Burke-and-Surette-EA.jpg

Susie Burke & David Surette

Susie - Singing & Guitar; David - Celtic Mandolin & Guitar

www.burkesurette.com

Susie Burke and David Surette have made a name for themselves as one of the finest acts on the lively New England folk scene. Together since 1988, Susie and David have built a steady following for their own blend of contemporary, traditional, and original folk and acoustic music. Burke's vocal style is at once stunning and heartfelt, and is matched by Surette's fluid fretwork. Both are well-respected within the folk music community, as is demonstrated by the fact that they have appeared as backing musicians on numerous recordings. Many of these have come out of the New Hampshire Seacoast area, where Susie and David are based, and which has a well-deserved reputation as a haven for folk and acoustic music.

Susie Burke has been singing on Seacoast stages since the early 80s, as a soloist, a member of several local bands, and in several duos, including one with guitar whiz Harvey Reid. Her musical tastes and influences are varied and many, encompassing contemporary and traditional folk, swing, country, topical songs, and acapella singing, with detours along the way for Broadway showtunes and classic ballads. "She posesses one of the finest, purest ballad sopranos heard in folk music today" writes Scott Alarik in the Boston Globe, noting that "her phrasing is unerringly devoted to the lyric" and that "Burke displays a gift for pulling honest emotional chords - all too rare in these clever and cynical times." Before devoting her energies to music full-time, Burke worked as a day-care teacher, and her love of kids is evident in her wonderful participatory children's concerts.

David Surette has been performing in the Seacoast area since the mid-80s, both with Susie and with a number of other groups and musicians. He is well-known as a top-notch accompanist in New England's contra dance and Celtic music circles, and is also in demand as a studio musician. As a multi-instrumentalist, David brings a variety of stringed sounds to the duo; Folk Roots magazine notes that his "bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin playing is exemplary." In addition to performing and recording, Surette maintains an active teaching schedule, and is head of the folk department at the Concord (NH) Community Music School. He was awarded an NEA travel grant in 1994 to study the traditional music of Brittany, France, and has written a book of Celtic guitar arrangements for Mel Bay Music. Recipients of Individual Artist Fellowship awards from the NH State Council on the Arts in 1993, Susie and David are also on the Council's Touring Arts roster. They have released five albums since 1990 on the Madrina Music label, to positive response from both critics and audiences. Their latest recording, a duo effort titled Waiting for the Sun, was released in 2015. Together, they bring skill, taste, feeling, and pure enjoyment to their music, and are bringing their music to an ever-widening circle of listeners.

www.rosienewton.com

David’s Workshop Descriptions

Celtic Mandolin (AdvBeg/Int): We will learn a reel and take a look at how to make it sound more Celtic, and the mandolin’s role in that genre. We’ll also work on some lovely-sounding accompaniment, with easy to play open fingerings, often treating the mando as a mini-bouzouki.

Mandolin Accompaniment for Celtic or Old-time music (Int/Adv): We will look at Rhythm approaches for accompanying old time tunes, a non-bluegrass, non-chop chord way of accompanying both fiddle tunes and songs.There is a fair amount of overlap between these two styles with this approach.

DADGAD for Fingerstyle Guitar (Int/Adv):: David is known as a leading player of Celtic fingerstyle guitar.This workshop will present an approach to fingerstyle playing and arranging of tunes and songs.

Old-Time Mandolin (Adv Beg/Int): Learn a couple great old-time Southern fiddle tunes, and how to make them come alive by focusing on simple, groove-based playing.   

Duo Playing and Singing with Susie Burke (All Levels): Susie & David will look at different approaches to developing vocal harmonies and instrumental arrangements, especially in a duo format.  Good for multiple instruments.

Folk/rock Repertoire (All Levels): Songs and guitar styles that focus on that 60s and 70s intersection of folk and rock. Come and play some classics with us!

Accompanying a Singer (Int/adv level): Learn how to play around, behind, and with a singer, providing support and variety without getting in the way! Come to class prepared to play. This will be taught on guitar and mandolin, but could also be applicable to other instruments. Taught with Susie Burke.

David and Susie will lead a Contradance/New England Jam during the weekend.

Susie’s Workshop Descriptions

Vocal Play:  Some singing involved but also vocal games, all in the spirit of saying YES and trying to no think too much, and just vocalize.  

The Upkeep of the Voice:  As we get older, we need a little more vocal upkeep than we used to, but warming up is a good idea for all. Come learn some vocal exercises to take home with you , and come sing a few songs as well.

Fingerpicking Guitar (Adv Beg): Song accompaniment with fingerstyle guitar.

Song interpretation:  How do you choose a song that suits you and your voice? How do you get the most out of it? Let’s talk and try together.

Duo Playing and Singing with Susie Burke (All Levels): Susie & David will look at different approaches to developing vocal harmonies and instrumental arrangements, especially in a duo format.  Good for multiple instruments.

Folk/rock Repertoire (All Levels): Songs and guitar styles that focus on that 60s and 70s intersection of folk and rock. Come and play some classics with us!

Accompanying a Singer (Int/adv level): Learn how to play around, behind, and with a singer, providing support and variety without getting in the way! Come to class prepared to play. This will be taught on guitar and mandolin, but could also be applicable to other instruments. Taught with Susie Burke.

Susie and David will lead a Contradance/New England Jam during the weekend.