About Susan

Susan Graham White

The Art of Redemption

Two decades ago, Susan Graham White was a rising star as a singer/songwriter and who comfortably held her own in the company of big name songwriters and musicians. But then, truth be told, she got a little fed up with the soul-crushing demands of the music industry. She retreated to her horse farm in southern Maryland and built a parallel career as an equestrian rider, trainer, and judge.

Susan’s dual path in life had always consisted of music and horses. Her equestrian specialty was Dressage – perhaps the most difficult event – that relies on calm, consistent training as the horse and rider learn to move together. Her songwriting style came from a similar attention to craft in search of excellence. Susan was always in it for the long game.

Life dealt what seemed like the final blow to her performing career in 2009, when she lost her hearing in one ear. It happened suddenly, while she was watching television with her husband. It was a condition called “Sudden Sensorineural Hearlng Loss” (SSHL). There was no clear medical explanation, and it was followed by extreme Tinnitus.

“I had lost my sense of stereo and my confidence. It was out of the question to try and perform, let alone record. Through all of this, I never stopped writing songs.”

“There’s a sound all around
I can’t hear what you say
In the back of my mind
There’s a soundtrack that’s playing”
Soundtrack – from “Lost Art”

And then she broke her back in a riding accident in 2016. There was a week in intensive care, and a year-long recovery process. Through this painful time she quietly determined to heal herself by walking. Simply walking, every day, no matter what. She continued to write songs when she could hold a guitar.

“Dragged along the sandbar
I would hold my injuries
And I kept them in harbor
And my life was rust.”
Anchor – from “Lost Art”

Not surprisingly, her songwriting continued to evolve and mature. There was a spiritual undertone that surprised even her. She was writing the best songs of her life, songs filled with the wisdom of someone who could walk off a broken back. And, as if meant to be, she got a call from an old friend, Producer and singer/songwriter Dusty Rose, who was also manager of Cue Studios in Virginia. He wanted to record one of her songs for a special project, but he learned that Susan was sitting on an album’s worth of new material.

This is how Susan’s new album,“Lost Art” came to be. Dusty coaxed Susan back into the studio, and brought to the project such seasoned musicians as Jon Carroll (Mary Chapin Carpenter), Steuart Smith (The Eagles), Buddy Speir, Andy Hamburger, Mary Ann Redmond, and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Ensemble to help record 10 tracks of new material. Susan had to regain her confidence, but that came with the playback and evolution of each new studio session and song.

The songs in Lost Art will get your attention. They sound confident and new, but still echo the depth and craft of true songwriters like a Leonard Cohen or Aimee Mann. She chose the title as a nod to the loss of tradition, dignity, and respect in today’s mad world. But these qualities still exist, alongside love, grief, injury and recovery in Susan Graham White’s first album in 16 years. It was worth the wait.

“If someday they discover
in the ruins of our hearts
The bones of our sincerity
Just another Lost Art”