During the creative explosion that was country music in the 1990s Suzy Bogguss sold 4 million records with sparkling radio hits like “Outbound Plane”, “Someday Soon”, “Letting Go”, and “Drive South”. But you can’t peg Suzy that easily. In the midst of her country popularity she took time off to make a duets album with the legendary Chet Atkins. In 2003 she made an album of modern swing music with Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel. An album of original music in 2007 landed her at number 4 on the jazz charts. Her folk music roots show through in her frequent appearances on public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion, in the Grammy she earned for her work on Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster, and in her critically acclaimed album and book project from 2011, American Folk Songbook. In 2014 she released Lucky, a collection of songs written by Merle Haggard and interpreted through Suzy’s crystal vocals from the female point of view. Her latest offering, Aces Redux, is a re-recording of her platinum selling album Aces produced by Suzy with fresh arrangements and her signature sparkling vocals. So yes, you can call her a country singer if you want, but really that’s just the beginning.

Suzy Bogguss

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Suzy Bogguss had a revelation on stage with Garrison Keillor in 2008. Everyone loves to sing along on “Red River Valley” – except the children who somehow don’t know the song. Folk songs are the scrapbook of the American experience, but as music education fades from our public schools, she worried; these beautiful melodies are in danger of being overlooked. She resolved to record these timeless songs in an updated but reverent way – so that everyone can sing along on “Red River Valley.”

And who better than the golden throated Suzy? The platinum selling songstress already has a full bookshelf of Grammy and CMA awards and now with the release of American Folk Songbook she can put her own book up there too. The CD and companion Songbook was released on July 18, 2011 at all Cracker Barrel Country Stores followed by a wide release to other fine retail and digital outlets.

As Suzy writes in the introduction to the book: “Music has always been my purest joy even as a child. One of my favorite memories is my grade-school music teacher pounding on the piano and leading the class in rousing renditions of folk songs from all around the world. In the summer of 2008 I toured with the brilliant and engaging Garrison Keillor. The energy that passed between the audience and Garrison was overwhelming at times. Several thousand people standing and singing together—old songs, hymns, the Beatles and the Everly Brothers. People of all ages, sharing music. Ahhh, pure joy.”

But Bogguss was not content to present the songs as dusty museum pieces, instead she chose to breath new life into them with contemporary arrangements and a crack squad of Nashville’s acoustic A-Listers. Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Pat Bergeson, Charlie Chadwick and Jeff Taylor all join the band for Suzy’s self-produced project. Ultimately though it’s the voice that lovingly weaves through the guitars and mandolins to find the new in these old songs. As John Lomax III writes in the forward to the book, ‘Prepare yourself for enchantment! …This work is, in a word, delightful!”

Suzy says she modeled the songbook after her “good old 5th grade songbook.” The hardcover, 96-page book is filled with illustrations, fascinating historical stories about the songs, easy to read sheet music arrangements for piano, voice and guitar as well as personal insights and anecdotes from Bogguss. Her intent from the beginning was to make the book attractive to music lovers and musicians at every level. Again from her introduction: “that way, younger generations could share these slowly fading gems with their families and tell their stories of how they learned a few chords on the guitar or a couple of favorites to play at family gatherings.”

Cracker Barrel, with its devotion to families and appreciation for authentic Americana was the obvious choice for the initial release.

American Folk Songbook is the natural progression of an artist who has demonstrated skill and passion for all types of music in her career. Songs like “Aces,” “Drive South,” “Someday Soon,” “Outbound Plane” and “Letting Go” took her to the top of the country music charts. Along the way she won raves from critics and peers including winning a GRAMMY in 2005 for Traditional Folk Album, the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 1992 and album of the Year Award in 1994.

2007’s Billboard Jazz Chart topping Sweet Danger, the universally praised album, Swing recorded in 2003 with Ray Benson of Asleep At The Wheel and Simpatico, her beloved collaboration with Chet Atkins showed the world Bogguss was willing to both embrace tradition while continuing to grow and challenge herself as an artist. However, it is an appreciation for tradition that really shines through on American Folk Songbook. The album is filled with songs that are the very fabric of American musical history and Bogguss reclaims this history and revives it with a fresh and beautiful take on classics like “Shenandoah,” “Wayfaring Stranger,” “Ol’ Dan Tucker,” “Beautiful Dreamer” and of course, “Red River Valley.”

Genre: Bluegrass Jazz Classical Motown Rock Classic Rock Southern Rock Americana Acoustic Old-Time Folk Rock Indie Country Folk Jam Blues Reggae World Instrumental Funk Swing Country Western Singer Songwriter Gypsy Jazz Celtic Atl Country Gospel Pop Hip-Hop Honky Tonk R&B Soul Story Teller Oldies

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