Review: Reckless Abandon / October 1st, 2018 / Elmore Magazine
A self-described “Earth Mama,” with a hippie aura about her, folk songbird Susan Shann simply and earnestly tackles heavy subjects such as a battle-scarred veteran’s struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and potential ecological catastrophe on her latest album, Reckless Abandon. There is a lighter side to Shann’s intimate acoustic musings, however.
Blessed with a captivating voice, Shann comes off as a less polished, but more direct version of Shawn Colvin as she gracefully plucks melodic melancholy from her six-string guitar in profoundly moving songs such as “Ordinary Miracles” and “Impossible Beauty.” Tender and full of heartfelt empathy, “Stand Down” is even more stark and affecting, as Shann tells of a soldier who sadly cannot erase the ghastly horrors of war from his mind. On the breezy, soaring “Price of Heaven (Song for Bristol Bay),” Shann stirs the soul with an environmental call to arms, as she pleads for protection of a place of natural wonder. Her heart, it seems, is always in the right place.
A saucier, more brazen Shann emerges from the lighthearted, bluesy Americana of “Homemade Lovin’” and its homey, sexual swagger, while “Helluva Ride” wistfully says farewell with a twinkle in its eye. Hope and optimism spring from “The Final Word (Is Gonna Be Love),” as Shann fashions a tune reminiscent of Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” from a Dr. Martin Luther King quote, and it can heal. Producer Chip Martin sanded off the rough edges to give sterling definition and character to Shann’s vocals and uncomplicated acoustic guitar designs – perfect for an evening of quiet meditation and soul searching.
“Susan Shann combines well-honed songwriting skills with a sense of history and a lot of heart. She also knows when the times demand a song. In “The Final Word,” she’s more than delivered, with grace and power. Now and in the future, Susan and her music are definitely worth voting for.” Si Kahn- Award Winning Songwriter and Activist
"Susan Shann writes songs with a passion that is rare to find”: Bil Vorndick, Grammy-winning producer and engineer
"Susan Shann is a strong entertainer. She has a very genuine and engaging stage presence. Her voice is very recognizable and she effortlessly can switch between multi-genre's of music. In short, her music and voice will make you want to reach over and turn up the volume." Mac Wilson, Harmony Hollow Entertainment, Nashville, TN
“Susan Shann has a wonderful way with a song and commands the stage like a total pro. She is a delight!" Ranger Doug, of Riders in the Sky and The Time Jumpers
“Oh, man, I love Susan Shann’s singing! Very soulful…” Jack Pearson, renowned guitarist, singer, songwriter
“I've known and worked with Susan for quite a long time and have watched her hone her talents as both as a writer and performer. Her new album hits a high note with rock and pop-infused energy and intensity, and I’m excited to be part of the live rendition of it on Nov. 3rd. ~~~ Lance Hoppen, co-founder of "Orleans"
About a year ago a friend sent me the song “Final Word” by the songwriter Susan Shann. I had never heard of the song or Susan Shann. But once I listened to it I knew I had to play it in my show, The Hootenanny Cafe (WTBQ.com). I did just that. Several months later Mara Levine sent me her version of a song called “You Reap What You Sow”. I fell in love with song only to find out several months later that it was written by Susan Shann. I found her website and found myself totally absorbed and mesmerized by her lyrics, melodies and voice. I became an instant fan. Susan Shann is incredible. Her songs should be heard around the world!!! - Jon Stein, DJ and Host, "Hootenanny Cafe", WTBQ