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Bogguss Gets A New York State Of Mind

Of the Oakland Press

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Nashville singer Suzy Bogguss felt like a fish out of water when she began recording her new album in New York City.

The onetime country star made “Sweet Danger” in Manhattan with co-producer Jason Miles, a jazz artist who helped her achieve a more polished and sophisticated sound. But she was initially intimidated by the surroundings, including a band of ace players from the New York scene.

“Their whole philosophy of how they record is so different from anything we do in Nashville,” Bogguss, 50, notes. “I started getting panicky. I called my husband at home and said, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing here.’ And he said to me, ‘You’re supposed to be experimenting. Just get in there and have fun.’

“And as soon as I got off the hook and stopped worrying about producer instincts, I just ended up having a blast.”

Bogguss co-wrote seven of the 11 songs for the album, which also includes a remake of the Chicago hit “If You Leave Me Now.” The approach also continues her move away from the country music world, which, despite her success in the ’80s and early ’90s, had grown indifferent to her — encouraging Bogguss to start her own label, Loyal Dutchess Records, and explore different musical directions on 2003’s “Swing” and, now, on “Sweet Danger.”

“That’s kind of what I was looking for,” she explains. “It seems like I always am looking for something to inspire me or make me feel like I’ve done something that’s unique in some way and not must make the last record again.

“I’ve taken some risks and grown a little bit. But it seems like I’m going in the direction I want to now.”

Suzy Bogguss performs at 8 p.m. Monday (Sept. 17) at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $25. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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