Susan Herrick


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  • Susan Herrick - Songs Beyond the Traffic

    This show was on Jan 31st, 2015 | 28 people watched
    1 Comment
    • Sep 18
      Lost contact with Susan Herrick..does she still perform?
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Out of the 60s fringe folk and the seventies women's music movement rose a child singer-songwriter whose music, by early adulthood, would reach into international venues while earning a place of distinction in The Smithsonian Institute folk collection.

With percussive and world touches to her unique voice, Susan Herrick has played many national... more


Out of the 60s fringe folk and the seventies women's music movement rose a child singer-songwriter whose music, by early adulthood, would reach into international venues while earning a place of distinction in The Smithsonian Institute folk collection.

With percussive and world touches to her unique voice, Susan Herrick has played many national and historic songwriter stages - from Freight and Salvage in Berkeley to Eddie's Attic in Atlanta to The Bluebird in Nashville to the Philly Folk Festival. A local favorite at Fest and at Philly's Tin Angel, Susan shared billings with such artists as Barbara Higbie, Janis Ian, Ani DiFranco, John Gorka, Tracy Chapman and Cris Williamson. Her songwriting is honest, passionate, soulful; her voice a paintbrush of sound, nuance, and resonance.

Susan's performance career has been paralleled by her career as a music therapy instructor/music therapist, serving special needs from early childhood to the elderly. Her practice hinges on reading what the client's musical tendency is and building a "symphony" around that.

As a performing artist with a heart for social justice, Susan commits to be bold. An out lesbian performer since the 1980s, Susan has released 4 CDs that do not fail to examine some of society's harsher corners. Her voice is coined as 'a salve for the soul', and her songs follow the healing to its culmination with sometimes transcendent stories.

Inspired by thousands of hours creating art with and through nature, Susan's latest works take an intriguing artistic turn. Susan records, documents and archives everyday sounds of wildlife, and then, enters the recording studio for a varied and artistic interface with the sounds. Whether a sustained-note meditation interacting with seagull's echoing voice or a rhythmic and calming song harmonized with a looping dove coo, Human and Animal are integrated and interdependent.

In this new direction, she credits her influences and inspirations to be the late Kay Gardner, The Paul Winter Consort, Rhiannon, Jami Seiber, Dohee Lee, Susan's life partner Alice Rutkowski and Anna Halprin. In 2012 Susan was able to fund and begin this project with the generosity of 90 donors through the crowd funding site,

Susan will, be giving ALL proceeds of her latest CD and her release on Concert, to The Marine Mammal Stranding Center of Brigantine, NJ. The MMSC has answered thousands of emergency calls, rescuing and rehabilitating sea mammals on the East coast over the last thirty years. They are a key part of the movement to educate about and, in some cases, reverse wildlife extinction.

In a beautiful tribute to the center, Susan was able to record sounds of rehabilitating seals singing to one another and feature them on her soon to be released collection: Songs Beyond the Traffic.

REVIEW by Laura L. Post

I have been a fan of the creativities of Susan Herrick since hearing her first release, TRUTH AND THE LIE (1991, Watchfire Records). Her great singing range (exceeding two octaves), her exquisite vocal control, and her inarguable authenticity stood out, both in the ‘women’s music’ scene into which she burst on many festival stages, and beyond. Several other endeavors later, Herrick’s new SONGS BEYOND THE TRAFFIC – which will drop at the SRO release event Saturday, January 31, 2015 – reflects deeper interactions with nature, with culture, and with herself. The Kickstarter-crowd-funded CD, which benefits the Marine Mammal Stranding Center of Brigantine, NJ, intersperses the calls and cries of birds of forest and water, of amphibians, and of the deep blue sea with nuances of human emotion and intents of healing restoration and archival education.  The multi-instrumental music is muted, the voice remains, only this time embellished in a unique collaboration with nature which reveals not only the human truth and lie but the most enduring truth of the earth. Laura L. Post, Author BACKSTAGE PASS and Editor, ALL-MUSIC GUIDE “Women’s Music.”

REVIEW by Edie Weinstein

I met Susan Herrick back in the 1980’s when this music therapist turned singer songwriter was beginning what has been a twenty some year musical journey. A multi-instrumentalist and sacred sound healer, she has a 2  1/2 octave vocal range that can seem like various instruments in and of itself. Three previous releases, entitled Soul Chant, Paint and Truth & The Lie have become perennial favorites. I listen to them when I want to feel wrapped in a blanket of melody and harmony. Some of the selections are about self discovery and love songs to the woman in the mirror as well as other dear ones. Her newest creation called Songs Beyond The Traffic is a love affair with nature, as it takes the listener off the bustling main road into a world of sonic serenity.  The opening piece called Who Am I? begins with the musical inquiry:  “Cars, trains, passing lanes, high speed liners,  jet airplanes, who am I?  Be here, then be there, so much to do, no time to spare. Who am I?” Blessedly, the response comes from the throat of another song-bird; a WoodThrush 1 as this piece starts out with road sounds and then flute that is calling the winged one to match her tone note for note. In Frogs, Susan explains her desire to use music for healing and claims her role as a ‘citizen of the world’ to bear witness to the sounds of nature, before they are no more. She is a stand for the environment and social responsibility. Dove cajoles with cooing and percussion that evokes a desire to dance swayingly to a Caribbean breeze, with the instructions to “let go and rest your soul.” Chimes, piano and mystical chanting are fused with raucous cries of Gulls in the following selection.Breathing in the Ocean air, Susan bemoans the fate of marine creatures and claims “I can’t write another song til I write this one down,” with the intention of being a guardian of the sea.It is easy to imagine Crickets hovering under shrubs as footfalls crunch leaves and Susan’s voice weaves around the insect serenade.Seal  has an unexpected disco sound to it, as the listener can imagine the sea mammals shaking it to the rhythmic beat. Wood Thrush 2 enters with piano and woven words ” The truth of the Earth awaits us all …. it is generous enough.” A 1960’s anthemic feel to it, with shaking tambourine and overlapping vocalizations. The CD closes out with Bird meditation. Resting on a glorious summer day, feeling the melting sun beams cascading down and a fully orchestrated improvisational concert for the pleasure of anyone who will take the time to stop and listen with the ears of the heart. Songs Beyond The Traffic is an Earth prayer in which Gaia leads anyone with the willingness to hear and the open heart to join in. The CD will be available on February 1 on Mother Earth thanks you.
Proceeds from this CD go to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center  in New Jersey.

By Edie Weinstein, author, BLISS MISTRESS & host at VIVID LIFE RADIO.


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