I’ve been listening to country artist Suzy Bogguss pretty much nonstop since I saw her perform live last month in Minneapolis at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant. During the show Bogguss warmly recalled having performed in Minneapolis several times at the late West Bank hippie dive, the Coffeehouse Extempore, as she was working her way up in the business. It was a key to understanding that Bogguss started out as a folk artist. Indeed, she has now returned to her folk roots in American Folk Songbook, her new recording. With updated arrangements performed by ace Nashville musicians, it’s a knockout.
I think Bogguss must have grown up listening to the likes of Joan Baez and Judy Collins. During her show she proudly related that it had been her idea to record “Someday Soon,” the old Ian & Sylvia song written by Ian Tyson and made famous by Collins in the 1960’s. Bogguss said her record company had grudgingly consented to her recording the song. Hearing what she had done with it, the company released it as a single that turned into a hit for her as well. (In 1986 Ian & Sylvia got together to sing the song with Collins. You can see the video here.)
Hated by the singer’s father, the hero of the song is the singer’s boyfriend, just out of the service. Why does the old man hate him? Because the boyfriend is on the road riding the rodeo, and he loves “his damned old rodeo” as much as he loves the girl. One more thing: the old man himself was “wild in his younger days.” He knows that nothing good lies in store for his daughter with that miscreant. Not surprisingly, the singer discounts her father’s advice. It’s an evergreen song.