Monday, December 10, 2007

Vocals, guitar and drum: Susan Cagle


Susan playing in the subway


Interview with the band


Susan playing at Rockwood Music Hall


Interview with the band

Artists: Susan Cagle (vocals, electric guitar), Will Flint (bass guitar), Ainsley Powell (drums), Renzo Jimenez (techie, fro’), Travis (techie, red hair)
Medium: Vocals, electric guitar, electric bass guitar, drum set
Location: 42nd Street Times Square Station by the S

Artists: Susan Cagle (vocals, electric guitar), Caroline Cagle (bass guitar), Peter Barr (drums)
Medium: Vocals, electric guitar, electric bass guitar, drums
Location: Rockwood Music Hall, Allen St. Between Stanton and E. Houston (that’s How-ston for you tourists)

What’s going on, why are there two entries? Don’t worry, I’ve got an explanation. I initially met Susan Cagle at the first location with the first band maybe a year ago…meh, more like 8 months. This was in my early days, note all the footage of the audience, and I wasn’t sure the chaotic interview was going to work. As a result I figured I’d do a follow up. Yeah, she’s hot but I honest, I just wanted to know a little more about her. In any event that didn’t happen and I put the project on indefinite hold since I wasn’t sure Susan wanted the videos up after we lost contact.

Then, a few weeks ago I ran into Susan in the second location with the second band while they were packing up. She said she was cool with the videos and I did an interview with the new group. Of course, if I were going to have an interview I needed musical footage. Susan invited me to tape them at the Rockwood gig and the rest is history.

The First Band
The way I was told the band was put together on a bet. Susan dared all the guys to take their clothes off and, since they did, she let them be in her band. You might ask where she found guys willing to do that but it’s pretty simple – in New York.

Susan herself started playing for large audiences in the subway. Around 2001, after having been into music for a long time and having been brought up in a musical family she decided to get serious, start composing and start playing in public. Once out there, she met other musicians, started her band and, eventually, got picked up by Columbia records.

Susan has had an interesting life. She traveled around the world with her family as a child and, as a result, has been mostly home schooled or self-taught. She did attended formal schooling in both Germany and Holland, though, and is fluent in German. Although Renzo mentioned she’s from Aruba she actually isn’t, a common misconception. In reality her parents were just passing through when was born – she’s actually American.
Ainsley Powell, the drummer, is also from a musical family. His father is a musican and it was “kind of natural for me to start playing with all the instruments in the house.”

Like Ainsley and Susan, bassist Will Flint also finds doing the family thing. “Following the family dream,” as he puts it.

Travis, the redheaded CD pusher is also a musician but prefers to be a techie in public and just plays music for himself.

Like Travis, Renzo also plays music even though he plays techie for the band – and it’s not a family thing. Instead, Renzo said he picked up the guitar by accident. His brother, Jonathan, bought a guitar so he could hang it on his wall at college to pick up chicks but never learned to play. As a result Renzo took it upon himself to make use of the instrument. As for teching, Renzo says he found the Susan Cagle gig on Craig’s List.

Like what you hear? Check out the band's

influences - Bob Dillan, Lauren Hill, Sheryl Crow, Dave Chappelle
website - www.susancagle.com

Really like what you hear? Contact
streetshoot@gmail.com

The Second Band
Caroline Cagle, the bassist, is Susan’s sister, so that explains that. Peter Barr met Susan at a mutual friend’s gig after having seen her playing in the subway. He ended up playing with her at Rockwood and now, as he puts it, they’re “like best friends.”

Peter himself has been playing since he was 12 and always wanted to be a musician. Peter is a street veteran and, before New York used to play in the streets in Boston, Europe and Canada whenever he had some spare time. He enjoys playing in public saying “I like playing so any place can be a nice place,” adding “it’s a really good way to get people who otherwise wouldn’t hear you if you were just doing gigs. They might not make into a pub or some place you were playing live.”

Peter's inspirations: Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Coltrane, as well as his own band composed of Jo Jo Quo, Tony Sedras, Dimitri Yushenko. He also gives prop to a lot of older music of the rock and jazz genres.

Caroline, Susan’s sister, is an ardent bassist. “It’s funny because everyone in my family has played an instrument but I just kind of wanted to play bass. I thought…it was my thing.” True to her passion Caroline, with the support of her musical family, taught her herself to play the bass at a young age and has been playing music ever since.

Caroline enjoys working with her sister is “easy” since she knows her sister’s style and they mesh well. She also cites Susan as an important musical influence. However, she says that playing with Susan in the subway is fun, it’s not easy – lugging the gear, dealing with the people, “it’s crazy”.

While born in Miami and raised in Germany Caroline says New York has always been a home and it’s a place to which she’s always come back; “it’s just not the same as anywhere else.”

Really like what you hear? Contact
streetshoot@gmail.com

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2 comments:

katty said...

I love the drum, i think this instrument is very notable, i usually feel too much energy when i listen or i touch a drum although be a short time. Is absolutely wonderful.

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