Susan Alcorn - And I Await the Resurrection of the Pedal Steel Guitar (2007)

Original CD-R cover art.

I'm pretty tired and lazy at the moment, but I promised myself I would try not to let this blog gather cobwebs again (at least not too soon), so if you don't mind I'm going to go with this promo text I found on Boomkat. It pretty much says what I was going to write anyway (except for the odd ellipsis and the very frequently found typo 'Messaien' for [Olivier] Messiaen, weird right?):
'Susan Alcorn is already up to her fifth album of solo pedal steel explorations, and this latest on Olde English Spelling Bee sounds every bit as beautiful as it looks. Proving that the instrument can easily out manoeuvre any Nashville stranglehold, Alcorn's music is as far removed from country as you could imagine. Making fine use of the volume pedal, Alcorn creates stately swells of electric string warmth, rising up and disappearing in mists of echo, or sliding and detuning into a discordant abyss. There are so many more textures at play in Alcorn's work: at times you'll [hear?] something encroaching upon Loren Connors' haunted blues, at others she'll drop in some angular, fractured riffs on Messaien-influenced harmony. This feels like a really special release, a modern exploration of [an?] instrument that's seldom given the opportunity to break free of its supporting-cast shackles. Highly recommended.'

Cover of the LP reissue. I know, it's prettier.

I will just add two things, quickly:
1. Prior to the LP on Olde English Spelling Bee, this was actually released on CD-R by miss Alcorn herself, probably in a pretty limited run.
2. This CD-R version contains an unlisted bonus track not on the vinyl: a moody cover version of Domenico Modugno's Emmy-Award-winning song 'Nel blu dipinto di blu' (1958), popularly known far and wide as 'Volare'.

That quaint cottage industry feel again.


PS: to make up for my laziness I will add (but just this once all right? Don't expect me to make a habit of it), a very nice video: Susan Alcorn performing Messiaen's 'O Sacrum Convivium' (1937), usually for a cappella choir.


  1. I saw Susan play at Cafe Oto in North London in 2009, fantastic gig. As you say, she's done a Houdini on the Nashville straight jacket