Susan Herndon | All Fall Down

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Folk: Folk Pop Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Type: Acoustic
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All Fall Down

by Susan Herndon

Singer~songwriter, Susan's latest album produced by the Grammy award-winning, Lloyd Maines... country, pop, blues, rock, reggae, bluegrass, jug-band, poetry-ramble, and a French song to boot... all at its best. You'll love it.
Genre: Folk: Folk Pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Land of the Living
3:33 $0.99
2. Pull
4:30 $0.99
3. Build Your House
3:10 $0.99
4. Dry Bones and Dust
4:44 $0.99
5. Everything to Me
3:37 $0.99
6. Lay Me Down
2:59 $0.99
7. Oklahoma Girl
3:16 $0.99
8. Palestine
3:48 $0.99
9. Vagabonde
3:51 $0.99
10. The Bad Roads of Oklahoma
6:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
2010 Album produced by Lloyd Maines, Bob Livingston, and Susan Herndon. Featuring Lloyd Maines on everything, Chris Gage on everything else, David Sanger on drums, Glenn Fukunaga on upright, electric, and fretless bass, John Fullbright on harmonica, Christine Albert, Laurie Turner, and Livingston on harmonies, Susan Herndon on guitar, piano, and vocals, and with special guest, Butch Hancock on yodels. Recorded at Cedar Creek Studio and Moon House Records in Austin. John Silva mixed and engineered the album and Pat Manske mastered it at the Zone in Dripping Springs, Texas. All songs by Susan Herndon, except, "Everything to Me" by Susan Herndon and John Hadley, and "Oklahoma Girl" by Bob Livingston, John Hadley, and Susan Herndon.



to write a review

Rick Reiley

All Fall Down
You know how some music likes to jump out at you right out of the chute, grab you desperately by the collar and scream in your ear? Or the cookie cutter machine-made kind that caters to the surface sensibilities, often tolerable as background noise to the rush of life all around you? The kind that has no individual distinguishing characteristics? And serves as 'filler' on commercial radio?

Well this isn't it. This is the work of a confident woman who doesn't need to make unnecessary noise to call attention to herself. Her lyrics, melodies and the superb ears of Austin, Texas producers Lloyd Maines and Bob Livingston, make 'All Fall Down' a delight to hear and behold.

From resigned yet hopeful longing, to joy, to introspective moments to the more lively yet ethereal qualities of the simple act of living in the joy of the moment, make this collection of songs more like an extended visit with a new friend, a kindred spirit no matter who you are or where you're from.

These songs remind us that every step of the journey we're on is as important as our ultimate destination, all to be savored, breathed in deeply and assimilated into our collective consciousness before we all travel '…. to the one sweet light that lasts......' as she sings in 'Lay Me Down'.

Carrying a little country, some rock and roll, a little blues, a lot of folk, a little jazz and some bluegrass under her arm this lady, Susan Herndon, fits nicely under the big shade of the Oklahoma Red Dirt musical umbrella.


Kicking up Red Dust and Layin' It Down
Oklahoman, Susan Herndon, has recently released this her most ambitious and musically rich album to date. Assisting her in production down in Austin was Lloyd Maines and Bob Livingston (Lost Bonzo Dog Band Founding member). A fine Cast of some of Texas finest studio cats and some of Susans friends help on insturments she did not play. She plays accoustic guitar and piano.

On the first song of the album, Herndon's hushed little girl voice that opens the "Land of the Living" (Hear how she says "cup" in the second verse) and the slyly country rhythm and instrumentation with the slightly insurrectionist Middle Eastern banjo beginning and closing flourishes, all lend this a nice Alt Country bounce. Ms. herndon has an uncanny way of disarming the jaded attitudes of today by delivering a slightly ambiguous positive message about loss and getting on in the world. This is a deceptively simple tune, with its ra- ta-tat raw drumming carrying everything along at a happy lope. A sweetly nutritious slice of Alt-Country-Pop.

Skipping into the reggae flavored song, "Pull", Ms. Herndon shows her tough and sexy side and the lyrics here show a deeper sophistication and urgency making this a compelling song with great lead guitar lines and gospel background voices embellishing the mix...This is not indie, do it yourself production but well thought out song construction. A fascinating mix of Maria Muldaur, Chrisie Hinds and the Police.

Next is the House of Song: Just a simple alt country song with plaintive pedal steel. Susan`s voice really shines carrying this story of life taking turns not always expected: Simple and precise. Singer's that don't write their own lyrics should be clamoring for this fine melody using universal metaphors to wonderful affect. Country meets Zen.

Showing Ms. Herndon's versatility is the dark rock number "Dry Bones and Dust". Quite unlike the woman-child voicings or lovely singing before-- this is desperate, vulnerable, beautifully crumbling singing that hauntingly brings death to life. With the low rumbling bass, organ and gently nasty reverb guitar underpinning the dark mood. This is a powerful song that Lou Reed or Trent Reaznor would be proud of.

It is apparent that the song is all for Ms. Herndon. On "Everything to Me" there is only Susan's beautiful full singing voice with simple grand piano accompaniment. The lyric is not overly complex but like the best in popular music it is the melody and delivery by a real singer that sells the song. Ms. Herndon does that in spades in this small shining diamond of a love/life song.

Shift gears---get ready for the sweetest bluegrass confection this side of Nashville with "Lay Me Down". The delicious hook in the chorus: "Lay me down, fill me up, cover me over..... With Red Dirt and Bluegrass". That is so Bartlesville/ Nashville/Louisville" that if this song is not a pop hit...the world has truly gone to hell. The string picking is of the highest caliber and makes this song twirl.

Along the same line is the slightly silly "Oklahoma Girl" with comic yodeling to great effect. This song has the most traditional song is a country song after all, but its wit is so disarming and this woman child delivery just sucks you into this song and with its impeccable guitar flourishes and back ground vocals and real yodels..What's not to like?

"Palestine" may be the best song on the album or at least in a close second. Here we have more serious fare with some fine peal steel breaks that swing. The vocal delivery of this song is sad, mad and warmly gorgeous and sensuous all in due turn. Just the couplet, "stretches into Texas" should be enough to get this alt country/rock song a lot of airplay in Texas and the Southwest.

To illustrate how a song dictates the music for Ms. Herndon, her "Vagabonde" is written and sung in French and the music is in a Cajun/Reggae (go figure) style that crosses genres so easily it almost seems like a slip of a song but this is some fine grown-up music making that upon repeated listens, will give the heart a sweet lift. To top it off, it is one of the most perfect vocal deliveries on a record chock full of outstanding vocal performances. A little Ricki Lee Jones and a little Joni Mitchell... yet, pure Susan Herndon. Let's just hope that the folks that have an attitude toward all things "french" including French Fries do not let that attitude shy them away from a fine piece of music.

To bring it all to a close, Ms. Herndon does a lovely, funny and ultimately, sadly-hopeful piece called "The Bad Roads of Oklahoma". With the accordion it is hard to not hear the slight nod given to the Band or even Bob Dylan in the way the knotty and smart lyrics are delivered. While the title may indicate gripes Ms. Herndon has with Oklahoma, the truth is, these lyrics declare a deep and abiding love and understanding of the beauty and strength of the contradictory state of Oklahoma.

It surely seems that the lyrics to her songs are at their core, a declaration of who Ms. Herndon is: An Okie girl with red dirt under her fingernails, a Scamperina of a wild child and a wise woman with an old soul-- who can sing her tail feathers off. Susan Herndon is a songwriter that knows the world makes no promises and at times will "throw you down" but ultimately it is worth getting back up after the fall with a skip and a jump and in the end---kicking up some red dust into the twilight.