Thursday 17 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Into the ‘Light’

Into the ‘Light’

Susan Cowsill finds her way home, and celebrates the journey’s ‘Lighthouse.’

Chris Parker July 6th, 2011

8 p.m. Monday
The Blue Door
2805 N. McKinley 524-0738 $20-$25

7:30 p.m. Sunday
Lions Park
450 S. Flood, Norman

Susan Cowsill’s made music for more than four decades, first as a child in the ’60s family pop band The Cowsills, and the last seven years solo.

It’s in this last capacity that her star’s shone brightest. She’s always had a wonderfully earthy, powerful voice, but with her latest album, “Lighthouse,” she’s further showcased a lyrical soul of great depth and feeling.

Its release marked the end of what she described as the most tumultuous period in her life — which is saying something, since she grew up an emancipated teen fending for herself in L.A. Cowsill had just released her solo debut, “Just Believe It,” in January 2005, when seven months later, Hurricane Katrina turned her life upside down.

“We were post-traumatic for a couple years making the decisions to buy cat food while the cat’s screaming at you that it’s hungry, yet you’re still not sure if you need to go to the store,” she said.

When she’d recovered enough, she recorded “Lighthouse,” capturing the flood of feelings from that period. But while there’s a river of sorrow running through the album, it’s viewed from above, like cliffs of resilience shadowing those riverbanks with hope and acceptance. It’s a moving album with rich orchestral grace and sophistication. Although the subject matter would seem downbeat, it manages somehow to still be exultant.

“Well, that’s me. I am by all rights mournful, but I do my damnedest to be upbeat,” Cowsill said. “Katrina was a dichotomous experience … so incredibly sad and devastating for so many people, but out of that came so much love and generosity and survivalness over hell and damnation to make everything work and to be grateful for what was left. We’re talking about N’awlins, and no one will deprive us of our joy, mirth, merriment and celebratory natures.”

You might say living in New Orleans is suited to her nature. As a child star, she endured many of the difficulties as other family acts of the era.

“My dad was an unhappy camper who drank a lot and was very controlling and abusive, so that was the drag part of our situation, and for whatever reason, evidently not untypical,” she said. “I’ve spent more time thinking about taking care of myself to not let that stick with me and shape my life. I have made my way onto a fairly healthy outcome. Let’s just say there were six of us in this band, and a lot of us didn’t fare as well as others.”

Although she lived a wild life as a youth, Cowsill found herself by the time she was 30, when she learned guitar and how to write. She also had a child and settled down.

Although it hasn’t been happily ever after, she wouldn’t change a thing.

“This is part of the fabric of who I am in my life, and so much was learned while lost,” she said.

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