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Susan Anders | Swimmer

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United States - Tennessee

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Folk: Folk Pop Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Moods: Solo Female Artist
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by Susan Anders

The soundtrack for mid-life, full of smart and heartfelt songs anchored by a "soulful, commanding voice" (The New Yorker), with guest performances by Jerry Douglas and Maura O'Connell.
Genre: Folk: Folk Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Thirsty
3:38 $0.99
2. I Want I Want
3:05 $0.99
3. Love Beats Time
3:41 $0.99
4. Always a Beginner
3:06 $0.99
5. The Good Fight
3:45 $0.99
6. In Another Lifetime
3:28 $0.99
7. I Can’t Fix You
2:51 $0.99
8. I Forgot I Was Strong
3:24 $0.99
9. Astronauts
2:33 $0.99
10. Get To You
3:16 $0.99
11. Box of Mom
3:33 $0.99
12. Forgiveness
3:25 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
After bouncing back from a period of illness and writer's block in 2009, Susan Anders wrote and recorded Swimmer. These are not puppy-love songs for kids, but wise reports from mid-life, anchored by Anders' versatile, expressive voice. The songs vary in style while the topics remain deep: transcending a rocky childhood in the jazzy “Forgiveness”, grappling with job search burnout in the bouncy, horn-laced “Thirsty”, dealing with depression and recovery in “Get to You”, and the highs and lows of long-term relationships in “Astronauts” and the folk waltz “The Good Fight”. The album's highlights include "Love Beats Time", featuring dobro god Jerry Douglas, the haunting "I Can't Fix You", with Maura O'Connell singing harmony, and the joyous "I Forgot I Was Strong", a soulful vocal collage.

Anders recorded SWIMMER in her husband Tom Manche’s west Nashville studio. Ironically, they lay down the last tracks just as the Nashville flood waters rose. The production is full of happy surprises that set off Susan’s acoustic guitar and keyboard. Van Morrison-like horns appear on the rootsy “In Another Lifetime”, while Jim Hoke’s dixieland clarinet and Roger Morris’s tack piano turn “Always a Beginner” into a gypsy cabaret song. The layered female vocals on “I Forgot I Was Strong”, backed only by bass and drums, hint at Manhattan Transfer and Sweet Honey on the Rock. Susan has sung back-up vocals and taught harmony workshops for years, but she lets other singers do the harmonizing on SWIMMER. This adds to the organic production feel, reminiscent of classic singer-songwriter albums from the 1970s. Other musicians on SWIMMER include Vince Santoro on drums, Dave Francis on bass, Dennis Wage on organ, Kirby Shelstad on marimba and percussion, Mark T. Jordan on accordion, and Rusty Russell on flugelhorn. Backing vocals are by Nashville singer-songwriters Dana Cooper, Pru Clearwater, Morgan Bracy, Ronnie Kimball, Vickie Carrico, Kathy Hussey, and Barbara Santoro. Manche added guitar and percussion and co-produced the album with Anders.

While they mixed SWIMMER, Anders was also working with an East Nashville development company, Firefly Logic, as they put the final touches on her iphone app SING HARMONIES. It's a fun tool to help singers learn to sing harmony by playing and muting individual voices while playing 4-part vocal arrangements of Lean On Me, Teach Your Children and Proud Mary (with more songs slated to be added in the future). The first shipment of SWIMMER CDs arrived just as SING HARMONIES became available at Apple's iPhone App Store.

Anders grew up in Berkeley, California, at the tail end of the revolutionary wave rolling through the Bay Area. After music studies at U.C. Santa Cruz and S.F. State, she got herself into a bunch of weird and cool musical situations. Among the weird: delivering singing telegrams wearing a table around her waist, and teaching doo-wop versions of Beatles songs to Buddhist monks. Among the cool: stints in a cappella, rock, jazz and Motown bands that played throughout northern California.

In 1990 Anders moved to Los Angeles, met and married guitarist/producer Tom Manche, and formed Susan's Room. The band released five albums of eclectic acoustic pop from 1992-2000. In 2002 they moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where she recorded her first solo album, RELEASE (2005). Her songs have appeared on albums from the Four Bitchin' Babes, The Irrationals, Jordan Carter, and other independent country, soul and Americana artists.

Anders is also a vocal coach who has worked with thousands of singers, including Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum), Joey Heatherton, and Rose MacGowan. The idea for SING HARMONIES came to her after noticing that her instructional CD HARMONY SINGING BY EAR was the best selling of all her instructional methods. A friend introduced her to Ben Henderson of Firefly Logic, who brought it to technical fruition. Several of the musicians and singers from SWIMMER play and sing on SING HARMONIES.

Though Anders' vocal knowledge is evident on SWIMMER, she resists the urge to over-sing and keeps her delivery emotive. Her moving vocals, smart and honest songs, and the inventive production make SWIMMER a thoroughly satisfying album.



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