mar 6 2019
You don’t have to travel far into Suzie Vinnick’s catalogue of music to know you’ve found something singular and unforgettable. Hailing from Saskatoon and now settled in Ontario’s Niagara Region, Suzie is one of those rare performers who knows when to deliver the vocal knock out and when to pull back to a whisper, bending notes and phrases that tiptoe across your heart. Even her humming is like a warm caress. “Singing is like sleeping and breathing for me. If you can’t sing with feeling, you can’t move people”. She performs with a warmth and generosity that makes her at home on your best friend’s front porch or under the lights of the National Arts Centre.
Suzie has won 10 Maple Blues Awards, a Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Vocalist Of The Year and is a 3 x Juno nominee. In 2013, she was a finalist in the International Blues Challenge at the legendary Orpheum Theatre in Memphis in the solo duo category. She’s also won the 2012 CBC Saturday Night Blues Great Canadian Blues Award and the 2012 Sirius XM Canada Blues Artist Of The Year. And for 5 years, she was the voice of one of Canada’s national coffee chains, Tim Horton’s.
Vinnick is gearing up to launch her 6th album in Europe in late 2018. Unlike her last 2 albums, which were solo acoustic affairs, Suzie’s new release, ”Shake The Love Around” is a band record. The album’s title was inspired by friends in Forget, SK, who used to hold hands and shake the love around after grace at every meal. The warmth and camaraderie of those days has never left her.
Working with co-producer and keyboardist Mark Lalama (Sisters Euclid, Marc Jordan), ”Shake The Love Around” moves beyond Suzie’s singer songwriter persona and celebrates her prodigious instrumental chops, on bass, lap steel, electric and acoustic guitar, and the gorgeous National Folkstar guitar.
Suzie recorded the album bed tracks with drummer Gary Craig (Blackie & the Rodeo Kings, Jann Arden, Tom Cochrane). She also has a few other guests on the album including Colin Linden and Kevin Breit playing guitar on 2 songs and Dean McTaggart and David Leask lending their songwriting and vocal talents to each of their album co-writes.
The songs are as diverse as her talents, coming in like little gifts, each one a happy surprise in contrast. There’s the anthemic power of “The Golden Rule”, and the quiet beauty of “Drift Away”, co-written with Matt Andersen. And just try to sit still through “Find Some Freedom”, a joyful ride through all the things that make life worthwhile, if we only look.
Her blistering rendition of John Fogerty’s “A Hundred And Ten In The Shade” shines a light on Suzie’s guitar prowess, while Percy Mayfield’s “Danger Zone” takes on the new normal of these turbulent times and demonstrates Suzie’s bass chops.
From start to finish, the joy and power of Suzie’s full bodied vocals is on target in every track. “A lot of me is in this album, and it feels really good. We shook the love around and made it happen”.