I last saw Susan Enan at the end of last year when she stopped off in Austin on her global house concert tour - 18 countries so far. I'm pleased she made it, and brought with her the wonderful music that made me a fan when I first saw her back in NYC a few years back. She's just moved to a new city, and is planning more houses to go play in, so Indie Sounds caught up with her as she was unpacking the van ...
Indie Sounds: So you just moved from Brooklyn to Nashville! Gone country?
Susan Enan: Not Yet! I've been visiting Nashville for the last 10 years and almost moved here instead of going to NYC when I arrived in the States. Although I'm grateful for the last seven years in the Big Apple, the hustle and bustle became exhausting, not inspiring. I find it hard to create in that environment. I need the peace and quiet.
IS: You just released a little video highlighting your worldwide house concert tour. Tell us about making it. And also what the Folsom experience was like. But first, here's the video ...
Susan: At the beginning of the tour, I decided I really wanted to see the world and not just travel through it, which is what happens on most tours. I spent a day or two with each host and they showed me their towns and cities and how they lived. It was an incredible experience and there was no way I wasn't going to document that. So, I bought a video camera and started to film. I learnt to edit as I went and released short video blogs of each place. There's a ton of footage still in the can, so I'm hoping this year to catch up a bit on the blogs, but we have just released a short video of the whole story.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to film inside Folsom Prison this time but it was an incredible experience. We had two "house" concerts and then I spent time with some inmates during 'song share' which they hold every Tuesday morning. It's an opportunity for folks to share their songs, prose and poems. There are some amazing rappers inside too. I've never heard free-style rap that good. And so we sat, as equals, as artists, singing together. You can read more about it on my tour blog.
IS: What's next on the house concert tour horizon? More countries to tick off?
Susan: I'll be doing a few shows in the U.S. this year to keep the project going and then after we've done some more recording, I'll start to plan the next world tour. We're hoping to get to India and Africa this time, maybe Russia, but what I love about the tour is that it's out of my control. I'll travel to where the hosts live. It's in their hands.
IS: For those interested in putting on a house concert, what are some things they should know, and plan for?
Susan: The shows are completely unplugged and what makes these shows different is the audience have the opportunity to ask questions as we go so it's more of a conversation. And then there's all the tour stories too, so it really is a very personal experience and a very different kind of gig. If someone knows about 20 people (more is fine as well) who would all be prepared to chip in about $12 each, I can pretty much make it work. And if the hosts are happy with it, we can offer some tickets to outside fans too.
Quick note: Read about Susan's 2009 release Plainsong here.
IS: House concerts aside, any plans for new music from Susan Enan?
Susan: We've started to demo the next record and I'm very excited about it! I have no idea when it will be ready and whether we'll do a full album or half record but I'll keep you posted.
For more info about hosting or attending a house concert, join the mailing list at www.susanenan.com or email email@example.com.