Susan Werner

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Susan Werner
SusanWerner onstage.JPG
Background information
GenresFolk, jazz, gospel
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician, songwriter
Instrumentsvocals, guitar, piano, stompbox, harmonica
Years active1993–present
LabelsSusan Werner, Private Music/BMG, Velvel Records, Koch Records, Sleeve Dog Records
Associated actsKeb Mo
Rodney Crowell
Gail Ann Dorsey
Trina Hamlin

Susan Werner is an American singer-songwriter. Much of Werner's work has been in the contemporary folk genre.


Werner was born in 1965[1] and raised on her family's farm near Manchester, Iowa, about an hour west of Dubuque. She became interested in music at a young age and went on to receive a bachelor's degree in voice at the University of Iowa.[1] In 1987, she moved to Philadelphia, and earned a master's degree in voice at Temple University. Werner initially wanted a career in opera, but after seeing a Nanci Griffith performance became inspired and began composing songs of her own on acoustic guitar.[2]

Performing around Philadelphia, Boston, and New York City, Susan began making a name for herself in the folk scene of the early 1990s. She recorded five albums from 1993 to 2001, and in 2001 she moved to Chicago.[1] Her first five albums were all in the folk genre, but Werner's sixth album, I Can't Be New (2004), was a substantial departure, with original material in the vein of Tin Pan Alley, cabaret, and early jazz torch songs.[3]

Werner's seventh album, The Gospel Truth, was released in March 2007 and addresses themes of religion, faith, social responsibility, as well as religion from an agnostic's point of view.[4][5] In 2010, Tom Jones recorded "Did Trouble Me", from Werner's The Gospel Truth, for his album Praise and Blame.[6]

Her eighth album, Live at Club Passim is collection of original songs (gospel, jazz & folk) recorded with her band: Colleen Sexton, Trina Hamlin & bassist Greg Holt. For her ninth album, Classics, she performs pop music from the 1960s and 1970s accompanied by chamber instruments.

Her tenth album, entitled Kicking the Beehive, was released in March 2011. Produced by Rodney Crowell, it features guest appearances from Vince Gill, Keb' Mo and Paul Franklin.[7][8] Her album Hayseed, a concept album about "farms, farmers, and the people who love them", was released in the summer of 2013.[9]

Werner branched out to write the music and lyrics for a musical based on the film Bull Durham, which premiered at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre on September 3, 2014.[10]

In 2017 Werner released An American In Havana, an EP featuring six songs written during two trips to Cuba in 2015 and 2016.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Werner was born into a musical family. Her mother was a singer, although her father's musical ability was limited to "whistling on pitch".[1] All five of her siblings are musically talented. One brother is a professional stand-up comedian and another brother is a performing drag queen.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d e Warren, Rich (Summer 2008). "Susan Werner: Always in Motion". Sing Out!. Vol. 52 no. 2. Bethlehem, PA. pp. 65–69. ISSN 0037-5624.
  2. ^ Manheim, James M. (2005). "Susan Werner Biography". Net Industries. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  3. ^ Kimura, Donna (December 2005). "Susan Werner: Giving New Songs an Old Vibe". Archived from the original on November 20, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  4. ^ Ruehl, Kim (November 26, 2017). "Top Folk Songs of 2006 and 2007". Dotdash. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  5. ^ Ruehl, Kim (2008). "Interview With Susan Werner: Susan Werner Talks About The Gospel Truth". Archived from the original on January 19, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  6. ^ Tynan, Pam (June 14, 2010). "Tom Jones has recorded Susan's Werners [sic] classic song 'Did Trouble Me'". CMR Nashville. Archived from the original on June 22, 1010. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  7. ^ "New Susan Werner CD Set For Release March 1st". November 23, 2010. Archived from the original on November 24, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  8. ^ "Susan Werner: Music: Kicking the Beehive". Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  9. ^ "Susan Werner". Susan Werner. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
  10. ^ "Bull Durham Musical Eyes Broadway Run". May 12, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-30.
  11. ^ "Susan Werner: Music". Retrieved 2018-10-31.

External links[edit]