On the March 12 Show, We Talk to Nashville Musician Susan Anders About Her New Disc,"13 Women"
Updated: Mar 12
March is Women's History Month. And, with perfect timing, we talk with Susan Anders’ about her new album 13 WOMEN, her fourth solo release, which dropped March 5, 2021. This fine new record looks to the past to explore the engaging stories of 13 Women, some well-known, some not, who have in common their extraordinary contributions to history and to our modern world.
And even without such a worthwhile overarching theme, the songs and performances on "13 Women" stand alone as beautifully crafted pieces of music. Anders is a fine singer with a keen sense of how to build a song, both as a writer, a singer, and a producer. It's a record that deserves your attention, which is why we're having her on the show.
The women explored on 13 Women explore range from war correspondent Martha Gellhorn ("Witness"), to the women symbolized by Rosie the Riveter ("Girl You Never Knew"), and astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt ("My Life In The Stars").
Some surmounted obstacles to do their work: sculptor Edmonia Lewis ("Wave That Rocks Me") was orphaned, expelled from school, and later abducted and beaten for being Black. The architect Julia Morgan ("Castles") was rejected several times for being female when she applied to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. A few were pioneers, like Lucy Goldthorpe ("Open Prairie"), a schoolteacher who homesteaded alone in North Dakota in 40 below temperatures, and Maud Stevens Wallace ("Under Your Skin"), the first known female tattoo artist in America. As Anders sings in “Castles”, these were woman who might have said “The world said no, so I made it say yes, yes, yes".
Anders started in the music business when vinyl was the thing, and the Internet was not around, but she has made the transition to the digital world. In addition to distributing her music digitally, she operates a successful vocal coaching business that she took totally online during the pandemic. She has developed and is marketing an Ap for I-phone and other platforms that helps teach harmony singing.
Anders grew up in Berkeley, California, amidst peace marches, hippies, and the budding feminist movement. She studied music and performance at U.C. Santa Cruz and S.F. State, and sang in a cappella, rock, jazz, and Motown bands that played throughout northern California. Anders met her musician/recording engineer husband, Tom Manche, after moving to Los Angeles In 1990. They formed Susan's Room, married, and released five albums of eclectic acoustic pop throughout the '90s.
After moving to Nashville, Tennessee in 2002, Anders recorded three solo albums: Release (2005), Swimmer (2010), and Loop De Loop (2016). Her songs have been recorded by many independent country, soul, and Americana artists. Anders is also a well-respected vocal coach who has worked with thousands of singers, including Hillary Scott of Lady A, Dierks Bentley, L7, Joey Heatherton, and Rose MacGowan. Her instructional methods and app SING HARMONIES are used by singers worldwide.
Susan Anders' 13 Women is highlighted by what The New Yorker called Susan's "soulful, commanding voice". The inventive arrangements, exquisite vocal harmonies, and use of hand percussion instead of a drum kit all combine to make 13 Women an eclectic folk-pop-americana gem.
We get Susan talking about making the record, using a carrot as a conductor's baton, and how she has made the transition to the digital world of music. And, of course, we play several tracks from this excellent new disc.