'Susie Tallman & Friends present traditional (and original) songs with a twist: music that connects generations, bridging the years between grandparent, parent, and child with song'.
Let's All Sing! What a wonderful project full of adventure, collaboration, and cute lyrics. Every song effortlessly transports you right into another story. You're fishin' in the Crawdad Hole, then you're eating pizza in Italy with opera singers, Next thing you know you're at a baseball game! The music suits each adventure perfectly and the fun never ends. Keep reading to get a glimpse of Susie's inspiration, musical process, and life.
You have said that your new record, Let's All Sing!, "is all about the love of singing and singing with the people you love." What a beautiful way to introduce your art. Is there a specific event, or person, that inspired the music?
Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Beppie! My happiest childhood memories are of singing with my family. We would gather around the piano at our house or, my father being a YMCA director, at a campfire. We would just sit, be happy, and enjoy each other’s company while we sang. My father passed away two years ago. As his health began to slip during the last year of his life, I often sang to him and he tried to sing to me. During that time, we both leaned on those memories from my childhood for support. Losing him was hard, but now I have fond memories of singing to him in the last year of his life to go along with the memories of us singing together as a child. Singing brings out emotion and emotional memories are much more powerful and meaningful than any other kind. This album is inspired by time spent singing with my father, with the hope that it can create the same type of indelible memories and bring the same type of joy to other families as singing brought to mine.
Is creating and writing music a solo endeavour for you or a collaborative effort?
For me the creative process typically starts alone. I’ll gather my ideas for original songs and arrangements, record them and then start the collaborative process with a friend or two. I love being in nature. Those surroundings inspire me and often give my writing a kickstart. Once I have something to work with, I run it by my three kids, all of whom have no hesitation in giving me their honest feedback.
You have eleven albums in your discography. That is an impressive amount of music! What was your favorite song to record from any of your projects to date and why?
I love recording and so picking just one is difficult. However, if I absolutely had to choose, it would be the story of the song “Baby’s Bed A Silver Moon” from my Lullabies for Sleepy Eyes CD. I recorded that song in Australia at my friend Mark O’ Connor’s home studio/living room that didn’t have any sound proofing. On the day we were recording, the neighbor’s dog got out and wouldn’t stop barking. So we improvised. We went to the butcher, bought a bone for the dog, hurried back to record, and had a great session.
Listeners will find a mix of original tunes and cover songs as they explore your catalog. Do you prefer to do arrangements and covers or original songs? Where do the ideas for your original songs come from?
I love mixing original songs with traditional songs and I find that they are equally important in my repertoire. I started recording traditional songs when I started my record company because my intention was for parents to sing lullabies to their babies along with my music. I wanted parents to be able to sing songs they heard as a child in hopes they would create a bond and connection with their babies through song. Singing along to songs a parent already knows, of course, is much easier than having a parent learn the words to a brand-new song.
As I progressed in my music, I added original songs to my catalog. Everybody likes something new, and I want to create some new memories and with some new songs. Although I have more traditional songs than original, I have over 70 minutes of original music recorded. I try to make these songs simple and fun so that everybody in the household can enjoy them.
As far as ideas for songs, I write about experiences. For example, one of my new releases, “Pizza Pasta Opera” was born out of hunger. I was watching my son’s soccer practice wondering what to make for dinner and pasta was the easiest and first thing that came to mind.
A little birdie told me that you have 150,000 bees! That's incredible! Do you care for any other animals and if so, do you sing/write music for them?
That birdie was correct! My husband and I are beekeepers. We took up this hobby to provide local honey and bee pollen for our son, who suffers from terrible allergies. We also have 15 chickens and two dogs. These animals provide lots of inspiration and fun around the house (one year, our Christmas card featured a chicken). The bees inspired part of one of my new songs on “Let’s All Sing” called “Life Cycle” that I co-wrote with my friend Shelly Ley. It’s about the life cycle of bees, butterflies and frogs and is written to help kids understand that everyone (monkeys and grandparents too), go through many stages of growing up.
If you were a musical instrument, which one would you be and why?
I would be a piano! The piano is versatile and can produce sweet soft melodies as well as loud, powerful songs. It can take you on journeys around the world and express a wide range of emotions. Pianos are also great heir looms. My piano first belonged to my grandparents, then to my parents before being passed down to me.