Suzy Bogguss

Compadre Records, 2003


REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Country radio has a long history of having disposable stars; that is, they get two or three good CDs out of an artist then toss them for the next cleft chin with a cowboy hat or cute cleavage. Despite most music pundits' opinion, this isn't a new trend; a great deal of talented folks who owned chunks of the country airwaves in the late eighties and early nineties have gone the way of the dodo (anyone remember Lionel Cartwright?) Combine this with country radio's utter refusal to play older artists, and you have a blasted wasteland that makes top 40 radio look intelligent.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Enter one Suzy Bogguss, who charted a total of eleven top forty country singles between 1989 and 1994 -- but because she took a couple of years off to have a kid and a life, has only threatened the charts once since then (and that was a number thirty-three single in 1998). This, O Ye DV Faithful, is what is known as a damn shame; Bogguss has an elegant, smoky, easy voice that goes down like twelve-year-old single malt. Her latest effort, Swing, is a lovely, rollicking, and toe-tapping piece of country swing -- and since no one will bother to play anything off it unless hell freezes over, you should check it out.

Swing is in many ways a collaboration between Bogguss and the lead guitarist of swing stars Asleep At The Wheel, Ray Benson. Benson and Asleep At The Wheel provide a sonic background for Bogguss' heated-honey vocals. Add in five songs from Nashville songwriter April Barrows, and you have a CD of sheer swing talent. I'm sitting here right now, tapping my toes as I listen to it; it's infectious music, impossible to ignore. If I didn't dance like such a white boy, I might even be dancin'.

Bogguss also takes on a few classics: "Comes Love" (originally a Billie Holliday number), Duke Ellington's "Do Nothing 'Till You Hear From Me," and Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up And Fly Right." She handles them all with elegance and aplomb, especially "Comes Love" -- it's a brilliant take on a classic. Bogguss also writes her own music, penning one of the best things on the CD, the shimmying "It's Always New To Me" (with a great throbbing bass part from Spencer Starnes).

All in all, Swing is a wonderful CD. In a perfect world, it would be getting airplay in every market on every country station; as it is, those of us in the know can smile wisely and enjoy Bogguss' talent ourselves.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2003 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Compadre Records, and is used for informational purposes only.