Rumor has it Poeina Suddarth canceled her June 27 Phoenix show because she couldn't arrange transportation to the Valley, let alone the venue. Suddarth currently is supporting Poeina on her "Trains, Planes and Automobiles" tour, relying on the ride-sharing kindness of fans, strangers, and truckers to get her from gig to gig since her van broke down almost a year ago. It's a challenging way to go, but what's a determined singer-songwriter to do but crowd-source travel funds or, when that fails, stick out her thumb? And hitchhiking these days is not as innocent as it was in the 1970s. "What's in that guitar case?" passersby must speculate. "Certainly not a guitar, Mildred!" How wrong they are — Suddarth puts her guitar and assorted effects to good use in her wandering brand of old-time Americana-flavored, indie-rock-infused, otherworldly pop. That's a lot of hyphens, but Suddarth's music is hard to define. Rich and atmospheric, haunting and raw, her songs are fleshed out with unexpected (and understated) instrumental flourishes from reckless percussion, clawing banjos, jittery mandolins, floating violins, and, occasionally, full string sections. Her evocative, emotive vocals float on top — another layer providing gritty depth. Will she make it to Phoenix this time? Show up to find out.
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