Susan Cowsill – “Lighthouse”

Listening to Susan Cowsill sing about her home in New Orleans, it’s difficult to believe that she got her start in a pop group with her brothers during the ’60s.

While The Cowsills and their Top Ten singles served as inspiration for the Partridge Family, Susan’s new record, Lighthouse draws from years of experience and the heartbreak experienced after Hurricane Katrina.

Her second solo release is folky, with a hint of the pop styling that originally made her famous. There’s a few lighthearted notes in the album between songs of love, loss and redemption, like on “Dragon Flys” and “Sweet Bitter End.”

Two of the best tunes, the heartfelt “Onola” and the boisterous “Crescent City Sneaux” are directly about New Orleans but the record remains universal throughout. It’s not a collection of songs specifically for those who were affected by the hurricane, but for anyone who has ever experienced tragedy or battled adversity.

A few well-chosen covers make their way into the track listing with Glen Campbell’s “Galveston” and “River of Love,” a song written by her brother Barry, who lost his life in the flood waters after Katrina. Her other brothers, Bob, Paul and John add harmonies in the tribute.

Susan gets some help from friend Jackson Browne on “Avenue of the Indians” but also shines in the most sparse of settings as in the album’s title track, “Lighthouse,” where she is accompanied by Jack Craft’s piano and a cello.

Susan will be on the road playing in Oklahoma and Missouri before returning back to New Orleans. Check her full schedule at SusanCowsill.com.

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