Scot Sax & Suzie Brown, More of a “Family Affair” Than Ever

The last time I spoke to one-time Philadelphia singer/songwriter Suzie Brown she had recently relocated to Nashville (for a gig as a cardiologist at Vanderbilt University, of all things)…...

The last time I spoke to one-time Philadelphia singer/songwriter Suzie Brown she had recently relocated to Nashville (for a gig as a cardiologist at Vanderbilt University, of all things)… she had also (even more recently) become a first time mother… and she was also still, at the time, considered a solo artist.  Well, she’s still in Nashville, and her daughter is doing well (having apparently already taken up the family trade), but for her latest release, husband and long-time musical partner and collaborator [songwriter and documentarian] Scot Sax is officially part of the fold (moniker and all).  September 25th will see the release of Our Album Doesn’t Like You Either, by Scot Sax and Suzie Brown, although the sound of the music isn’t exactly a million miles from the couple’s previous musical endeavors.  The album has the two splitting lead vocal duties equally across ten songs that ring of, at times; subtle, summertime folk pop anthems for rollicking through glorious meadows of the American south and, and times; eloquent barroom badassery indebted to the ‘50s blues and rockabilly scenes.  The couple also have a September tour that includes a September 27th stop at Ardmore Music Hall.  I recently got a chance to chat with Suzie about her and Scot’s latest musical evolution and just what’s going on down in Nashville.

Izzy Cihak: So this isn’t really related to music, but the last time we spoke, a little more than a year ago, you had recently relocated to Nashville and really recently become parents.  How has Nashville treated you in that time and how was your first year of parenthood?

Suzie Brown: We’ve loved Nashville.  There have been growing pains of course, but all in all we love it.  It’s been great to be surrounded by more of “our people” – i.e., creative freaky types.  And it’s fun to have new places to discover – coffee shops, restaurants, music venues, vintage shops.  And parenthood? It’s magical chaos. It makes the world make a little more sense.

Izzy: And I know the two of you have played and worked together on music for a long time now, but your upcoming album is the first with, I guess you could say, both names on the marquee.  Do you consider this to be a new project of sorts, or is this just an evolution of your previous musical work together?

Suzie: What can I say…? It’s a family affair!  We couldn’t think of a reason not to put our efforts together on the same record.  More than the sum of its parts. (BTW, Josie just learned to play the kazoo so she’s joining the band too.)

Izzy: How do you feel like Our Album Doesn’t Like You Either compares to previous releases?

Suzie: It’s a continuation of the direction we were both heading in.  It was recorded all live with good friends and big laughs.

Izzy: What would you consider to be the album’s most significant influences?

Suzie: Everything pre-multi-tracking… The way it was done before technology kicked in.  When it was only a couple microphones in one room with musicians playing at the same time, capturing “a moment.”  If the song isn’t good, there’s nothing to hide behind.  Bare bones.

Izzy: I really like the album, but I especially like “Good Everything.”  How did that particular track come about?

Suzie: We were on vacation, and Scot said, “Good morning, good afternoon, good evening,” and I said, “That sounds like a song.”  Scot wrote it later that day and we decided to do it as a duet of sorts.

Izzy: And you’re going to be touring in our neck of the woods next month, including a stop at Ardmore Music Hall, which is sort of run by some people I sort of, kind of know [laughs].  What can be expected of the live show?

Suzie: Light on the ballads, heavy on the fun.

Izzy: Finally, what’s next for you?  Anything you’re especially excited about, whether relating to music or not? (I realize you’re kind of busy and tied up to the nth degree and there are commitments more immediate than writing tunes.)

Suzie: We are eagerly awaiting a delivery in December.  Hint:  it’s not from Amazon.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.