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Susan Hedges

British Singer/Songwriter


At 16 years year of age, Susan Hedges has already made a big impact in British Country Music. Drawing the inspiration to write her own songs at the age of 10 years. In the summer of 1999 Susan released an album with 10 of her own songs plus two covers in the singer /songwriter style, garnering rave reviews in the country and national press (including The Times). Recorded at Garry Hall's Voodoo Rooms studio, in Preston, the album “Myron Angel” was released on the Gold Rush label, with liner notes written by Tom Russell. Following the success of this album, the young Hedges followed-up in early 2001 with a double album, Crimson Love On Velvet Black…. one disc containing all her own songs and the other disc selected covers of her favourite songwriters such as Sandy Denny, Townes Van Zandt and Richard Dobson, Eric Taylor, David Olney and others.

Susan, from Neston on Merseyside, has been sightless since birth and says that because of her blindness, her other senses are heightened and when listening to a piece of music, she can hear many things that a sighted person will miss. Susan hears every single instrument and can instantly tell if the tuning isn't quite right. The same thing applies to the singers, and she can spot the differences in the melody and differentiate between the various voices far easier than the sighted person. Susan learnt to play keyboards and guitar, along with taking singing lessons from a voice coach and has been a member of the Central Academy of Singing, based at Wrexham, North Wales for several years. Not wishing to draw pity for her condition, Susan wrote a self depicted song ‘The Fighting Kind’, found on Crimson Love On Velvet Black.

This young teenager was also involved in a song writing project for North West Water (United Utilities Plc) a couple of years ago, writing two songs for small children, ‘Dipping Your Toes' and ‘The Water Song', which NWW included on a promotional CD. The school Susan attends, took part in a conference for North West Water, singing ‘Sunshine On A Rainy Day’ with the Liverpool Gospel Choir and appearing on BBC1 news program, North West Tonight on 23rd March 99. The greatest thrill for Susan was when she was asked to perform for United Utilities Annual Business Conference dinner, attended by HRH Prince Charles, who had a few encouraging words for Susan after her performance.

As Susan started to become acquainted with other songwriters such as Gary Hall and Cathryn Craig, she received some positive feed back to improve her writing skills. While Susan was taking part in a poetry reading festival, she forged a friendship with Paula Wright who wrote poetry, but knew little of songwriting. The two of them started writing together; each learning the art of song writing at the same time and forging a good working partnership.

Following the release of Susan’s first album, she has opened for several established singer/songwriters, such as Tom Russell, Gary Hall and Cathy Stewart from New York.. Capable and up-to the mark, Susan performed at the Summer Nights In the Country, Hopetoun House, Edinburgh last year, featuring Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Little Feat and Kevin Montgomery & Pettybone (with The Mavericks - Paul Deakin and Robert Reynolds). Further prominence with a significant step came when Susan opened for revered singer/songwriter David Olney on his recent tour and since then has been collaborating with him on several songs including ‘Stranger In This Town’, with the pair e-mailing lines to and from each other across the ocean.  While Tom Russell was opening for Nanci Griffith on her UK tour in October last, he invited Susan backstage at the Llandudno Theatre and introduced her to Nanci. Already familiar with Susan’s albums, Nanci invited Susan to join Tom herself and Andrew Harding on stage to sing a number together, a great thrill for any singer/songwriter.

Susan Hedges is hoping for a place at The Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts (LIPA) and study for a degree in music, but will have to wait until she is 18 years of age. In the meantime, Susan will be taking a music-tech course at college. Keep an eye on this young lady; she is destined to go far with her musical career. On The first of January 2002 Susan was presented with North Country Music magazine's Young Performer Award. If you haven’t already seen Susan Hedges, she will be appearing at this year’s North Wales Festival at Llandudno in March; don’t miss her!