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New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District

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Suffet 25 Sep 08 - 04:48 PM
Sandra in Sydney 26 Sep 08 - 02:44 AM
Suffet 26 Sep 08 - 07:25 PM
Sandra in Sydney 26 Sep 08 - 07:54 PM
stallion 27 Sep 08 - 06:52 PM
Suffet 28 Sep 08 - 07:45 PM
Charley Noble 29 Sep 08 - 12:39 PM
Suffet 29 Sep 08 - 03:12 PM
Suffet 03 Oct 08 - 05:24 PM
Sandra in Sydney 18 Oct 08 - 01:49 AM
GUEST,Suffet in London 22 Oct 08 - 03:25 AM
Charley Noble 22 Oct 08 - 10:16 AM
Sandra in Sydney 22 Oct 08 - 07:24 PM
stallion 23 Oct 08 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,Ada 25 Oct 08 - 07:17 PM
Liz the Squeak 25 Oct 08 - 09:17 PM
Suffet 16 Nov 08 - 09:51 PM
Liz the Squeak 17 Nov 08 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Anne Price 17 Nov 08 - 05:11 PM
peregrina 17 Nov 08 - 05:27 PM
Suffet 22 Nov 08 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,Chris W. 26 Nov 08 - 11:31 AM
Suffet 19 Jan 09 - 11:25 PM
Suffet 15 Dec 10 - 11:13 PM
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Subject: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Suffet
Date: 25 Sep 08 - 04:48 PM

Surprise!

My newest CD, Low Rent District, arrived last evening, a full twelve days ahead of schedule. That's good news, because now I am certain I will have a supply on hand when I visit England next month. But there is also a downside, which is that I wasn't prepared to have them so soon. I still need to write a press release, design a flyer, and prepare a promotional mailing. I thought I would have more time, but I don't.

So let me make this short and sweet. If you want a copy of Low Rent District, it should be available from CD Baby within the next couple of weeks. (Please click here to see if it's available yet.) Otherwise, you have to see me in person. I will eventually have additional distributors, but not until November, at the earliest.

Before I forget, here's a little information about the CD. There are eighteen tracks, including one which I recorded live at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York last year. Eight of the songs are one I wrote myself in various traditional folk styles, and four are my arrangements of traditional folk songs. The remaining tracks include a cowboy song from 1911, a Carter Family song, a song by contemporary songwriter Si Kahn, two little known Woody Guthrie songs, and Woody's version of a traditional Gospel song. The eighteen tracks encompass quite a variety of genres, styles, themes, and moods. You will find ragtime, Gospel, blues, old-time country music, union songs, peace songs, an Anglo-Irish version of an ancient Scottish ballad, and much more. The title song is about urban gentrification and the loss of affordable goods, services, and housing.

If you want to hear a little preview of the CD, the title song and two others, The Sante Fe Trail and I Know You Rider, are still availble on the SoundClick website where you can listen to them on-line or download them for free.

I should also add that Low Rent District features vocal and/or instrumental accompaniment by Hillel Arnold, Jaque DuPree, Carl Fortunato, Alan Friend, Robin Greenstein, Allen Hopkins, Ray Korona, Laura Munzer, Anne Price, and Gina Tlamsa. Each is a talented musician in his or her own right.

One last thing, if I had to pick one favorite song from the CD it would have to be The October Waltz, which tells the true story of how I met my wife Marilyn in 1968. My second favorite? It's a seventeen-way tie among all the rest.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 26 Sep 08 - 02:44 AM

not on CD-Baby yet

sandra (waiting patiently)


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Suffet
Date: 26 Sep 08 - 07:25 PM

I sent a box of CDs to CD Baby yesterday (9/25/08)and it may take a couple of weeks until CD Baby has them ready for distribution. I hope that's not too long of a wait, since I have been working on this album for an entire year.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 26 Sep 08 - 07:54 PM

I'm patient

sandra


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: stallion
Date: 27 Sep 08 - 06:52 PM

get one off you when we see you in october Steve
Pete


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Suffet
Date: 28 Sep 08 - 07:45 PM

Pete,

I'll hold one for you. Thanks.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 12:39 PM

Steve-

Would you please post a track list to provide us something more to feed on while we're waiting.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Suffet
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 03:12 PM

Charley,

You asked for it. You got it.

Low Rent District • Song Notes by Steve Suffet

1. Low Rent District (by Steve Suffet © 2008; 2:06). Thanks to urban gentrification, $4 for a cup of coffee may soon look like a bargain.

2. Cannonball Blues (traditional, adapted & arranged by Steve Suffet © 2006; 3:13). A traditional hobo song also known as Baltimore to Washington.

3. Amira (by Steve Suffet © 2008; 2:31). A ragtime number reminiscent of the 1920s. The Arabic name Amira literally means princess.

4. Aragon Mill (by Si Kahn; © Joe Hill Music, ASCAP, administered by MCS America, Inc.; 2:45). Opened in 1898, closed in 1979, the Aragon Mill was once one of the largest textile mills in the state of Georgia. Additional vocals: Robin Greenstein, Ray Korona, Laura Munzer.

5. Engine 143 (by A.P. Carter; © Peer International, BMI; 2:44). A Carter Family favorite. Chesapeake and Ohio engineer George Alley was fatally injured in 1890 when his locomotive hit a rockslide in West Virginia and flipped on its side. The FFV was a so-called vestibule passenger train, with the letters possibly standing for Fast Flying Vestibule, Fast Flying Virginian, or First Families of Virginia. Additional vocals: Anne Price.

6. Tin Horn Taxi (by Woody Guthrie, © Ludlow Music, BMI; 3:43). The adventures and misadventures of a cab driver, Woody Guthrie style. Additional vocals: Anne Price.

7. Let's Sing (by Steve Suffet © 2008; 2:31). A tribute to the working men and women of the world. While we are singing, let's thank my two coauthors, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Additional vocals: Anne Price, Alan Friend, Robin Greenstein, Ray Korona, Laura Munzer.

8. Good Old Union Feeling (by Woody Guthrie, © Ludlow Music, BMI; 2:44). Also known as Union Feeling, Woody Guthrie wrote this song while serving in the US Merchant Marines in 1944. It must have made a great shipboard sing along. Additional vocals: Hillel Arnold, Ray Korona.

9. High Ballad Man (by Steve Suffet © 2008; 2:50). A little bragging and a lot of innuendo. Woody Guthrie coined the phrase "high ballad man" and I ran with it. I just hope I ran in the right direction.

10. I Know You Rider (traditional, adapted & arranged by Steve Suffet © 2008; 2:51). The original version came from a young female convict in the 1930s. Bob Coltman popularized it among folk musicians in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Later, Janis Joplin sang it. So did the Grateful Dead, James Taylor, and countless others. Additional vocals: Laura Munzer.

11. The Tobler Brothers (by Steve Suffet © 2008; 3:22). Handsome, charming, and completely ruthless, Jake and Joe Tobler, then age 20 and 18 respectively, robbed and killed two men in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in 1885. US Marshal Jack Stillwell tracked them down and brought them to Wichita, Kansas, where they were tried and convicted. They were hanged in 1888.

12. The Santa Fe Trail (by James Grafton Rogers and John H. Gower; public domain; arranged by Steve Suffet © 2008; 3:14). A cowboy classic, originally published in 1911. Tow headed means blonde. A quirt is a small whip. I stole this song from my friend Anne Price, who provides the additional vocals.

13. The October Waltz (by Steve Suffet © 2008; 4:02). A true story. The saint is my wife, Marilyn Suffet, née Levine. We met October 30, 1968, in New York City. Additional vocals: Anne Price.

14. Sir Patrick Spens (traditional, adapted & arranged by Steve Suffet © 2008; 2:04) An Anglo-Irish version of an ancient Scottish ballad, Child no. 58. Additional vocals: Gina Tlamsa.

15. The Blind Veteran (by Steve Suffet © 2008; 2:22). My rewrite of a traditional 19th century song called The Blind Fiddler draws some parallels between Vietnam and Iraq.

16. You Can't Make Me Doubt It (traditional, adapted & arranged by Steve Suffet © 2008; 2:27). An African-American Gospel song which evolved into a freedom song in the 1960s. The original was from South Carolina. Additional vocals: Hillel Arnold, Jaque DuPree, Anne Price.

17. Next Year In a City of Peace (by Steve Suffet © 2008; 3:16). The Passover seder concludes with the words "Next year in Jerusalem." The name Jerusalem may have come from ancient words meaning "City of Peace." One can hope! Additional vocals: Ray Korona, Gina Tlamsa.

18. BONUS TRACK! Lonesome Valley + You Got to Go Down and Join the Union (by Woody Guthrie, © Ludlow Music, BMI; 4:27). Woody's version of an old Gospel song, with two verses of his union song to the same tune. Recorded live at the Bowery Poetry Club, New York City, July 8, 2007. Gina Tlamsa is on fiddle, Eric Levine on banjo, Carlos Vazquez on bass, and Mimi LaValley and Jessica Feinbloom on percussion. I'm on guitar, and so are Hillel Arnold and Joel Landy. All provide vocals, as does the audience.

I hope that helps.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Suffet
Date: 03 Oct 08 - 05:24 PM

Glory be!

My new CD, Low Rent District, is finally available from CD Baby. Just click here for information about the CD and how to order. You will also be able to hear a two minute sound clip of each track.

Go get 'em while they last!

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 18 Oct 08 - 01:49 AM

well, I've had my copy for long enough to have played it so often, usually just hitting the play button 4 or 5 times, that I know what song is coming next & can sing along with the choruses & verses.

And naturally I love it as it's the kind of music I like - traditional & songs written in the tradition.

And naturally I've been delaying my review until I can write the perfect one. Which will never happen

so, some impressions -

Steve & Anne sound great together - sometimes her voice is like a soft echo behind him, other times they've together out front.

my favourite lines:

track 3 - Amira

Somewhere east of Suez
Is where my honey true is (I just looove that rhyme)

The chorus of track 7 - Let's sing - naturally he gives credit to his co-authors Karl Marx & Fredrich Engels

Working people of all nations, unite
We've nothing to lose but our chains, we've a world to win

TRACK 8 - Good old union feeling

Slaves of fear & greed until our Union made us free

harmonica on 10, 11 & 12

Track 15 Blind Veteran - a very powerful song

The background voices in the gospel song, track 16

17 - Next Year in a City of Peace, simple words for a powerful song

next year in Jerusalem ...
next year in a city of peace ...
next year in a city of hope ...

18 The Bonus Track - the live track.
The 2 songs fit together perfectly - it's magic! & I'm singing along with it. I love singalongs.

sandra


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: GUEST,Suffet in London
Date: 22 Oct 08 - 03:25 AM

Sandra,

Thank you for the lovely review.

"Somewhere east of Suez" is, of course, a phrase I lifted from Kipling:

Ship me somewhere east of Suez,
Where the best is like the worst,
Where there ain't no Ten Commandments,
And a man can raise a thirst...


I am quoting from memory, so my text may be slightly off.

Kindest regards.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Charley Noble
Date: 22 Oct 08 - 10:16 AM

Steve-

I'll definitely be ordering your CD as soon as the campaign dust settles.

Yours in struggle,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 22 Oct 08 - 07:24 PM

you won't be disappointed, Charley (by the CD & election results)


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: stallion
Date: 23 Oct 08 - 03:09 PM

Had a very pleasant, if not very late evening last night with Steve, Marilyn and Anne, hope to get my cd tonight at the Black Swann folk club


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: GUEST,Ada
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 07:17 PM

Steve has done it again -- a great mix of songs. I find myself humming "Next Year in a City of Peace" at odd times. It's just one of those sticky tunes that my mind doesn't want to let go of. Not that I mind; it's really lovely.

I do have one quibble with "October Waltz" (an amazing song, also firmly stuck in my mind): I know Marilyn Suffet. She's smart, centered, independent, and a lot of fun to be around. These are not qualities I usually associate with a saint, Steve! But I guess if Marilyn doesn't object, I'll have to write it off as artistic license... It IS a really great song.

But the "wow" track is the last one, the live performance of "Lonesome Valley/Join the Union." It has incredible energy and gives a more accurate picture of who Steve is and what his music means than anything else I have ever heard him record. Steve and his audience have such a vibrant connection, and this recording draws the listener in and makes him/her a part of the song like no studio recording ever could. It is worth buying this CD even if you rarely listen to anything but that one track -- it's THAT good. But please don't skip "Next Year in a City of Peace" or "October Waltz" -- you'll be happy to have them attach themselves to your brain the way they've done to mine. I only wish they had been recorded live as well.


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 25 Oct 08 - 09:17 PM

I listened to several of the tracks this evening, and was blessed with a live performance of a couple, and they are fabulous!

There are a couple of my favourites on the album, songs I didn't even know were my favourites!

Congratulations Steve and Anne, it's a great album and deserves to be heard by as many people as possible. Thank you for my copy.

LTS


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Suffet
Date: 16 Nov 08 - 09:51 PM

Liz,

Thanks for your encouraging words. I love feedback, especially when it's so positive. And thanks again for hosting Anne and me on our spouses.

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 03:48 AM

No worries Steve - people are welcome here at almost any time!

I've listened to the rest of it several times now... and it's great! It's a well rounded mix of romantic, story/ballad, chorus material, that would grace any shelf. I may steal a song or two!

I feel I also ought to mention Anne's CD which she presented me with that same evening. I've listened to that several times too, and it is worthy of the same praise.

Called 'Remember Me', it's a fine mix of traditional and contemporary music with thought provoking and poignant messages in almost every song. For someone who has had little or no exposure to "mainstream" American folk (other than the recordings of Leadbelly and the film 'O Brother, where art thou"), I found it a revelation. There are some tracks that have obviously made it across The Pond from 'the old Country' but have had a deeper meaning breathed into them with that transition, hardships are the same whatever continent, and the fight against injustice is universal. Overall, a splendid addition to my collection, and it's only just now come off the player almost a month later.

I had a few misgivings over one or two arrangements on each CD, but having heard the 'live versions', I'm pretty sure that's the mix and not the performers. If you get the opportunity to acquire a copy of either, or see them live, jump at it, you probably won't regret it.

LTS


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: GUEST,Anne Price
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 05:11 PM

Liz, so glad you liked Remember Me. And thanks again for your hospitality in London. I'm working on a new CD now. I'll let you know when it's ready. If you're interested, I also have two other CDs, Hearth & Fire, and Happy Landings, which I recorded with my late friend Marilyn Maltzer.


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: peregrina
Date: 17 Nov 08 - 05:27 PM

I've been enjoying Steve's and Anne's music very much--and will be enjoying Kendall's from the auction; as an ex-pat, it's not just the songs and singing, but the fact that it is and was the sound of home--before my conversion experience to UK folk music! So thanks again :)


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Suffet
Date: 22 Nov 08 - 03:35 PM

Back home from their UK tour!

Anne Price & Steve Suffet
in concert at the
Peoples' Voice Cafe
at the Community Church of New York
40 East 35th Street • Between Park & Madison Avenues
Midtown Manhattan • New York City
Saturday • January 31, 2009
8:00 PM showtime. Doors open 7:30 PM.


Come celebrate the release of Steve's newest CD, Low Rent District.

Suggested admission: $15. Peoples' Voice Cafe members: $10.
Pay what you can afford.
TDF vouchers accepted.

For more information, please call 212-787-3903 or click here for Peoples' Voice Cafe website.


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: GUEST,Chris W.
Date: 26 Nov 08 - 11:31 AM

This new CD is clearly Steve's best work, but it has some problems. There are a couple of sloppy edits (sloppy because you can notice them) and the overall sound is too dry for my taste. It could have used a little more reverb. There is practically none, if there is any at all. Also you can hear what sounds like his foot tapping on one of the songs. Maybe that's intentional, but it's hard to tell.

Having said that, this CD contains some gems, starting with the title song Low Rent District. Steve delivers it simple and straightforward, the way it should be done. Other songs that rise above the others are the two Woody Guthrie pieces Good Old Union Feeling and Tin Horn Taxi, the very credible cover of Si Kahn's Aragon Mill, and Steve's original outlaw ballad called The Tobler Brothers. I should also award an Honorable Mention to his adaptations of Cannonball Blues, I Know You Rider, and The Santa Fe Trail, as well as to his two original antiwar songs, The Blind Veteran and Next Year in a City of Peace.

There is, however, one song that is a true masterpiece. It's The October Waltz, Steve's tale of how he met his wife. I put it in the same rarified category as Kisses Sweeter Than Wine and Rossville Fair. It's that good.

The remaining songs, including the live bonus track, are all a cut or two above average folk fare, with the sole exception of Sir Patrick Spens. I don't know where Steve got this version. The singing and playing are good enough, but changing it from a Scottish ballad to some sort of commentary on Anglo-Irish relations is a big mistake. He would have done better to have stayed with the traditional lyrics.

The bottom line is I give the Low Rent District CD a strong thumbs up, but with a couple of minor reservations.


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Suffet
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 11:25 PM

Come celebrate the release of Steve's newest CD, Low Rent District.

Anne Price & Steve Suffet
in concert at the
Peoples' Voice Cafe
at the Community Church of New York
40 East 35th Street • Between Park & Madison Avenues
Midtown Manhattan • New York City
Saturday • January 31, 2009
8:00 PM showtime. Doors open 7:30 PM.


Suggested admission: $15. Peoples' Voice Cafe members: $10.
Pay what you can afford. TDF vouchers accepted.

For more information, please call 212-787-3903 or click here for Peoples' Voice Cafe website.


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Subject: RE: New Steve Suffet CD: Low Rent District
From: Suffet
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 11:13 PM

Greetings:

Just a little late for Hanukah, but in plenty of time for Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day, my Low Rent District CD is now available from the official www.woodyguthrie.org website of the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives. Please click here for complete information.

Released in 2008, Low Rent District contains 18 tracks. Two are Woody Guthrie originals, Tin Horn Taxi and Good Od Union Feeling, and one is a live recording of Woody's rewrite of old Gospel hymn Lonesome Valley. The remaining 15 tracks cover many styles of American folk music and include several traditional sounding songs that I wrote myself. Providing back-up are many of my musical friends, including Anne Price on Tin Horn Taxi, and Hillel Arnold and Ray Korona on Good Old Union Feeling.

The list price is only $10, but if you order before the end of December 2010 there is a 10% discount, so it will cost you only $9 plus shipping. That's a better deal than buying it from CD Baby or Amazon, and half the proceeds from each sale will go to help the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives. So please go for it!

Thanks, and have a good holiday as well as a happy and peaceful New Year.

--- Steve Suffet


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