Press

“Introspective, melodic folk-pop simply doesn’t get much finer than the new CD by Newburyport’s Levine. That rare album where a whole mind and heart is revealed.”

— Daniel Gewertz, The Boston Herald

With poignant clarity, Levine sings beautiful songs of love and hope with a down-home feel good country flair. It isn’t country music in the traditional sense, but it is a gorgeous slice of Americana that’s sweet, innocent and spiritual and deserving of attention.

— Douglas Sloan, Metronome Magazine

A lot of folks will record an album laden with their genre’s superstars and too often, the songwriting and delivery by the featured artist doesn’t hold up. Not here. Not even close. Yeah, yeah, there’s Jennifer Kimball on vocals and Mark Erelli on guitars and vocals, but dayum (three syllables, ya’ll), Levine rocks it with powerful vocals a la Dolly Parton and Nancy Griffith and like those two, she can really write. There are lots of acoustic instruments to provide the center (mandolin, guitar, banjo and more) plus bass, drums and hooky electric guitar to provide the drive. Levine hits the ground running with the opening “1000 Open Doors:” “Ain’t life like a hole in your pocket / you don’t know where everything goes / keep throwing in nickels and quarters / and minutes and hours / when all you can feel is the cold through the holes.” Now don’t you want to settle in and savor every last word of this album? “Leaving” starts with her simple rhythmic guitar strum. Musically, it could lead anywhere and with the addition of pedal steel and banjo, it turns country but not the kind you’d hear on mainstream radio. It’s more grounded and with her very capable songwriting chops, is so much more. The standout cut is “Wings,” a compelling story song that should be required listening for any beginning songwriter. It’s got a cool electric guitar groove and in the background, a banjo — a great arrangement that fits the song well. She didn’t write “Killing the Blues” but it sounds like she did, with those biting, melancholy words. Almost everything she does has that melancholy feel and while the bitterness lends itself to some great songs, a little honey would have provided some variety. The Stephen Foster tune “Hard Times” gets grand treatment with an instrumental build worthy of any great rock or gospel tune. There’s a bazillion instruments and voices and it all culminates in a finale worthy of any good album.

©Jamie Anderson, Minor 7th Magazine

“Some of the wistful knowledge of Dolly Parton at her best.”

— Joel Brown, The Boston Globe

“Susan follows up her debut CD with an album so mature and gorgeous that you can take care of all your holiday shopping needs just by picking up a stack of them!”

— Matt Smith, Club Passim

“Levine’s songs are simultaneously rooted firmly in a narrative folk tradition and unlike anything you’ve heard. Her voice is both delicate and robust, and her poetic lyrics are worldly without being world-weary and candid without being cynical.”

– Miriam Lawrence, 02138 Magazine

“Susan Levine writes and sings with bottomless sincerity. Honesty is great, as far as it goes. But it’s not enough. To really hit people, a songwriter and singer needs art and finesse. Susan Levine has plenty of that to go along her her honest heart. A smart writer with a warm voice that can send chills down your spine.”

– Marilyn Rea Beyer, WUMB Folk Radio, 91.9 FM Boston

“She can break your heart and lift your soul from the wreckage within one smartly crafted moment in one of her songs. Susan Levine might draw on sources you recognize. Her writing has that inevitable quality you hear in some traditional music. You might hear a little Emmylou in her voice. But there’s something there that is so much more than those things you recognize. There are those things you realize suddenly from deep down inside yourself. Those are the things she shares. That is her artistry. ”

– Tom Driscoll, The Red Door Coffeehouse

“Susan is a literate and intelligent lyricist whose songs are laced with evocative images. Susan has a flowing and expressive voice, powerful yet capable of wrapping you up with warmth and tenderness.”

— Richard Fox, WCUW, 91.3 FM, Worcester

“Not only does this woman sing brilliantly and perform powerfully, her songs speak to and stay with her listeners.”

—Esther Friedman, WUMB Folkwaves Magazine

“Susan writes compelling songs. She writes with a sense of honesty, humor and playfulness that is just infectious, and sings in a voice that will have you begging for more.”

—Eric Gerber, Singer-Songwriter, Kerrville, Texas

“A wonderful songwriter and dynamic performer, thrilling audiences at the coffeehouses and open mics around town.”

—Matt Smith, Music Operations Manager, Club Passim

Awards:

*Tricentric Showcase Artist at the 2008 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference (NERFA)

*Finalist in the 2008 Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Competition

*Semi-Finalist in the 2007 International Songwriting Competition

*Finalist in the 2005 International Songwriting Competition

*Finalist in the 2004 Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, Lyons, Colorado.

*Finalist in the 2004 Rose Garden Coffeehouse Performing Songwriter Contest.

*Semi-Finalist in the 2003 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) for “Home.”

*Emerging Artist at the 2002 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival.

*Honorable Mention – American Songwriter Magazine’s 2002 lyric-writing competition for “Holiness.”