Suzanne Santo’s recommendation: “One of my favorite musicians of all time is a jazz violinist from Louisiana named Eddie South. I only have one record called Eddie South: The Dark Angel of the Fiddle: The Complete Standard Transcriptions that I listen to over and over. It is an instrumentally driven compilation (sans vocals) of the most gorgeous violin playing I have ever heard. He gave the instrument a dark yet delicate voice that I have yet to hear anyone else recreate. His gifts as well as his struggles as an African American musician in the late 20’s and 30’s are a true inspiration to me.
The other artist/album I can never get enough of is Radiohead’s In Rainbows. That record takes me through a gauntlet of emotions that leave me either wanting to go for a run, get it on or quit music and become an assassin. I come from the “mixed tape/cd” era where I want to feel a little bit of everything when I listen to music.”
About our guest author, Suzanne Santo: Suzanne Santo was working as an actress and tinkering in music when Ben Jaffe, a musician who recorded music for TV and film, went to one of Santo’s solo gigs. From there, the duo formed the band honeyhoney and were quickly signed to Kiefer Sutherland’s Ironworks music label. (Kiefer went on to star in and directed their video for Little Toy Gun.) Given Santo’s killer looks and the band’s history with mass media, it may be easy to write the group off as simply a solid band that aspires to end up on sitcom soundtracks. But that’d be a huge mistake. The band’s latest record, Billy Jack is layered with banjos and acoustic guitars, evoking equal parts of Gram Parsons, Rickie Lee Jones and Buffalo Springfield. This is roots music with a modern twist, complete with tight arrangements and Santo’s heartfelt vocals. Amazingly, the band is able to walk the mainstream line (they opened for Christina Perri on her tour) and still keep their head in the Dust Bowl. Be sure to check out their rollicking live shows on these upcoming tour dates.