Canadian Shield part 2

Stopping at a roadside picnic spot for a break led to a tiny dip. If you are mammalian, I don’t recommend going further in than this before the May long weekend.

Dip in a lake at a stop off the #17. Very chilly on a May Day.

Canadian Shield part 1

The Canadian Shield is a vast and beautiful area of the country.

The Süss Music Spring Tour 2011 travelled across it by hatchback, managing to avoid collision with, but attaining sights of moose, deer, crane, rodent and fox.

There is a twinning project of the 17 Highway between Toronto and Thunder Bay, so there were incredible stretches of newly blasted open granite, shale, and marbled quartz. The colours were stunning and varied.

Stopping for some Rockface along the rolling #17

Canadian Shield Purple and Green

Climbing this rockface proved to be an excellent break from sitting in the hatchback. I loved the visceral connection of the sunshine on my skin, the warmed rock face, and the dangerous climb up the sage and purple shale, sometimes in sturdy outcroppings, sometimes peeling off in giant slivers and tiny sheets.


Gaie Paris

Gaie Paris

Gaie Paris

Süss enchanted the throngs of dainty moustaches, gaylords, mimes, accordian players and espresso hawks the evening of Gaie Paris, the Gala to celebrate and raise funds for the Rainbow Resource Centre.

With Winnipeg’s finest French musicians, curated by Dominique Reynolds, a fine cabaret ensued.

Süss in

Süss Hits the Road with a Guitar and a lot of Gumption

Süss Hits the Road with a Guitar and a lot of Gumption

Süss article in 2B

Süss Hits the Road with a Guitar and a lot of Gumption

Quirky and unusual, Süss’ music finds a way of balancing the skill and wisdom of experience with a lust for life that is definitely catching. Süss performs with Rae Spoon on Sunday, May 1 at Casa del Popolo, 4873, boul Saint-Laurent.

At a time in her life when most professional musicians are starting to think about defaulting to their “plan B”, songstress Süss is instead bravely taking on new adventures.  Stepping out of her comfort zone, Süss will be spending the next month playing the role of the travelling minstrel, wandering through Ontario and Québec on her first mini-tour to promote her first solo album, I Just Ride My Bike.  Much like the title of her album suggests, Süss’ music is playful and whimsical. Her jazz-influenced style of folk pop pairs well with her eclectic lyrics, which are sometimes sassy and comedic, sometimes dreamy and romantic. Quirky and unusual, Süss’ music finds a way of balancing the skill and wisdom of experience with a lust for life that is definitely catching.

Excited about her upcoming travels, Süss is particularly excited about returning to Montréal, a town that she feels is infused with art and energy, something that she has tried to apply to life in her hometown. And even though she “sometimes feels a bit isolated” as an openly queer artist in Winnipeg, this tour is an opportunity not just to promote her music, but also to make connections with other queer artists. When Süss makes her stop in Montréal, she will be opening for Montréal-based post-folk wanderer, Rae Spoon, someone who has travelled the world as an independent artist thanks to help from an international queer network. A perfect pairing of travelling souls, the Rae Spoon + Süss show promises to be one for dreamers and rolling stones.

Check out more of Süss at or

Süss performs with Rae Spoon on Sunday, May 1 at Casa del Popolo, 4873, boul Saint-Laurent.  Tickets are $10 with a “no one turned away for lack of funds” policy at the door.


Süss in

daily xtra

daily xtra

Here is a copied version of the following article in Xtra on April 21st, 2011.

Süss in

Süss quirky take on the everyday
SONGS / Midlife career change results in folksy album, first tour
Serafin LaRiviere / Toronto / Thursday, April 21, 2011
You’ve got to love someone who can write a catchy ditty about the loss of a fingernail and turn it into an allegory for grieving and recovery. Singer-songwriter Süss has a whole catalogue of quirky and ear-pleasing songs that cover a range of everyday subjects, from musings on lesbian sex to the innocent joy of nighttime bike rides. The sound is a clever mix of jazz, pop and folk-rock that tickles the brain without being overly cerebral or too cutesy.
“Often I’ll think of a moment, a scenario, and then find something to say about what’s happening,” says Süss, who goes by only her last name. “I wrote the song ‘It Didn’t Hurt’ about things you’re expecting to hurt a lot but don’t end up hurting much at all. Like when your pinkie nail falls off, it’s because it had already been really damaged. So it comes off after it’s already finished hurting.”Listening to this material, it’s very easy to forget that Süss embarked on her solo career quite recently. Her debut album, I Just Ride My Bike, was released in 2007, just before Süss turned 40 — an age when many indie artists are beginning to wind down their music careers in favour of more stable and secure employment.

In fact, it wasn’t until reaching her 30s that Süss seriously considered a career in music. Her parents had encouraged their children to sing hymns in their Mennonite church, but Süss found herself increasingly captivated by artists like Bruce Cockburn and Jane Siberry. Enrolling at the University of Winnipeg as a mature student, she began to explore jazz piano improvisation and multicultural music in search of her own personal sound.

“I was really interested in different time signatures,” she says. “I mostly perform on guitar and piano, but there were 10 years where I played flute doing traditional Middle Eastern music. Well, as traditional as a white girl like me can pull off.”

Süss’s first serious music job came while working at the CBC, where she was producing a documentary about her experience as a gay Mennonite. Fellow staffer Clare Lawler commissioned Süss  to write a piece that became “Waltz for Clare,” and the results encouraged Süss to start planning a full-length album.

Unlike pop or rock music, jazz and folk tend to have fairly long shelf lives in record stores and with online vendors, which allows a new artist space and time to catch on. Süss placed I Just Ride My Bike with the indie music site CD Baby for distribution and slowly began to build a dedicated local following that appreciated her sound. As sales and audiences grew, she began to look beyond her prairie borders in search of wider exposure.

Now embarking on her first multi-date tour, Süss is ready to introduce her music to new audiences across the country. It’s quite a step up from some of the jobs she was forced to take while honing her craft.

“While I was writing and working towards recording, I had to do a lot of odd things to support myself,” she says. “I pulled rickshaw in Winnipeg for a while. One night I pulled [Manitoba jazz performer] Wally Larson to the Franco Manitoba Cultural Centre. I made him give me 20 bucks.”

Money well spent, I say. The production on I Just Ride My Bike is crisp and clean, allowing Süss’s delicate musings plenty of space to have a solid impact on the listener. The lyrics are thoughtful, sweet and frequently quite funny, creating an intensely personal and affectionate atmosphere.

Whether it’s the gleefully goofy song “Lesbian Sex” (“Lesbian Sex is better than a gmail address, it’s better than searching the net, for a blogger who’s obsessed”) or the poignant “Lovers, Drugs and the Wandering Apostrophe” (“The drugs of her lover take her under… at first she does a little, just to be together on that same planet”), Süss manages a conversational feel that is both effective and affecting.

The title track is also a standout, with its joyful ode to nighttime bike rides.

“It’s really fantastic to do in summer here in Winnipeg, when it’s been too hot and you need to cool off,” says Süss. “I like to stand on the pedals, throw all my weight onto the front of the handlebars and then let go with my hands. It’s night, and I have my arms and fingers in the air, and it just feels so beautifully free.”

Süss brings her tour to Toronto on Tues, May 3 at The Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave. See for more details.



Spring 2011 Tour of Ontario and Quebec

Where did Süss go? She's on the Road silly!

Where did Süss go? Oh yeah, Süss is on the road.

Süss hits the road with Baby Daddy, the small roundy guitar she’s been writing on lately, playing some new songs and some songs from her 2007 debut CD, i just ride my bike, and playing some piano songs in select locations too. Here are the dates and places.
April 26 Peterborough
May 1 Montreal
May 2 Ottawa
May 3 Toronto
May 4 Sudbury
May 5 Sault Ste. Marie
May 6 Thunder Bay

Let your friends in these cities know! If you spread the word, more people will have a great time!