What a way to end a summers evening of music making – with the sun setting over the rolling Devon hills listening to Vega’s instantly recognisable voice. If the weather is kind to us again its going to be nothing short of magical.
The official blurb reminds us that Suzanne is widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation. A masterful storyteller her songs “observe the world with a clinically poetic eye,” With my love of a good lyric its no wonder I’ve been something of a fan all this time.
I’ve been listening again to my two vinyl albums –Solitude Standing (1987) and her self titled debut of 1985 which sold well over 1m units. The covers now are somewhat battered by age and over use but Suzanne’s plaintive voice and intelligent, thoughtful lyrics shine through as if they were made yesterday.
Of course there are the ‘big numbers’ – Marlene on the Wall (one of Rolling Stones Greatest recordings of the 1980’s), the acappella Tom’s Diner and surely one of the few hit songs written from the perspective of an abused boy in Luka.
But bringing Suzanne over to #homefest11 is not just a homage to a past era. Listen to 2007’s Heart and Beauty (spotify link here )and that recognisable voice continues to shine through in an album which is in effect a deeply personal reflection of her native New York City in the wake of the loss of her brother Tim and the tragedy of 9/11.
At heart Suzanne is a story teller. Her songs of western life, will – I think – contrast stunningly with the more unfamiliar stories in sound of artists like Tamikrest, Juldeh Camera and Alejandro Toledo. And as Suzanne’s neo-folk style ushered in a new female, acoustic singer songwriter movement that included another of my favourite artists Tracy Chapman, its great too to contrast her with new voices – the poetic songs of Julie Murphy’s ‘monstrously underrated’ Fernhill together with the next generation of singer songwriters from South West Music School.
But above all – as I said at the top of the blog – Suzanne Vega will I have no doubt be a truly magical end to the day on the outdoor stage.
In other #homefest11 news
– Fernhill – that monstrously underrated quote comes from a new review in F Roots of Fernhill’s latest album Canu Rhydd. You can read the full review here –
After their set at #homefest11 Tamikrest will be hot footing it to London for a live session on the Bob Harris show
– tickets now on sale here