As a core member of the award-winning indie-folk band David Wax Museum, vocalist and fiddle wizard Suz Slezak is accustomed to the praise that comes with being part of a cutting edge ensemble which resides on practically everyone’s “next big thing” list. With her first solo album, Watching the Nighttime Come, set for release on February 10, Suz Slezak is ready to secure her own place in the spotlight and in the hearts of families everywhere.
Watching the Nighttime Come is at once a carefully balanced anthology of cultural gems and a collection of original songs, some written individually and some standing as collaborative efforts by Suz Slezak and husband David Wax. The track list includes a celebrated Mexican lullaby, a 16th century round, a Leonard Cohen favorite, and more. While the engine that pulls the album together is the refined intimacy and highly personalized delivery of Suz Slezak’s exquisite voice, there are also contributions from guest artist David Wax, along with a fine cast of others in both performance and production.
Watching the Nighttime Come was born from Suz’s desire to present a musical offering to her friends who are also young parents. It was conceived as a nocturnal serenade, not only for sleepy (and not so sleepy) children, but also as a compelling collection for parents to enjoy while attending to offspring bedtime duties.
The Washington Post noted, “Sonically, the most interesting part ofDavid Wax Museum is not the group’s namesake but its other half, Suz Slezak, whose harmonies soften Wax’s serious tone.” Under the sensitive guidance of producer/multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman, this softness infuses Watching the Nighttime Come. Fans of David Wax Museum will hear other familiar elements — the blending of Suz and David’s voices, the tremendous musicianship of Alec Spiegelman (heard on three David Wax Museum albums), and a salute to the Mexican cultural influence so important to the band.
Suz Slezak was homeschooled by her father on a small farm in rural Virginia and steeped in an egalitarian and eclectic culture of creative music — old time bluegrass, Irish fiddle, classical and folk — but never imagined that she would someday become a professional musician. After graduating from Wellesley College, Suz encountered Harvard graduate and musician David Wax on the Boston folk music circuit. The two soon joined their unique perspectives to form David Wax Museum, which fuses traditional Mexican and American folk music into what the band playfully calls “Mexo-Americana.” David Wax Museum’sinfectiously joyful performances in 2010 and 2011 at the famed Newport Folk Festival drew tremendous critical acclaim and led to non-stop international touring. Wrote Entertainment Weekly’s Ray Rahman, “If you’re not familiar with DWM’s sound, think something like Andrew Bird, with a Mexican folk bent and a couple of dashes of Magnetic Fields and Wilco-ishness via Boston (the city, not the band).”
Suz Slezak in Performance with David Wax Museum
Highlights — Early Winter 2014
Dec. 14 – Jefferson Theatre – Charlottesville, VA
Dec. 31 – Tennessee Theatre – Knoxville, TN