If you take a look through the catalogue of country/folk/pop artist Suzy Bogguss, as I did after seeing her perform live last year, there are a few items that stand out. One of them is surely Suzy’s 1994 collaboration with the late Chet Atkins on Simpatico. Suzy says that even today she still brags constantly about the recording.
In her December newsletter Suzy notes that when the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum set up an exhibition in honor of Atkins, the folks at the hall invited her to appear this past December 10 in a performance supporting the exhibition. Her set included three songs from her collaboration with Atkins: “I Still Miss Someone,” “When She Smiled at Him,” and “One More for the Road.”
Museum staffer Ali Tonn interviewed Bogguss for about 30 minutes early in the program. Most interesting to me, Suzy recalls that Atkins tried to discourage her when she asked him to make the album with her, thinking it was unwise to associate herself with an older musician at a time when young country was hot. One can infer that Bogguss has been pursuing her own muse now for quite a while.
Playing parts Atkins originally played on songs such as the Beatles’ “All My Loving,” Atkins acolyte Pat Bergeson took his usual place at Suzy’s side. Joining Bergeson in the ensemble were drummer Harry Stinson, bassist Charlie Chadwick, and fiddler and mandolinist Fred Carpenter. Suzy also featured selections from her new American Folk Songbook recording, among them “Froggy Went a Courtin’,” “Shenandoah,” “Wayfaring Stranger,” and the show-closing sing-along, “Red River Valley.” The hall has posted the entire concert/interview in the video below. For some reason the synchronization between the audio and video is slightly off, but this is worth a look if you have any interest in the music.
NOTE: I have freely adapted this post from the hall’s account of the event here.