SUSANNE SMITH is a blue-eyed singer/songwriter who grew up in the black areas of Charlotte, North Carolina. There she got to love the music of what she calls “Old School Soul” and R&B music, particularly The Supremes, Temptations and the whole Motown roster. From there she moved on to people like Sade, Stevie Wonder, Patti Austin, Billie Holiday, Al Jarreau, Aaron Neville, and Bonnie Raitt who she now cites as her chief influences.
Gifted with a 4 octave range, her first steps in a pro music career came with singing demos, ads and jingles as well as regular concert bookings. Right now, she’s stepping out on her own with a debut album, ‘Finally’ – an apt title, as she finally steps up to the plate herself.
The album was flagged up by three singles which all featured on various charts. They were the smooth jazzer ‘Lotta Love’, the jaunty ‘I’m Not The One’ and a delicious slowed own version of the oldie ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ .
All three tracks, of course, feature on the ‘Finally’ LP. Indeed there are two mixes of ‘Lotta Love’ – the original and a “late night” mix. ‘Do You Wanna Dance’ comes in three iterations. Alongside Ms S’s original cover there’s a “piano” mix and a “moonlight” mix. Whichever one you go for you’ll hear how Susanne has transformed the 1958 Bobby Freeman rocker (dear old Cliff Richard had a UK hit with it too!) .
Elsewhere across the very pleasant 12 tracker, there’s plenty of melodic blue-eyed soul. It’s a little light in places but on the best tracks like ‘Lonely Girls’ you may be reminded of the gentler side of Lindsay Webster, even Rumer.
Susanne Smith’s ‘Finally’ is out now via Platinum Vybe.