Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jan 15, 2010 at 07:30 PM
ImageSuzanna Choffel is an Austin artist that I’ve been “chasing” since I got the tip from a reliable source, Mr. Pete, about her live gigs. She slid into the intimate confines of the Mucky Duck on a Friday night and what transpired was both intriguing and disappointing.

SC was decked out “Austin style,” with the turtle neck look along with kinky nylons, a short jean skirt and boots. Eye catching to say the least. She proclaimed early on that music was a passionate disease that had claimed her bing. Now, that’s something I can relate to myself!

“Traced Back to the Tiniest Things” was a wonderful opening song and really got the crowd’s attention. I was struck by her voice and the presentation of her material. Smokey, jazzy and “space Agey” are a few descriptions of her sound that immediately came to mind.

“Hot Shots” was a new tune she unleashed that featured a nice perky ass guitar sound, along with a foot stomp which brought the kinky nylons into play.

“Sleeping Beauty” relished in a reggae kind of beat that added to the special appeal of this artist. In the background of this gig though was a young lady by the name of Laura Scarborough. This little woman played with a burning passion on all the instruments she brought-especially something called the vibrophone. It is a keyboard-like instrumentthat has resonators and a mechanism that adds vibrato to the music tone. Hell, she even twirled a mean ass “vibrant” looking hoola hoop near the end of the show. Quite neat.

“So the Story Goes” was nice and Suzanna ended the first set with a strange and quite different verson of the Johnny Cash classic, “Ring of Fire.”

The second set brought the let down, if you will. What made me interested became tiresome. The “I can hear you/No, I can’t” syndrome got bothersome to me. Part of it stemmed from the vocals not being loud enough.

Don’t get me wrong though, “Hey Mister” was beautiful and “August,” in Spanish, was excellent. Especially the rhythmic kettle drum sound on it.

A hefty beer toast on “Bad Habits” was a hoot and a new tune, “Animal,” had her bouncing all about from her toes to her “rubber eyebrows!” The animal sounds, even from the crowd (QUACK!), loosened everybody up in a great way. But what this band needs to do is jam more as evidenced finally on “Packlight.” Letting the guitar and vibraphone playin’ steamy thang out of their cage more is what this needs to do. Yes, Her vocals are the backbone, but she bneed to diversify a bit. She is real close.

Choffel is getting regular gigs in Austin, which says a lot in itself. She’s been kickin’ it for around 5 years now, so she can go nowhere but up. Let’s hope she does. That’s all I got this time. CYA out there boys and gals!