The UK is often known for a variety of traditions and formalities some of which become a little dated or begin to lose appeal however having a Sunday afternoon “legends” slot at Festivals is definitely one of the best things we have developed in recent years. Whether it be at Glastonbury where the likes of Lionel Richie, Paul Simon and Dolly Parton have captivated the entire festival or at C2C where that slot has been reserved for Marty Stuart, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett, having an iconic artist with decades of hits is always something that people look forward to. Luckily this had caught on at The Long Road Festival when we were treated to a performance from a lady who has had an incredible career spanning over 30 years that brought a vocal performance and passion for playing live that captivated many of the younger generation of country and Americana fans who would discover Suzy Bogguss for the first time.
Prior to her set we were very lucky to get to spend some time talking to this fascinating lady and hearing some amazing tales which we are very happy to share with you.
Suzy Bogguss on her previous trips to the UK:
I’ve been coming here since 1989; my very first time here was a big country festival at Wembley. It was a big deal and it ended up being a kind of a crazy thing because Billy Walker who was just absolutely huge at the time had done an encore then he did a second encore and the audience were just ballistic. They were going crazy and they wanted a third encore really bad! Well Mervyn (Conn) stood up and said NO and I was supposed to go on next and he got the audience to sit back down and they all booed. So I walked onto the stage for my very first show here with a whole huge audience booing because they wanted to hear him sing!
Suzy Bogguss on seeing the growth of country and Americana in the UK over the last 30 years:
It’s been hard and I’m so excited about you guys getting more into it because when I was having records over here on EMI they didn’t even want me to say that I was country. They were so worried that would put a stigma to it and so to just see how people have opened their minds to it and that the subject matters! I mean it’s all about relationships, you know that whole theme is about that and strong lyrics. Gosh! When I think of the UK I think about all the folk songs all the things that we stole in our country. You know just think about that, it’s like all mixed together with story songs. I mean, I would think that that would appeal to a really broad audience.
Suzy Bogguss on opening up her back catalogue for UK audiences:
I’ll tell you what one of the things about coming over here is that you have to almost prepare yourself, especially when I’m doing a longer tour to know that there is going to be people asking for those deep cuts. I have had 14 albums. So you know it’s like I have to learn those again. Then I have actually had people who would want a song so badly, they would ask for it like two or three times and I’d say “I’m just afraid I’m going to butcher it you know” and I had one woman just stand up and sing the song herself! So now I try to get prepared, so if they want that song I’d better be ready.
Suzy Bogguss on The Long Road Festival and the Great British countryside:
We said at dinner last night it’s so pretty round here and great to see the countryside. It’s just adorable and I mean it’s not like I haven’t seen the countryside before because we’ve been playing out here for a long time but we were just remarking that you know, it’s such a different thing. I’m sure for the city folks who are country and Americana fans, to get to just go out and just remember that side of things where it’s a little simpler life.
Suzy Bogguss on her “Chicks with Hits” tour with Terri Clark & Pam Tillis:
Well Terri and I went to a destination wedding, our hairdresser was getting married and so we ended up spending three days in this house and staying up till 3:00 in the morning singing and playing songs together all the time just having a blast so we thought we’ve gotta make something here! Pam is on the same roster as Terri and we were like: Oh my God, if we got to sing Pam Tillis’s songs with her would that not be the best! So that’s how it happened, Terri and I started talking about it and then we brought Pam into it knowing that she was capable of carrying herself on her instruments. It’s just the three of us on stage so we all play drums, lead and different instruments on each other’s songs. Pam’s playing bass now and so that was a deal when we just knew everyone could carry themselves without having to have a backing band.