LIVE: Alexis P. Suter Band @ WAMC-FM’s The Linda, 3/7/14

March 18th, 2014, 3:07 pm by Greg
Alexis P. Suter

Alexis P. Suter

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Rudy Lu

“The soundman said, ‘Can your voice go lower than mine?’” Alexis P. Suter told the totally rapt crowd at The Linda in Albany. Then she did something truly amazing: She lowered her voice! “I don’t know… Maybe?”

You have to understand: This Brooklyn-born blueswoman wields a bass/baritone that would send most opera singers scurrying into the nearest corner so they could cower better. You can’t compare Suter to contemporaries like Shemekia Copeland or Katie Webster, and even the late great Koko Taylor couldn’t match Suter’s lower range. The closest comparison would be to John Lee Hooker, another long-gone blues legend. But you pair up that range with the muscle-car power and unyielding control Suter puts behind her vocals, and the results are so unbelievably good, you just have to hold your head.

With her big top hat and all-black Moshood Creations outfit, Suter resembled an executioner as she slowly stepped onstage after her band’s opening instrumental number. The temptation to say she slayed us with her towering version of “Didn’t It Rain” is way too huge, but the fact is that anyone who hadn’t been exposed to the combination of Suter’s singular vocals and her death-defying back-up band got nailed to the wall like a butterfly in an entomologist’s lab. I know my jaw was on the floor during Suter’s awesome re-telling of The Flood, and it stayed there for most of the first four numbers.

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INTERVIEW: Alexis P. Suter Sings the Blues… And a Whole Lot More

June 19th, 2013, 2:00 pm by Greg
Alexis P. Suter (photo by Eric Gleason)

Alexis P. Suter

Interview and photographs by Eric Gleason

There’s an underlying spirituality when Alexis P. Suter talks about her music and the mission she’s on. That soulfulness runs deep in both her personality and her music, as you can see and hear for yourself when the Alexis P. Suter Band takes over the stage at WAMC-FM’s The Linda in Albany at 8pm on Friday (June 21). And when talking with her you can’t help but feel like you’re talking with a preacher after hours. She’s that passionate, that uninhibited about talking about the ideals that drive her musical quest. And like a true New Yorker, this Brooklyn native needs only the slightest nudge to get her talking at length about what’s on her mind:

Q: So how long were you singing in your church before you started singing more secular music?

A: Wow (laughing)! I was singing in church for a long time before I started singing any other kind of music. I mean, I was into different theatrical groups and stuff, and we used to do different music. Not music like on the wide range like I do now with the band, but we did do other music besides gospel music. (Laughing) I don’t want anyone to think I was like this church robot or anything like that. I did do other stuff. [My parents] didn’t want us to listen to any other kind of music but gospel music, so I really didn’t have any other kind of music playing in my home.

Q: Your mother was a music teacher and deeply involved in the church. Was that her influence?

A: Well, I think it was my mother and my father. They just wanted us to be involved with that, you know, and stick with that influence. But as you get older, you get curious, and you want to listen to different things. You know, I’d go to school, and I had friends that weren’t as church-going as I was in my family, and they listened to different kinds of music. I’d go to different people’s houses and hear different things, and your mind gets curious. You grow up, and you’re like ‘I want to listen to this, I want to listen to that,’ so eventually I got to listen to different things because my music range started to become larger. I wanted to know more… and in order to do that, you have to listen to more than one kind of music.

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