Award-winning country music singer Suzy Bogguss has sold more than 4 million records with songs like “Outbound Plane” and “Someday Soon.” But she’s also displayed musical diversity with modern swing music and an album that landed her at No. 4 on the jazz charts.
These days, Bogguss keeps busy by performing songs from “Aces Redux,” a re-recording of her platinum selling album “Aces,” produced by Bogguss with fresh arrangements and her signature sparkling vocals.
In advance of her concert this Saturday at Rams Head On Stage, the Voice caught up with the accomplished musician. Doors open at 7:00pm and the show starts at 8:00pm. Click here for tickets.
You have holiday songs that you perform. For the Rams Head show, can the audience expect more of the holiday hits or other music from your catalog?
I wasn’t planning on going full bore holiday since it’s before Thanksgiving, but I know since I have done a bunch of Christmas shows there before, some people are going to ask for a few tunes here or there, so we’re prepared. I imagine we will just do a couple to tease. I think we are going to dig in the archives and do a few songs people haven’t heard in a long time.
For the rest of the set, you will probably mix in a lot of “Aces Redux” songs?
Yeah, we do a bunch of that. We’ll do some of the Merle Haggard and the “Lucky” album, and I will do a couple folk songs so I can get a little hootenanny going and try to get people to sing along (laughs). People watch YouTube now and find all the chestnuts that I don’t even know existed, and so they bring up songs I haven’t done in a long time or collaborations I did with Chet Atkins or the sing I did with Alison Krauss and Kathy Mattea, so we decided to work up some of those songs. For those who come often, it’s kind of nice to dig out something they haven’t heard in a long time, coming out for so many years or so many albums. I can’t remember all of the songs, but I try to shake them up so it’s not always just the hits.
You mentioned Merle Haggard and your affinity for him. Listening to his music on your dad’s 8-tracks started your love of music?
(Laughs) It goes all the way to back to listening to my neighbor sing on his front porch, because he was always singing Merle songs and Buck Owens and just straight-old country that was out at the time – late ‘60s, early ‘70s. And the little kids in the neighborhood would go over and listen to him sing and that was pretty cool.
You’ve had three Grammy nominations and a win, a platinum-selling album, and some great collaborations with Chet Atkins; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and some others. What is left on your musical bucket list?
I don’t know (laughs). Right now I’m out on tour, half of the time with my guys, which is just fun for me because I get to sing a lot of different songs, and I’ve also been touring with Pam Tillis and Terri Clark, and I have always liked the three girls’ voices together scenario, so that has been a lot of fun. So I don’t know. Maybe I will get to record with some girls. That would be pretty fun for me.
I know you said you were working on some new material, but you’re not sure if you want to release a full album?
That’s the thing. It’s such a different realm now. I don’t know whether more people would hear about it if we videotaped it at my house while we were making the record, or something different that will catch people’s attention, because there are so many people making music and at least for a person – now having my own label – it doesn’t make any sense for us to put the big dollars behind it. If I had the big machine behind me, maybe so, but also for them it might not be worth it. I think they’re very choosy and limiting how many artists they’re willing to sign at a time.
That’s been a challenge for many musicians. Not only has the method of releasing music changed, but genres have changed. You have maintained a traditional country sound while adding a modern flair. Has that been a conscious effort?
(Laughs) I just keep trying to learn stuff. Every time I do another album, I try to collaborate with someone, whether it’s in writing the songs or as a producer or going someplace like Austin or New York to record — just trying to learn more stuff and continue to grow as an artist, so I don’t want to make the same record over and over. That doesn’t seem to serve anyone.
And like you said, not having the “big machine” behind you, you probably have more freedom to produce music that makes you feel rewarded as an artist.
Honestly, it is a little liberating. I cannot complain, and I can’t say enough how much I appreciated having Capitol for all those years, because now I get to go out and do what I want to do because they have that big machine and they could get me on the radio and television and get us all out there to all the folks. And I can go out to all the folks. And I find that’s my job now. It’s not so much of the recording as it used to be, which, when you’re on a major label, you’re obligated but you’re also allowed to make a record almost every year. When you’re doing it on your own, it’s whenever you’re ready. If you’re ready to do it or you have new songs, you start getting the jones to do something. For me, I don’t know if I have the jones to do a whole album or if I want to try something original and try to shake it up a little with something unique.