In all my years of reviewing CDs for Indie-Music.com in the late 1990s and early 2000s, there are a few names and faces I'll never forget. Susan Wojnar is one of them. For one thing, her publicity photo was taken while she was staring off at someone to her left, not the photographer, and looking confident and comfortable on stage. The half-smile on her face said "I know a secret about music that you don't."
But I also remember her because I have never, ever met anyone else named Wojnar. And I just like writing it. Wojnar. Wojnar. Wojnar.
I've always enjoyed Susan Wojnar's music, and I was thrilled when she emailed me and asked, "Hey, I don't know if you remember me, but I have a new CD out."
Did I remember her?! Did I want to review it?! Hell yes!
Wojnar is still playing her style of singer-songwriter Southern rock, although she's gotten a little quieter since I last heard her play in Fool'sircle with Pix Ensign (I was even able to find this review from 2001 online; Indie-Music suffered a devastating server crash a few years ago, and lost most of their reviews, so I couldn't find my first review of Susan on their site). Now she's doing more folk rock and even smoothing things out with a smooth jazz-ish song.
If you check out Wojnar's SoundCloud page, you can hear her two latest songs, Show Me and Room to Breathe, plus a song I remembered very well, Catch 22. And going waaaay back into her personal archives are two songs she did back in the 80s, Don't Cry For Me (The Vietnam Veteran's Song) and — you'll love this — Bastards of Protocol, when she was in an all-girl punk band. (Having two daughters and a son who are playing music themselves now, I appreciated the look back at Wojnar's own youth.)
Catch 22 was one of my favorite tracks from Wojnar's first album, and she and guitarist Pete Drivere rocked it out enough that she's re-releasing it with her two new songs. I found myself singing along, "it's the right love at the wrong time," and listening to the song several times. Just like I did in 2000 when I was first introduced to Wojnar's music.
Pix Ensign and his harmonica are also back on Wojnar's new song, Show Me, sounding as awesome as ever, so it was good to hear the two of them together again. I always enjoyed Fool'sircle, so I was glad to hear them again.
In my 2001 review of Wojnar and Ensign, I remember saying "If you think Alanis Morrisette and Bob Dylan's 'just breathe in and out' harmonica playing is cool, or you like your female singers to be whiny and breathy, Fool'sircle is not for you."
Twelve years later, I still stand by that statement, because in 2013, Wojnar still has the pipes that caught my ear in the late 1990s, and Pix Ensign still still wails. If you get a chance, visit Wojnar's SoundCloud page and give her music a listen. Start with Catch 22 and then go back to Show Me and Room to Breathe to se where she's spending her time now
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