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Susan Werner Bringing Variety of Musical Talents to Hatfield Hall Theater Stage

January 31, 2013

Songwriter and singer Susan Werner will bring her clever brand of modern folk music to the Hatfield Hall Theater stage on Saturday, February 2, starting at 7:30 p.m., as part of the Rose-Hulman Performing Arts Series.

Tickets are $18 to $22 for adults and $10 for students. They can be purchased by calling 812-877-8544 or visiting the ticket office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and two hours before the concert.

     Werner
 

Susan Werner

Saturday, February 2 - 7:30 p.m.

Hatfield Hall Theater
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
5500 Wabash Ave., Terre Haute

Tickets: $18 to $22 for adults, $10 for students.

  Purchase tickets by calling 812-877-8544 or visiting
  the Hatfield Hall ticket office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on
  weekdays, noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and two hours
  before any performance.

  Learn more about the rest of this year's Performing Arts
  Series, including artist video clips, at www.hatfieldhall.com.

Werner has been called "one of the most innovative songwriters working today" by the Chicago Tribune and "the empress of the unexpected" by National Public Radio. Her most recent album, "Kicking the Beehive," marks yet another shift in Werner's multifaceted musical career.  It's an 11-song collection of provocative, poignant, and lyrical originals that are infused with the rustic roots of American folk, blues, and country music. The album features guest appearances from Vince Gill, Keb' Mo, and Paul Franklin.

"I was immediately drawn to her clever arrangements and honey-like singing voice," explains Performing Arts Coordinator Bunny Nash.  "When I actually saw her live last year, I had a brand new appreciation for her talent.  Not only is she an outstanding musician and songwriter but she was so much fun."

"Kicking the Beehive"' followed Werner's 2009 recording, "Classics", a pop-meets-classical album of contemporary standards supported by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

"That was a very conservatory project," Werner says. "There were a lot of string arrangements, and I learned a great deal about arranging and songwriting. But after that, I wanted to do something different."

Born and raised in Iowa, Werner began singing and playing the guitar in church at age 5.  By the time she finished elementary school, the young musician had also taken up piano.  In high school, she would add saxophone to her arsenal of instruments, play in jazz combos and sing in school drama productions, before earning a degree in voice at the University of Iowa.

Originally pursuing a career in opera, Werner earned her master's degree in voice at Temple University. While there, she was inspired to begin composing music on her acoustic guitar after attending a concert by Texas singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith. "She was singing—her own songs about her home, Texas," Werner told the Boston Herald. "I realized it was as noble, as honorable as classical singing. And, I thought I could do this."

Werner began taking her guitar to coffeehouses on the folk circuit in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York City in the early 1990s. Soon, she was making a name for herself in the regional folk scene. Performing at venues up and down the east coast, she recorded five albums from 1993 to 2001 before relocating to Chicago.

Werner's sixth album, "I Can't Be New" (2004), was an evolution of sorts, leaning away for her folk-singing repertoire more heavily into jazz influences. Another album ,"The Gospel Truth" (2007), looks at religion, faith, and social responsibility, from an agnostic's point of view. In 2010, Tom Jones recorded Werner's song "Did Trouble Me" for his album "Praise and Blame".

Accompanying Werner for her Rose-Hulman concert will be Trina Hamlin on harmonica, percussion, and vocals, and Natalia Zukerman on lap steel, dobro, bass, and vocals.