Versatile singer-songwriter Susan Werner is no stranger to Nippertown or the Eighth Step. She has performed there over the years as either an opening act or a headliner to audiences of all ages and sizes.
This time out, Werner was in command at Proctors’ downstairs Improv Theater stage, which is usually reserved for the Mop & Bucket Co. Switching between the acoustic guitar and piano last Saturday night, Werner delved into a multitude of emotional expressions throughout her two generous sets.
Spotlighting the songs from her brand new indie album, “Kicking the Bee Hive,” Werner’s soulful vocals embraced a wide musical spectrum that included folk, singer-songwriter pop, rock and the blues – complete with impassioned slide-guitar licks.
Werner is one of those few folk artists who really knows how to play the guitar, as well as how to craft a powerful thought-provoking song. No three-guitar-chords-backing-the-words here – just honest to goodness, masterful guitar work that was full of intimate lyricism, dynamic contrasts and finger-picking marvels.
The unexpectedly large audience hung onto every note and even exchanged humorous words with Werner between tunes, while the roar of “The Lion King” from Proctors’ mainstage could be overhead from time to time.
Review and photograph by Andrzej Pilarczyk