Susan Savia ~ Eclectic Singer/Guitarist/Songwriter
Susan Savia is a seasoned, professional singer and songwriter. Her stellar vocal range is 3 � octaves, and she can sing in any style. She plays guitar the most proficiently, but also plays ukulele, harmonica and piano. On Savia�s upcoming self-released CD, My Blue Skin, she will also play bass and percussion. An independent and eclectic artist, she will record and produce the CD.
Susan grew up in an Italian family of firefighters in northern Virginia. She played piano by ear at age 5, and like all great singers, sang in the church choir. Susan taught herself guitar at 13, and through her 20’s, performed as a sideline at weddings, folk festivals and parties. She moved to Maryland in 1986 and played solo in Baltimore bars, then joined with another musician in a folk/blues duo, Backseat Drivers. They entertained for 10 years in Maryland, DC, and Virginia.
In 1999, she bought her first house in southern York County, Pennsylvania, started a new relationship, and decided �time to give up music and focus on other things for a while.� She never really expected to return to music.
A vacation to Hawai�i in 2004 inadvertantly changed all that. Susan and her husband took a trip to the Big Island (��very inspiring!�), and upon her return home, she left her full-time job at a college. She was asked to run for the State House of Representatives of Pennsylvania as a Green. She won 8% of the vote against a long-time incumbent, successfully helping the Green Party maintain party status in Pennsylvania.
Following that adventure, she took some time to �figure out what I really wanted to do when I grew up�. Music still tugged at her heart, so in 2005 at the age of 51, she picked up her guitar and began playing again, but this time on her own terms. She started experimenting with finger-picked open tunings, writing new songs and rearranging vintage music. (Susan has a passion for beautiful music from the Post-Romantic era, 1880-1915 and loves to bring it back to life.) She developed a unique style, borrowing from past influences like Joni Mitchell, David Byrne, Incredible String Band, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, The Swingle Singers, to name a few. And people embraced her new sound when she entertained.
In 2006, Susan spent 10 months in the studio to produce and record her first CD, Cosmic Summer Sojourn. The debut CD was brilliantly engineered by Rob Ziv (Eric Clapton, Celine Dion) at Sheffield Studios in Phoenix, Maryland. Culminating in an enchanting aural daytrip, the music is a mix of old and new; eastern wisdom and the beauty of nature. The enchanting artistic anthology features Susan�s original music, anchored by some late 19th century songs uniquely re-arranged by her to sound new, all interlaced with the sounds of summer recorded in her backyard. One reviewer writes: �To me the most captivating parts of the CD are the tracks where your voice and that of the guitar are pure and allow me the most access to the poetry of your lyrics. Your artistic virtuosity both vocally and instrumentally are astounding: each alone would be rare.� Lucid Forge reviews: ��a great debut album with lots of poetic depth.�
Now, Susan has returned to writing and has returned to a more �mainstream� sound, pulling from pop, roots music, jazz and blues. Her new CD, My Blue Skin, will feature an eclectic variety of tunes and instruments with moodier stylings. Susan will play all the instruments on the recording.
Of special note is the song, Why Don�t I Know You? While Susan was entertaining elders by singing popular standards at an Assisted Living Facility, one of the residents, Buzzy Firey, approached her about putting music to some lyrics he had written. The tune is about love from afar. It�s the first song she has co-written. After changing a few words in the song (�I told Buzzy there weren�t any drive-ins anymore�, she says with a smile�), she created a jazzy tune, adding some interesting effects on her recording.
Susan has been performing full-time at private events, coffeehouses, weddings, assisted living/retirement facilities, festivals. Her first CD, Cosmic Summer Sojourn, has been requested by radio stations in the U.S., Canada, Germany, England, Eastern Europe and Australia. One song, Under the Stars Tonight, was chosen for a compilation CD, Chill Out: East Coast Version. The title song, Cosmic Summer Sojourn, as well as her first instumental, Gliding Along Lightly, were among the winners of the 2009 Songwiter�s Association of Washington Songwriting Contest.
Susan has just relocated to Wilmington, North Carolina with her husband and three cats. She still connects with the Green Party, teaches yoga, dabbles as a certified Raw Foods Chef and has been asked occasionally to teach the fundamentals of Buddhism (Susan has been a long time student and was instrumental in establishing the first Buddhist center in York, PA in 1997.)
With her incredible talents, beautiful voice and eclectic music, Susan Savia�s interesting sojourn will continue for a long time, and one that a lot of people will want to follow.