DURANGO, Colo. – Suzy Bogguss, one of the most acclaimed female country singers touring today, returns to the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, 7:30 p.m.
Bogguss remains a rare artist who continues to please fans and critics alike with her vocal style, musicianship and meaningful lyrics. Enjoying a knack for blending songs of substance and depth with mass-market appeal, Bogguss is now touring to promote her 2011 release, American Folk Songbook, a CD and companion songbook.
American Folk Songbook had its impetus while Bogguss was on stage with Garrison Keillor (Prairie Home Companion) in 2008. She noticed that everyone loved to sing along with the song “Red River Valley” – except the children who somehow didn’t know the lyrics. Understanding that folk songs are the scrapbook of the American experience, Bogguss feared that as music education fades from public schools, the 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 more.
As a young performer, Bogguss originally set out on the coffeehouse and club circuit following her graduation from Illinois State University with an art degree. After five years of touring in a van, she settled in Nashville. A 1986 tape made to sell at Dolly Parton's Dollywood theme park impressed Capitol Records, which signed her.
She reached the Top 15 in 1989 with "Cross My Broken Heart" and won the Academy of Country Music’s Top Female Vocalist. The 1991 album “Aces” spawned three Top 10 hits – "Outbound Plane," "Aces" and "Letting Go," successes that earned her the Horizon Award for most promising artist at the 1992 CMA awards.
In 1993, Bogguss climbed to No. 2 with John Hiatt's "Drive South," followed by the Top 5 hits "Just Like the Weather" and "Hey Cinderella." Among the subsequent awards that followed, she took home a Grammy in 2005 for Traditional Folk Album – Beautiful Dreamer, The Songs Of Stephen Foster.
American Folk Songbook is Bogguss’ seventeenth album. In addition to “Red River Valley,” the “songbook” includes “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” “Shenandoah,” “Git Along Little Doggies,” and a dozen more traditional tunes. With the album, Bogguss was not content to present the songs as dusty museum pieces. Instead she chose to breathe new life into them with contemporary arrangements. The self-produced project features many of Nashville's top acoustic musicians, including Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Pat Bergeson, Charlie Chadwick and Jeff Taylor.
Of the companion 96-page hardcover songbook, Bogguss says she modeled it after her "good old 5th grade songbook." It is filled with illustrations, 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.
As an artist, Bogguss remains consistent in her unwillingness to be defined by the expectations of others. She has always listened to her own instincts and followed her muse wherever it has led, and notes on her web site, “What I’m really trying to do is make music that people like.”
Enjoy a sampling of Bogguss’ music videos at www.suzybogguss.com/musicvideo.asp.
Tickets for Suzy Bogguss ($25/$35) are available on line at www.durangoconcerts.com or by calling 970.247.7657, or at the Ticket Office in Downtown Durango at 7th St. and Main Ave. All sales final.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m., with doors to the Concert Hall and concessions, serving beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, opening at 6:30 p.m.
The Community Concert Hall is a not-for-profit, multi-use performance venue located on the campus of Fort Lewis College. Its ability to bring a diverse spectrum of shows to Southwest Colorado is made possible through a partnership with the college, a state-supported, independent institution of higher education, and through financial and in-kind contributions from generous members of the community.