Susan Picking – Singer/Songwriter September 1, 2011

Listen to program. September 1, 2011 Susan Picking. Susan Leigh Picking (SLP) is a Midwestern gal with Pacific Western cool. She moved from her native Michigan to California via Colorado some 13 years ago, where she found the inspirations to explore her musical self. As a youth Susan began studying piano and cello. It wasn’t until her move out west that she discovered her voice. She studied voice privately under local Long Beach vocal instructors Karen McLain and Ellen Johnson. She continued her music studies at Long Beach City College earning certificates in Songwriting and Vocal Performance. This musical immersion confirmed Picking’s life passion of music.

Picking’s Irish heritage drew her to Celtic music and the study of Sean Nos singing- traditional acapella singing. She has studied with Krysia Kocjan-Haber, Lillis O Laorire, and Moira Smiley. Being a part of the L.A. Irish music scene she sang in the Celtic Band Crannog. Picking will pull out the Bodhran (Irish drum) for such events. She has performed at The Taste of Encino, The Summer Solstice Festival (California Traditional Music Society), The Library Concert Series in San Juan Capistrano, Southern California Dulcimer Heritage Harvest Festival, and with the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra.Susan Picking is a singer songwriter with lashings of talent. SLP released her much anticipated CD Down in Your Soul in February of 2008. This is available at CDbaby.com/susanleighpicking and iTunes.com/susanleighpicking. She recorded it at Mambo Sound and Recording in Long Beach with engineer and producer Steve McNeil. She has received praise for her moving melodies and stirring lyrics which reflect a deep soul. Susan’s songs are about life, but not as we usually think of life. She cajoles the listener to see the quirky underbelly. Her wistful wit comes through a voice rich with lovely cadences.

Recently Picking released a 3 track demo titled Take Three to wet your appetite for a full length CD due out at the end of this year. This was recorded at CharlaQuinn Studios in Long Beach recorded and co-produced with Ray Echlin. She was honored in March when her song “Why” was chosen for the 2009 SongsAlive! Compilation CD. SongsAlive! is an international non-profit that supports Indie Artists with exposure, performance, and creative opportunities.

SLP returned from her 6 stop “2009 Wonder in The Wander Midwestern” Tour traveling through Wisconsin,Illinois, and Michigan. The concept of this tour was born out of her song “Wonder in The Wander”. Picking, an extensive traveler, spent many years as a ski instructor and flight attendant tramping around the globe. This is still a great passion for her. The wonder in this wander…..or wander in the wonder…. is about how in this diverse world we are all connected. Picking wrote the song while on Safari in Tanzania in east Africa. She composed it on her Ukulele, which she has just added to her repertoire of instruments. SLP believes Music is a universal language that lifts u s all. It can change our vibration and frequency, it brings people together socially and spiritually.

Susan performs solo and with her band The DB6 consisting of Ray Echlin, upright bass, Lu Urquidi, guitar, and Mario Johnson, drums. Picking performs at weddings, memorials, churches, coffee houses, restaurants, and bars across southern California. Picking has played at The International Hypnosis Convention, The opening of Healing Horizons Holistic Health Spa, The Pike, DiPiazza’s, Portfolio Cafe,The Blue Cafe, Viento y Agua, Utopia, The Madison, Liquid Lounge, Liquid Lounge Too, Seal Beach Summer Concert Series, The Rainbow Room, The Pig and Whistle, Casa Romantica San Clemente, The Library A CoffeeHouse, Borders Books and Music. Most recently her musical studies have drawn her to Sound Therapy, and has been playing background music for meditation and healing workshops.

Susan Picking is influenced by 70’s folk rock…..with the likes of Carole King, James Taylor, Van Morrison, Billy Joel, and Joni Mitchell. Two other musical idols are Ray Charles and Willie Nelson whose astounding musical genius has them crossing genres with ease. Her arrangements are Americana influenced …….based in folk, pop, jazz, bluegrass, and maybe even a little celtic.Released in February 2008 after an 18-month gestation period. A soulful universally minded CD that is both uplifting and relaxing. Each song is arranged with a unique Americana approach from folk, jazz, bluegrass,and even one acapella with lush harmonies. The instrumentation is primarily piano, bass, drums, guitar, with a few cello tracks, and percussion tracks…with some foot percussion.

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