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Suzie Ungerleider: Baby Blues

Pure and melancholia-laced vocals combine with evocative lyrics on a folk gem.

Suzie Ungerleider: Baby Blues

By Kerry Doole

Suzie Ungerleider - Baby Blues (MKVA): This is the first music released under her own name by the artist formerly known as Oh Susanna. The acclaimed and Juno-nominated singer/songwriter has made the name change for both personal and political reasons.


In a label press release, she notes "here I am, leaving behind the trappings of a persona that gave me the courage to climb up onstage and reveal what is in my heart. It once protected me, but I need to take it off so I can be all of who I am.” The change was also spurred by her realisation that the lyrics of the famed Stephen Foster folk tune Oh Susanna contained racist imagery and a dubious belief system.

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Her next (and tenth) album is actually entitled My Name is Suzie Ungerleider, and comes out on Aug. 13 via her new label, UK imprint MVKA  (Eva Cassidy, BOY, Sarah Blasko)

Baby Blues is the album's lead track and first single. It showcases her trademark vocal style, one possessing real purity laced with a tinge of melancholy. Also familar are her poetic skills as a lyricist: "You were driving the back roads last night, Under the light of the stars,  Past fallow fields and broken-down barns." 

Now based again in her home town of Vancouver after a long stint in Toronto, she made My Name is Suzie Ungerleider with longtime collaborator/producer Jim Bryson (Kathleen Edwards, Kalle Mattson, Skydiggers). The pair have a positive creative chemistry, and we're eager to hear more from one of Canada's finest roots artists.

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Management: Starfish Entertainment

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Beyoncé

Beyoncé

FYI

The Billboard Canada FYI Bulletin: Beyoncé Country Hit A Win For Canadian Songwriters

Also in this week's roundup of industry news: Kayla Diamond launches her own boutique imprint, SOCAN names an ombudsman, and time's running out for noms for this year's Rosalie Award honouring trailblazing women in broadcasting.

Beyoncé becomes the first Black woman to top Billboard’s Country Songs chart with “Texas Hold ‘Em” and it has gone to No. 1 on iTunes in 14 different countries and counting. There are some surprising connections. The song is co-written and co-produced by Ontario-born writer/producer Nathan Ferraro, whose previous collaborations include working with Lady Gaga, Carly Rae Jepsen, Bear Mountain, RALPH, Shawn Hook, Alyssa Reid, Jessie Reyez, Lowell and Tyler Shaw.

In fact, the song has deep Canadian origins. Two other Canadian songwriters participated in this runaway hit: Megan Bülow (who records and performs as bülow) as and Elizabeth "Lowell" Boland (a.k.a. Lowell), with Ferraro co-producing the track with Killah B and Beyoncé.

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