless authenticity. And we’ll hear from Pokey LaFarge, another returning Roots artist. This St. Louis suave one is fast becoming a favorite old-made-new singer/songwriter. He’s wowed them at Newport and been picked up for a single by Jack White’s discriminating Third Man Records.
And we’ll round the night out with another female artist, an emerging talent out of Dallas by the name of Camille Cortinas. So come out for a well-balanced night of rootsy tunes. No laments at the Loveless Barn. We’ll see you.