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Suzy Bogguss “Prayin’ For Sunshine” Release Show

May 4, 20245:30 PM

From Grammy Award-winning performances to platinum-selling records, Suzy has proudly called her own shots for four decades, earning her stripes as a singer-songwriter, producer, and road warrior along the way.

Doors: 5:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm

Suzy Bogguss

For Suzy Bogguss, life is all about connection.

She’s a living legend of country music, having earned eight Top 10 hits throughout the 1990s before exploring new influences — including jazz, western swing, and the Bakersfield sound — during the 21st century. From Grammy Award-winning performances to platinum-selling records, Suzy has proudly called her own shots for four decades, earning her stripes as a singer-songwriter, producer, and road warrior along the way.

Most importantly, she’s maintained strong relationships with her friends and fans, from the soup nights she regularly hosts at her Tennessee home — evenings that feature not only food, but also jam sessions between dinner guests like Tommy Emmanuel, Keb’ Mo’, and Sam Bush — to her weekly livestream, “Wine Down Wednesday.” Launched in 2020, those livestreams strengthened Suzy’s bond with her audience during the Covid era, giving her the inspiration and confidence to create her newest album, Prayin’ For Sunshine.

“This is the first time I’ve written my whole album,” says Suzy, who found herself at home in 2020, her touring schedule brought to a halt by the pandemic. The previous years had found her releasing themed records like American Folk Songbook (a collection of folk standards) and Lucky (a tribute to Merle Haggard). Both albums were well-received, but Suzy couldn’t help feeling like something was missing. “I was asking myself, ‘Does anyone really want to hear where I’m at right now? Then we had the lockdown and I got so close to the people who watched my live streams every week, and I learned that they didn’t want to just hear the songs they already knew. They wanted new music. All of a sudden, I got the confidence to make a new record of my own songs. It was like someone lit a fire under me.”

That fire burns brightly on Prayin’ For Sunshine. Recorded at Suzy’s home, the album offers a mix of southern storytelling, gorgeous vocals, and organic instrumentation that showcases her country and Americana roots. It’s an eclectic and emotional project, with Suzy’s sharp songwriting balanced by spontaneous performances from the band.

Initially, Suzy worked on Prayin’ For Sunshine alone. “I played the songs on my guitar and focused on marrying the lyric to the melody,” she remembers. “Since every song was mine, I could arrange them however I wanted. When the band came over, I already knew exactly what I wanted to do with the songs, and I let the band fit themselves around me. It was such a new process for me, to have the tracks built around my performance…it was a real band vibe.”

It was a real family vibe, too, not unlike the atmosphere created by the soup nights Suzy has been hosting for the past decade. Those evenings are celebrated in her new cookbook, Suzy’s Soup Night, which pairs recipes with photos from her husband, songwriter Doug Crider. In the book’s intro, Suzy describes her get-togethers as times when “my home is filled with the joy of some of the best musicians in the world spontaneously playing together, friends laughing, and a big pot of soup on the stove at the center, bringing us together.” Although Suzy’s Soup Night and Prayin’ For Sunshine are two separate projects, they’re bound together by a shared appreciation for the good stuff: music, storytelling, community, and the connections we make on our shared journey.

“I’m feeling revitalized!” Suzy says. “I feel so present in my live shows now, in a way I haven’t in years. I love playing my old songs, but I have new things to share, too. I called the album Prayin’ For Sunshine because I’ve always been an optimistic person, and there’s a need to be hopeful right now. I feel like the lockdown brought performers and their audiences closer than ever. People really reached out to one another, and there’s something heartening about all of us looking at things a little bit differently. There’s so much turmoil in the world right now, but I’ve found a community of people who can agree on things that really count, like music.”

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