Suzy bogguss - Performing at Weinberg Center

February 02, 2000|By MEG H. PARTINGTON

The venues where she shares her music have changed, but Suzy Bogguss stays true to the sound that got her noticed.

"My music's always been the same," combining country, folk and blues, says Bogguss in a telephone interview from her home near Nashville, Tenn.

In the early 1980s, she combined her love of making music with a desire to see more of the country by being a solo folk troubadour. She toted her guitar around parts of Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, as well as New York City and Massachusetts, accompanying herself while singing on the streets and in clubs to get noticed.

cont. from lifestyle

After five years of traveling and only making about $8,000 a year, it was time to change her lifestyle.

"I was in bad need of health insurance. It was time to grow up and be real," says Bogguss, 43.

In 1985, she settled in Nashville, a move that eventually put her on stages much larger than the street niches where she started.


The next year was a big one - professionally and personally - for the Illinois native.

She spent the summer of 1986 as the featured act at Dollywood. In November, she married songwriter Doug Crider.

Things moved quickly from there.

In 1987, she signed with Capitol Records. Her debut single, "I Want to be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," was released in 1988, and her debut album, "Somewhere Between," hit record store shelves in 1989. That same year, she won Academy of Country Music's Top New Female Vocalist Award.

Bogguss will share her talents Friday, Feb. 4, with fans from the East Coast, the area in which she sells the highest number of albums. The concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick.

"Live performance still inspires me," Bogguss says.

Bogguss loves to interact with the people who come to see her perform. Sometimes she likes it too much.

"I'm a total rambler," she says.

Since her early days in Nashville, she has released eight more albums and added songwriting and producing to her resume. It's a difficult juggling act.

"Sometimes I wonder what exactly is going on in my head," Bogguss says.

She and Crider produced her 1998 album, "Nobody Love, Nobody Gets Hurt," together. Some of the songs were recorded at their home studio above the garage.

They have another evolving project at home, too - their 4-year-old son, Benton "Ben" Crider.

For the first three years after Ben was born, Bogguss cut back on touring dates. She's revving back up again, doing 90 shows in 1999 and planning on 80 this year. Ben has been traveling with his parents since he was 4 months old and has been to 38 states.

Bogguss has borrowed the voices of many other big-name country artists for her albums, including Garth Brooks, Alison Krauss, Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood, Kathy Mattea and Vince Gill. She also has lent her voice to others' work, including Mattea's, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's and Riders In the Sky's national radio show.

Such camaraderie is not uncommon in country circles.

"We're pretty much all buddies around here," says Bogguss, who in 1992 captured Country Music Association's Horizon Award, "We do have so much in common."

When she's not busy making music or parenting, Bogguss takes time to use the metalworking skills she learned as an art student at Illinois State University. She says those abilities came in handy when friends got married - she could throw together steak-knife sets pretty easily - and allowed her to make the wedding rings she and Crider wear.

"It's very rewarding for me. I enjoy it for some hardheaded reason," Bogguss says.

Metal is a difficult material to work with, sometimes as tough as the music business, she jokes.

Suzy Bogguss, country music

Friday, Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m.

Weinberg Center for the Arts

20 W. Patrick St., Frederick, Md.

Tickets cost $12 to $22. Discounts are available to AAA members, Prestige Banking members and groups of 20 or more. A $5 service charge is added for phone or fax orders.

For information, call 1-301-228-2828, use the telecommunications device for the deaf at 1-301-228-2838 or fax 1-301-228-2837.

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