Susan James : Highways, Ghosts, Hearts & Home
Album Kindly submitted by Hemifran
Style : Americana
Rate (1-5) :

Legend tells us that Susan James was discovered when a legendary Apple Computer founder who after he heard her playing a Bay Area coffeehouse, handed over a paper bag of cash to finance her first album. The truth will be less romantic and more commercial but it was the start for Susan James. She financed her first album 'Life Between Two Worlds', released a second, was again discovered by some other people (this time involved in the music business) and start opening for big names like Lindsay Buckingham, Son Volt, Rufus Wainright, Billy Bragg and others.

After some traveling, a recently born baby and three albums Susan and her family relocated to funky Topanga Canyon in LA, where she started working on her newest album. Highways, Ghosts, Hearts & Home is certainly inspired by the country-side she is living now. Add to that the fact that some band members of the psychedelic country outfit “I Saw Hawks in LA” are playing on all tracks of the album and you certainly can say this long haired blonde folk-chick turned towards country. “Cold Moon on the Highway” or “Old Jug song” are very good proof of that. “Out of the woods” shows us the influences of the other musicians and turns this tune into something more psychedelic. More Country influences are found in “How To Fix an Broke Girl” but you have to wait until the very last song to discover one of the better tunes on this album. “Going To California” includes again some psychedelic country influences and bring back some fond memories to that scene that was highly influential and popular in the mid seventies.

The total outcome of the album is not really a full country record, but the many influences and hints towards the genre are clearly available! Susan James can’t deny her relocation to Topanga Canyon was influential in more then one way. Americana based country would indeed be a good moniker for the genre portrait on Highways, Ghosts, Hearts & Home.

Mr. Blue Boogie.