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Suzzy and Maggie Roche
Suzzy and Maggie Roche

“Why the Long Face”

Cooking Vinyl / /
Out March 20, 2006

::: See The ROCHES Live in Dublin’s Vicar Street March 31 :::

Much to my dismay, I have been asked me to write a few words about our new cd. I usually like to let the music speak for itself and I think it does, but I’ve agreed to take a stab at it. If I had to say what the theme of this recording is I guess it would be the ever thinning line between opposites: comedy & tragedy, hope & despair, the political & the personal, the truth & the lie, success & failure, the simple & complex - just to name a few.

About the other authors on the cd:

I Don’t Have You was written by Mark Johnson, an old friend and great songwriter. This song reminds me of a how lonely a city can be when you’ve lost someone you love.

La Vie C’est La Vie is a poem by Jessie Fauset who was a literary editor for The Crisis as well as a poet and teacher. She was very influential during the Harlem Renaissance, encouraging young writers like Langston Hughes. Apparently she was very polite and reserved. I think this is one of the saddest poems I’ve ever read. It’s published in a book called Caroling Dusk: An Anthology of Negro Poets which our father pointed out to us.

For Those Whose Work Is Invisible was written by Mary Gordon, the acclaimed novelist. I met her at a party and she told me about a series of prayers she had written that were published in the Paris Review. From our work on Zero Church I was very interested in prayers and asked her if we could take a crack at making songs out of some of them. Maggie chose the one called For Those Who Gave Up Everything for Sexual Love, which we hope to record someday, too. These are unusual prayers, full of compassion and exquisitely written by Mary.

Training Wheels is by Jon Turner, a young man I met at a Summer Camp for teenagers a few years ago. I was asked to create a band with about eight kids. As I recall, one of the singers was nearly deaf but had a passionate desire to sing, and three of the boys had Asberger’s Syndrome, all three very gifted pianists. It was quite a band! They performed a song called Something To Believe In. Anyway, I heard Jon read his poem at that camp and I loved the language. I worked on this song for two years before I was happy with it. In working on it, my appreciation for the depth of it grew. It seems simple, but it’s very complex, like a prism. As it turns out, I read in Bill Clinton’s book that as a kid he was teased for riding a bike with training wheels too.

A Day In The Life Of A Tree is from the Beach Boy’s Surf ‘s Up recording. I love the idea of a tree speaking. For us, this track is also a thank you to Brian Wilson for all the great songs. I hope somebody plays it for him!

The other songs were written by us and I’ll let them speak for themselves, except for The Warwick Flog, which grew out of a workshop we gave with our friend Bill Bowers. The workshop was mostly a series of exercises based on dreams and silent communication. There were about twenty great women who participated and it culminated in the writing of a group prayer. This song was inspired by that experience and hopefully we captured some of the spirit of that afternoon.

The songs written by Maggie & I are: Broken Places, Who Cares, Don’t Be Afraid, One Season & The Long Lonely Road To Nowhere

Thanks for taking the time to listen to our cd! Much care and love was poured into it. I hope that comes through.
Suzzy Roche


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Suzzy and Maggie Roche have been singing together for most of their lives. Together with sister, Terre, they formed The Roches and recorded ten albums, performed all over the US and Europe for over twenty years.

Their debut "The Roches" was named album of the year by The New York Times. They were hailed as the "Best Vocal Group" by the New York Music Awards. "Will You Be My Friend" a recording of songs for children of all ages was given The Parent's Choice Gold Award and their Christmas recording "We Three Kings" has become a classic.

They have recorded and written music for movies and TV... including their own episode of Steven Spielberg's "Tiny Toon's" and the score for "Crossing Delancey" which included a cameo role for Suzzy. They performed and recorded with Philip Glass, Paul Simon and The Indigo Girls just to name a few.

Suzzy has recorded two solo cds released on Red House Records, "Holy Smokes" and "Songs from an Unmarried Housewife & Mother, Greenwich Village USA" which was named "Album Of the Week" by the New York Times.

Suzzy has also performed with the infamous "Wooster Group" throughout Europe and in New York City.

In 2001 Maggie & Suzzy released "Zero Church" an unusual collection of prayers. Zero Church is the result of work they began at The Institute On The Arts & Civic Dialogue, at Harvard University. "Zero Church" is a
collection of prayers gathered from the Boston area which the sisters set to music.

Suzzy and Maggie's latest release "Why The Long Face" is a seamless combination of their collaborations with other writers and their own unique style of songwriting. It is an exploration of the ever thinning line between
opposites. Their voices in close, exquisite harmony are featured on this collection, lulling the listener without holding back content.

Their show as a duo is a thoughtful musical journey which features their original style and includes songs from thirty years of writing and performing. The simple clear presentation lends itself to an intimate, personal visit with the two sisters, funny and moving: filled with ideas, heart and soul.

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