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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Susie Deane - Time's A Dancer

Susie Deane - Time's A Dancer
2010, Humarock Music

Poughkeepsie, NY-based singer/musician Susie Deane is a diverse talent, performing actively in the diverse genres of traditional jazz, contradance and Celtic.  Deane has a voice that’s warm and expressive.  It’s not the voice of a diva; Deane is a utilitarian singer but she has the ability to sell a song in the Sinatra style.  Susie Deane’s latest effort, Time’s A Dancer, is drawn straight out of the American Songbook and run through the wine press of the Las Vegas stage.  Guest appearances include Peter Davis, Dave Davies, Vinnie Martucci, Harry Aceto and Sam Zucchini.

A collection of standards can’t go wrong starting with Johnny Mercer, and Deane starts out right with “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive” in a reverent reading consistent with the original.  The musicianship here is first class and Deane sells the song like her life depends on it.  “’Deed I Do” is pure Vegas style with Deane employing a talk/sing style that’s informed and entertaining.  Deane’s best vocals on the album come on “Black Coffee”, a song first made famous by the great Ella Fitzgerald.  There are few who can stand up to Fitzgerald, but Deane’s reading is effective.  “Lazy Afternoon” is vocally solid, but Deane doesn’t show the presence that she has up to this point in the album.  Deane’s rendition is honest and forthright but just doesn’t have the same magical sense to it.   And that’s really the summation for the rest of the album.  What started out with great energy and verve becomes a musically strong but vocally average experience.  Deane offers up signs of life on “Up A Lazy River” and “There’s A Fella Waiting in Poughkeepsie”, but it isn’t until the final track, a medley of “Kimberly”, “Star Of Munster” and “The Mountain Road” that Susie Deane fully revives.

Time’s A Dancer shows both the potential of Susie Deane and the limits realized by that potential.  Musically the album is much more than solid.  The players Deane has surrounded herself with would be worth paying to see any night of the week.  When Susie Deane is on her game there’s no doubt she fits well in that company.  Time’s A Dancer finds Deane occasionally at her best, but generally at a comfortable level that doesn’t call for much of a stretch from either the artist or the listener.  It’s a solid effort.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

Learn more about Susie Deane at, where you can order Time's A Dancer on CD.

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