Noted songwriter, guitarist and lead singer Susan Weber and her band Monet’s Orbit will perform her award-winning original music on the Lakewood Public Library stage Sunday, February 24 at 2 p.m.
The “2006 winner of the Cleveland Free Times Music Award for Best Singer Songwriter” will be accompanied by bassist Walt Campbell and Trees Mausser on drums and percussion.
Cleveland Scene’s Michael Galluci describes Susan as “a heartland version of Patti Smith who injects Midwest muscle into her songs.” In the Free Times, Anastasia Pantsios calls her “a Cleveland version of PJ Harvey.” In 2003 Weber received The Great American Song Contest’s coveted Honor Award and Cool Cleveland Magazine called her ‘a huge local talent.'
During the '90s, Weber, a resident of Cleveland Heights, was an acoustic folkie who wrote more folk-oriented songs. She got away from the music scene for a while to raise her family and she got into songwriting when her kids were little. Her children are grown now which is one reason she has time to devote to her music. She says, “Everything is shifting from acoustic to eclectic, folk to rock, solo to band, from storytelling to a more poetic way of writing.” Another turning point in her life was buying an electric guitar, which was suggested to her by her guitar teacher, Michele Temple, guitarist for Pere Ubu. Temple told Susan she knew someone who was selling a Telecaster and wondered if Susan would be interested. Weber says, “I didn't know if I’d be interested but I’m glad I went ahead and did it. It really changed my songwriting to where it is now. This feels more native, more true.
Monet's Orbit was formed in 2004. Susan had already been collaborating with local folksinger Walt Campbell, the bass player in her band. The two of them placed an ad in a local e-mail newsletter and found percussionist Trees Mausser. Susan says she and Walt and Trees have really good chemistry and love creating arrangements together. Weber calls their sound “lean rock.” “We have a lot to draw from,” she says. “My drummer has a background in jazz, rock, and musical theater. And my bass player is a sponge. We’re definitely a collaborative effort.
Their latest creation is the 11-track CD, also called Monet’s Orbit, which was recorded at Jay Bentoff's Dark Tree Studios. Bentoff is one of a number of guest musicians who helped expand the band's sonic range on the CD
With her new album completed, Susan & her band continue to crank up momentum with main-stage and high profile performances at many local venues as well as an appearance on the Emmy Award winning cable TV program “Words & Music” where regional songwriters discuss the songwriting process
When asked about playing at the library Susan says, “I always enjoy sharing my music with the diverse audience attracted to Lakewood Library concerts. Listeners and musicians are in the music, in community and in the moment of each song.” Be sure to join her on Sunday, February 24 in the Main Library auditorium at 2 p.m. The program is free and open to the public and copies of the Monet’s Orbit CD will be available for sale after the concert.
The Lakewood Observer 2.19.08
Photo: Andrew Kohan