16 September 2016

Lula Wiles & Susie Burke & David Surette

There are double bills and then there are double bills. One of New England’s favo­rite duos, Susie Burke and David Surette, and Berklee-bred trio, Lula Wiles, will grace our stage on Friday, September 16. Burke & Surette are the parental unit of Isa Burke, one of the Lula Wiles. This multi-generational show will certainly be one of the highlights of the season at our venerable Marblehead music ­institution.

Concert starts at 8:00 pm.

Lula Wiles

Lula Wiles is a young band but they have spent their entire lives grounded in music. The three band members swap instruments and frontwoman duties. Isa Burke and Ellie Buckland alternate between fiddle and guitar and Mali Obomsawin plays upright bass. They grew up attending the Maine Fiddle Camp and then made their way down to Boston to attend Berklee School of Music. They clicked and started making appearances all over New England. Their shows are energizing and it’s clear that there is a whole lot of musical chemistry going on.

Onstage, the band gathers tightly around a single microphone for a spirited live show that resonates like a whiskey-slap to the heart. Their self-titled first album is Lula Wiles’s first creative statement, an exploration of their sound. Lula Wiles is deeply rooted in traditional folk music, but equally deep is their devotion to modern songcraft. The songs span from heartbreak-drenched acoustic ballads to honky-tonk swagger to contemporary grit and back again, all anchored by rich vocal harmonies. Their lyrics are fiercely honest, littered with reinvented folk tropes and evocative images — a rainy field of daisies, a dusty bar lit by Christmas lights, an unmade bed.

Expect some collaborations between Susie and David and Lula Wiles. Expect some magical moments. Expect to have a lot of fun!

Photo by Louise Bichan

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Susie Burke & David Surette

Susie Burke and David Surette have made a name for themselves as one of the finest acts on the New England folk scene. Together since 1988, Susie and David have built a steady following for their own blend of contemporary, traditional, and original folk and acoustic music. Burke’s vocal style is at once stunning and heartfelt, and is matched by Surette’s fluid fretwork. Both are well-respected within the folk music community, as is demonstrated by the fact that they have appeared as backing musicians on numerous recordings. Many of these have come out of the New Hampshire Seacoast area, where Susie and David are based, and which has a well-deserved reputation as a haven for folk and acoustic music.

Susie Burke has been singing on Seacoast stages as a soloist, a member of several local bands, and in several duos. Her musical tastes and influences are varied and many, encompassing contemporary and traditional folk, swing, country, topical songs, and acapella singing, with detours along the way for Broadway show tunes and classic ballads. David Surette is well-known as a top-notch accompanist in New England’s contra dance and Celtic music circles, and is also in demand as a studio musician.

  • Lula Wiles will lull you in with breathtaking musical arrangements yet there are grey clouds overhanging their songs. Love fading and lost are recurring themes that the group tackles with candor and grace. Their use of simple language makes the lyrics immediately accessible yet it belies the sophistication that they convey. Twangville
  • What continues to strike me is how Isa, Mali, and Ellie are all incredibly strong multi-instrumentalists and singers…there is no real “front person” to the band and each of them rotate lead responsibilities in a fashion that keeps their live shows dynamic in a way that I haven’t experienced with other bands. It’s something truly special. Red Line Roots
  • . . .
  • Susie Burke possesses one of the finest, purest ballad sopranos heard in folk music today. Her phrasing is unerringly devoted to the lyric and displays a gift for pulling honest emotional chords — all too rare in these clever and cynical times. Boston Globe
  • Surette’s bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin playing is exemplary. Folk Roots Magazine