'You could call it singer-songwriter music, Red Dirt music, folk music. Just about the only thing you couldn't call it is easy listening. While Herndon's voice falls gently on the ears, her lyrics cut way too close to the bone...Herndon's songs on PECCADILLOS are crafted from the heart, sometimes painfully honest, always engaging and frequently surprising...' --John Wooley, music critic, Tulsa World, August 21, 2005 ** 'PECCADILLOS is a majestic collection of stellar songwriting and storytelling...one of the most musically inclined albums of 2005...Herndon has redefined Oklahoma music once again...' --Joe Mack, The Current, Vol.2 No.9, September 2005 ** 'Oklahoma is blessed with great artists. Susan proves this yet again. You can almost see the roads this bright full-of-life artist has travelled down...The artists accompanying her on this journey are like a who's who of Oklahoma 'Red Dirt'music...From amazing Randy Crouch to one of the Godfathers, Tom Skinner, and a truly amazing Rocky Frisco, and electric guitar virtuoso Brad James, and Mr. Bass himself, Don Morris, and on and on...some of the top talent in the USA...A wonderful and unbelievable 2 set CD titled PECCADILLOS...6 out of 5 stars...' --Stan Moffat, Payne County Line, August 28, 2005 *************** What does a prayer sound like? On PECCADILLOS, Susan Herndon's third release, the songs sound like they come from someone who can't sleep--not because of nightmares, but because the world just won't turn down the noise or dim the light. She purges in some, breaks down in others, marvels in most, and writes them all. As for her playing, one of the musicians on the record, Tom Skinner, watched her on stage one night and said, 'Those chords aren't even on my guitar.' There are visions here: on 'Our Lady of Clearwater,' it's of Mary, Jesus, and a Jiffy Lube; on 'Mr. Bed,' it's the color of loss and lousy carpeting; on 'The Children of Beslan,' it's the face of a murderer mocking his victims; on 'Red Dirt Blues,' it's of a map in her back pocket and a refinery on the horizon, on 'Martha Stewart Blues,' it's of crime, witch hunts, and Christmas baskets; and on 'Cremation Papers,' it's of her father and a glass of white wine. Of the last song, there's a story. A big man with a beard and chains and a leather jacket--a Harley guy if you didn't know better--was standing at the bar, drinking a beer, when Susan started singing this song about dying and IBM and a young girl's memory. The Harley guy turned towards the stage and stopped drinking. He was troubled, preoccupied--his big burly self lost somewhere between regret and memory. When it was over, he didn't smile; he turned back to the bar and finished his Budweiser. Only after a minute or so later did he find the words: 'Is it appropriate to applaud after a prayer?' There are French songs here, too, of love and passion and running away, but, unless you speak French, they could just as well be of DeGaul going into or returning from Exile. Susan's voice doesn't just grab you, it returns you to your upright and locked position. There's a Harley guy out there somewhere who will confirm this.
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