Vocals of Power
The Alexis P. Suter Band brings love to River St. Jazz Cafe
When asked about Alexis P. Suter, B.B. King once said, “It’s a rare thing to share the stage with great talent like that young lady.” The late great Levon Helm of The Band said, “She is one of those wonderful spirits, she’s got her arms around you, you can feel that.”
You can check out what these icons were talking about this Saturday night when the Alexis P. Suter Band brings its roots, blues and soul to the River Street Jazz Café in Plains, on Nov. 3 at 9 p.m.
The bass/baritone vocalist Suter and her band began wowing audiences in the northeast as regular performers at Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble Sessions in Woodstock, NY. Since then, they’ve been in constant demand at North American festivals including The Toronto Waterfront Blues Festival, The Cincinnati Blues Festival, FloydFest in Floyd, Va., Briggs Farm Blues Festival; The Pocono Blues Festival and many more. They are currently preparing for a fall/winter run of shows.
“We are doing a lot of shows and playing a lot of new material along with the new CD, Two Sides,” Suter said. “We’re just getting ready for the big shows. We’re doing a lot of rehearsals now and writing a lot of new stuff and bringing back some of the old stuff that people request. We’re preparing for the bigger picture. The band is tight. We’re tight with just enough room to be loose. It’s like when you have a container of juice. You want to get every last drop, and some people even hold the container over the cup to get the last drip. That’s what we want to do with our music. We want people to get every single aspect of what we do.”
In addition to a band made up of all-stars and music veterans, Suter’s bass/baritone voice stands out as a defining focus of the band’s sound. After hearing the great things King and Helm have said about her voice, I asked Suter to describe her vocals in her own words. She proclaimed it was a question she had never been asked before.
“My vocals are powerful,” Suter said. “I know they are powerful; I have to own that. It’s daring and in your face; it’s like a megaphone and you want to get your message across. My voice was created to relay the message. We’re about love and I hope I get that message across with this voice. I’m glad I don’t sound like many of the female singers out there with my bass/baritone voice. It shocks people that I am a women and I have this voice that is so commanding, and I think more people listen in that regard.”
Suter and her band make their return to the River St. Jazz Café this weekend and are looking forward to The 570 crowd. “The crowd was very receptive. They loved us and it was just a great time had by everybody. I can’t wait to get back,” she said. “They are guaranteed a soul stirring performance and they are guaranteed that while they are there, and when it’s time for them to leave, and when they’re home, they’re going to feel every single thing about love that night.”
— tom graham
The Alexis P. Suter Band plays the River Street Jazz Café, Plains, on Saturday, Nov. 3, at 9 p.m. Mike Dougherty is the opening act. Doors open at 7 p.m. You must be 21 to attend. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit www.alexispsuter.com.