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SUE WEST – Words Of A Friend

SUE WEST

Words Of A Friend
Walk Right In Belmont – Words Of A Friend –
Old Red Barn – Sail Away Ladies – You Pretty Girls Of Michigan –
Cottonmill Girls – Take A Little Care – Standing by The Water – Bon Pour
La Lingue – The Last To Know – The Pearl – Cold Hard Clay – I Could Not
Melt Your Heart – Hick’s Farewell – The Blackest Crow
 
Sue West is my favorite folk singer.  That’s a pretty broad
statement from someone who listens to all kinds of music. This
particular project however is without a doubt one of the nicest,
prettiest, sincerest, musical productions in authentic ‘folk music’ I’ve
heard in several decades.  Starting with Sue West’s incredible
songwriting abilities, it’s a sheer ‘wonder’ that she can write such
sensitive words, knowing she’s a mom, she has a job, she’s a ‘normal’
woman who also has the ‘gift of music.’  I love it when these incredibly
interesting people manage to bring their ‘secret’ to the front. Sue has
been influenced by a number of remarkable artists, not the least of
them Utah Phillips, and a ton of others.  How do I know this?  I
recorded six albums for Moses Asch of Folkways Records, that’s how I
know.  I’ve learned, listened, and heeded what good folk artists are
about and what they reveal.  Not just about their music, but about
themselves.  That’s how I know Sue West the songwriter, but even more
impressive is Sue West the singer.  Do you like Joan Baez or Judy
Collins?  Oh yes, you can hear these wonderful voices in Sue West and
especially her ‘own’ voice and style.  Hear her sing without
accompaniment on “The Pearl” and then you will understand what
‘old-time’ folk music is all about.  Then there’s Sue West the recording
artist.  My my my she knew exactly what she wanted in each and every
song.  My first impressions: Dan Newton on accordion.  Not on every song
of course but just the right touch (especially nice on “Take A Little
Care For Me”), along with the low whistle of Laura MacKenzie
occasionally (best on ‘You Pretty Girls Of Michigan’).  Sandra K Njoes
added a delicious acoustic bass throughout the mix.  Two other
instruments that lend such beautiful authenticity to the entire: Kenny
Jackson on fiddle and Adam Kiesling on banjo (especially nice frailing
style on “Cottonmill Girls.” Then there’s Sue West the mixer and
engineer in the studio.  Yes, it took some time to get this all
accomplished, but Sue has a product that she can be proud of forever and
ever.  I almost forgot a most important addition to the final
presentation. Popular folk artist Dakota Dave Hull also provided
baritone guitar, but more importantly made a major contribution at his
studio Arabica in Minneapolis, as well as sitting on the mix board and
the mastering process, as well as co-producing with Sue.  The good news
about Dakota Dave Hull is that he goes into America’s Old Time Country
Music Hall of Fame this year.  Other good news is that the Rural Roots
Music Commission has selected Sue’s CD as their “Old Time Folk Music CD
of the Year” award.  Thank you so much Sue West for this most pleasant
and certainly professionally produced number one CD.  I love it.  Lest I
forget, the CD insert is also a Sue West creation, and it’s incredibly
well done right down to her new icon featuring a guitar and a rural farm
scene helped along by Mike Farley.
Bob Everhart, Reviewer, www.ntcma.net 

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