Teresa: This is KUT the show Femme FM Iím Teresa Ferguson In the studio today, Iím so excited, Susan Cowsill !!
Susan: Yeah, me too.
Teresa: Well first of all, from New Orleans, Susan how are you doing? Youíve been through so much I know with Katrina and the loss of two brothers.
Teresa: How are you?
Susan: Iím doing OK. Iím doing well. Iím doing what I think anybody would be doing under the circumstances, which is just trying to be in the present moment, whatever that means at any given time. And what that means right now is weíre here with you to play some music.
Teresa: Does music help?
Susan: Oh of course. Itís the great healer.
Teresa: I think so too. Play a song.
Susan: OK great This song is called ďCrescent City SnowĒ and it is my Katrina song because we all have to write them, I guess. And itís available I think for a download on Blue Corn Music, but Iím not really sure.
Song: Crescent City Snow
Teresa: Susan Cowsill with ďCrescent City SnowĒ live on KUT Wonderful The passion you have for your city just shows in that song. And all the little snips, I go ďAh, ahĒ
Susan: I know
Teresa: And itís available as a download, right?
Susan: Yeah Itís going to become available elsewhere, soon.
Russ(??): Itís also available on a compilation on a CD
Susan: Oh yeah
Russ (??): Hungry For Music
Teresa: And thatís coming out? Or has it
Russ (??): Itís out. It came out in December.
Teresa: Alright. Susan this is a good segway. Can you introduce the folks
Susan: I can. Thatís Russ Broussard. Iím pointing to him so everyone in radio land just Ö Iím pointing left to myself. Thatís Russ Broussard, the drummer, co-writer, and my husband, and brain-fog partner. Over here is Chris Knotts. Heís on top of his game. No brain-fog here. Heís a guitar player and also sings with me and is a great writer in his own regard. Want to say hi Chris?
Chris: Hello everybody
Susan: Take a deep breath
Chris: I am
Teresa: Youíre here in Austin for SXSW. Weíre so glad youíre here. Youíre playing in a couple shows coming up Ė Saturday, tonight.
Susan: Yeah Iím playing some shows. When am I doing that Russ?
Susan: Midnight Ė Bourbon Rocks Ė tonight Ė Bourbon Rocks Ė right, right
Teresa: Exactly. Plenty of time to get down there.
Susan: Thank goodness cuz Ö. And then weíre also playing this afternoon, - no no Ė itís a private party. Oh we played it Ė god I had such a good time. My God, they had the best Cheese Pufffs .
Teresa: And then you have to fly out early soon.
Susan: That would be really nice, but actually weíre driving early Sunday morning to attend a peace/war protest rally. Whatís the name of the organization?
Russ: United For Peace concert
Susan: Yeah, with Nanci Griffith whoís a friend of mine and she called me and ask if I wanted to join her. Thereís going to be a march from Mobile to New Orleans, commencing on the anniversary of the Ė third year anniversary of the Iraqi War by some of the boys who thought that maybe itís not such a good idea.
Teresa: Susan Cowsill, here on Femme FM on KUT. She has a new solo CD called Just Believe It Weíve been playing the heck out of it on KUT.
Susan: Have you?
Teresa: Great. On Blue Corn Records. Susan Cowsill, yes the name is familiar Iím sure. The Cowsills from the late Ď60s and then The Continental Drifters.
Teresa: Thatís another. How many CDís? Three CDís?
Susan: I think so, yeah. That was a good run.
Teresa: And has that run ended?
Susan: It has ended for I and it has ended for Russ, but youíd have to ask the other guys. But of course, I donít know, there could be a reunion of all other bands that ended and reunite. I suppose we could get back together. I couldnít think of a band, OK. Who like ended and then got back together and everybody was shocked?
Susan: If Cream can reunite, then so can The Drifters.
Russ: So says Susan Cowsill
Susan: Thatís right
Russ: More appropriately is Fleetwood Mac
Susan: Well very good point. Yeah if Fleetwood Mac can come back together, the Drifters certainly can. In fact, we played with Peter many times. So there you have it.
Russ: Peter Holsapple
Susan: You have to Ė actually he was here earlier.
Teresa: I know. Was he here with Stamey or was he by himself?
Susan: Stamey Ė Chris Stamey And that was a good show too.
Teresa: But he was talking about the loss too Ė of Katrina.
Susan: Yeah, Katrina loses are pretty large. Itís almost so big you donít even know what to say about it.
Teresa: I know. I canít even imagine. Weíre glad youíre here.
Susan: Thank You
Teresa: Glad youíre going forward.
Susan: Oh yeah Forward is good. OK what did we say we were doing? ďCatch The WindĒ Very good.
Song: Catch The Wind
Susan: (giggles) Yes Indeed
Teresa: Susan Cowsill live on KUT on Femme FM and that was a beautiful song obviously. Does that have special meaning of course Ö.
Susan: You know, you would think it would and actually it does retrospectively. We were in Germany last year and pretty bored with ourselves and decided we needed something inspire us and everyone was thinking of a cover they wanted to do. And I chose that one and, this can be disputed and will be, but at one moment it appeared that I was the only one who knew what that song was. Did you Ė who had never heard that song?
Chris: I knew it
Susan: You knew it. Rob Ė of the one who wouldnít dispute. I thought that was cute. I thought that it was interesting that - oh and then someone in the audience with the sound check crew came up and said, ďDid you write that? That was the most amazing song that Iíve ever heard.Ē Itís always one of those great moments when youíre like ďShhhhhĒ Ah no Iíve always been a big Donovan fan, you know. Itís just a beautiful song. Thatís really the significance, although it Ė everything I sing right now I could just start bawling at any moment. It all means everything all of a sudden, doesnít it?
Teresa: It all has special meaning.
Teresa: Susan Cowsill tonight on Femme FM on KUT the solo CD, your first?
Teresa: Called Just Believe It
Susan: Iím all grown up
Teresa: And thatís a different role, huh, being the front woman?
Susan: Yeah it is.
Teresa: Are you comfortable with that?
Susan: Ummm, sometimes. I mean, yeah, sometimes. I think not so much that Iím not comfortable with it. I am. Iím not shy by any means. I think what I miss is that beautiful moment in the set where I drift to the back and, you know, think my little butterfly thoughts and not pay any attention. And when youíre the front man you canít do that and I even do do that and that can unnerve several people often. But itís fun. Itís all good. Itís just music. Ainít no big thing.
Teresa: Thatís great. And you wrote most of the songs on the CD.
Susan: Yes I wrote a lot of them and Russ and I co-wrote a lot of them. And then Sandy Denny wrote one of them. And, yeah, itís my little swan song or whatever, you know. Wait that means my last one. No, not that. Itís my
Teresa: Itís the first of many
Susan: Itís your first swan song
Russ: Itís your pelican song
Susan: Itís my bluebird song
Teresa: Susan, play us something from the CD.
Susan: I think that is probably a very good idea. Oh my God. OK this song is a rock song that should not be played acoustically, but we fly in the face of what should and shouldnít be done. Chris, we fly. Ok, itís called ďI Know You KnowĒ and it should be the next Coca-Cola theme song. Yeah. OK whatís the Femme thing about. Is this a female moment?
Teresa: Actually the show features all women artists.
Susan: Well then we have to ask Russ and Chris to leave?
Teresa: Ah No !!
Chris: I want to stick around for this
Susan: And rightfully so
Chris: I had no idea it was for ----
Teresa: All humans and they qualify
Susan: OK good and you know they both look really nice in a dress.
Chris: Itís what Iím wearing right now. Listeners are unaware of it.
Song: I Know You Know
Susan: Yeah man
Teresa: Susan Cowsill. I like it! Itís rockiní!
Susan: Acoustic rock
Teresa: And when you were trying to decide what to play tonight I was hoping youíd play that one.
Teresa: Itís good. Itís good.
Susan: Itís one version of it for sure.
Teresa: And there are many uses for ----
Susan: Probably the elevator version.
Teresa: And it doesnít have to be for the Coke commercial
Susan: No, the heck with those folks. I take back my email address. Itís not really my email address anyway. You think Iíd tell that on national radio?
Teresa: Susan, what are you working on now?
Susan: Working on standing up, walking on two feet Ė one in front of the other without falling down. And just trying to get settled back at home. We just recently moved back in January. The kids are back in school. And just kind of regrouping, you know. Itís been Ė I think I even find it amazingly how hard to believe how disorientating this event Ė of this hurricane Ė has been. And you know you kind of get tired of talking about it and kind of get tired of complaining about it or whining about it. And then if you sit back and look at it and you go ďWow, this is really still happening.Ē You know itís left a lasting effect on our psychies and our ability Ė itís just crazy. I canít imagine what the people in Germany went through or what. Itís like an event that just picks you life up and blows it away somewhere and you have to try and keep moving on. Itís bizarre. And this is a smaller event than many others. So itís like a little incite into so many other horrific things that have happen to people over the years. That being said, I must tell you that New Orleans as a community anyway Ė I donít know about politically Ė but as a community is doing very well. The places that are dry, the places that didnít take on the flood water, are thriving. Its Ė go ahead.
Teresa: Well hereís a question. So here you are dealing with your own personal circumstances, do you have the time, do you have the thought Ė the presence of mind, - to think about the bigger picture too? To talk about rebuilding the city? Or are you still concentrating on surviving?
Susan: Absolutely. You know, I think weíre kind of getting to the point of where we can go big picture. I mean big picture for us is seeing the park near our house thatís still trashed from the hurricane and getting the kids over there with some bags and cleaning it up one day. I mean thatís Ė and the more settled we get our own personal life, then yes and doing whatever. This march actually is also a combination Katrina survivors rally too, because obviously all the money we are spending on the war and all the effort and focus and a lot to do with the non-focus and non-effort and non-money coming our way at our time of need. So, itís a combination of that. And by participating in that, Iím hoping it makes us feel like weíre in the bigger picture. Itís something that I hope to get more into once we are more settled. I mean really, you have to start at home. Thatís just the way it is and itís just the way it is.
Teresa: How many kids do you have?
Susan: We have two. Boy, girl. A 12-year-old girl and an eight year old son. Yeah, they are with the babysitter these two days. God only knows
Teresa: How is that working when you have to tour to promote the CD and everything? Do the kids come?
Susan: Umm, itís a little different now. No, they would love that. But I spent my life on the road and my children will not. We used to have a bit of a support system with my ex-husband and Russís ex-wife, but they have not moved back to New Orleans. So, weíre using people from our school, you know, and the kids are pretty used to it cuz theyíve been our kids all their lives, which makes good sense, doesnít it? And weíve been going out on the road since they were born so itís not like some trauma event. They are with Miss Lacy however from after-care and theyíre being -. If theyíre with relatives and we call and say, ďHowís it going?Ē the relative will go ďOh itís fine.Ē And when we call and theyíre with Miss Lacy itís like, ďThey are wonderful.Ē Itís like ďOK Miss Lacy stays.Ē Cuz weíre not going to give Miss Lacy any troubles. So itís OK. Itís discerning now more than it used to be just because of everything but you got to keep working. People got to work and what we do is play music and travel. But theyíre doing good. Theyíre glad to be home.
Teresa: Where did you stay when you couldnít stay in New Orleans?
Susan: Well we Ė Russ and I stayed in the Keya Sadona van Ė thatís our car. And we stayed at peopleís houses throughout the US. We were Indianapolis, and Kentucky and in Nashville and in Ė where else were we?
Russ: Up and down the east coast.
Susan: Up and down the east coast and we just kind of played nomad. And it was fun Ė I think there was three days there where it was a real blast. Itís one of those things you think, ďOne of these days Iím just going to get in the car and travel.Ē But itís better when itís a plan, I think. You got a budget and a destination or two and maybe even you know. We did go see the caves. Where was that?
Susan: That was fun. We went to the very largest cave ever in Kentucky and that was one of the fun days.
Teresa: Traveling with Susan Cowsill
Teresa: Well weíre glad youíre home in New Orleans.
Susan: Yes, weíre really glad to be home in New Orleans too.
Teresa: And youíre listening to Femme FM on KUT Susan play another song.
Susan: OK What did we say weíre going to do? Aníjue (sp??) Is that really what we want to do? We can change our mind at any point cuz we are the navigators of our own ship.
Song: Angel From Montgomery
Teresa: Angel From Montgomery performed by Susan Cowsill on KUT Femme FM tonight. Do you perform that song often? The two of you?
Susan: No, not often.
Teresa: Itís just wonderful. The harmonies.
Susan: Itís a great song.
Teresa: Oh yeah.
Susan: And now see every song you sing Ė and itís all about the hurricane and the dead brothers. Every song. I canít take one song that Ė Itís crazy.
Russ: How did ________
Susan: No, his speech writer told me he was psychic.
Teresa: Thatís OK . Thatís life
Susan: Yeah oh yeah. Itís so true. Itís happening right here now on the Femme thing.
Teresa: Music for humans
Susan: Music for humans M F H
Teresa: Susan itís been - M F you know you put those two letters together
Susan: Wait, this is public radio
Teresa: Susan itís been a pleasure having you here
Susan: Thank you so much. I had a really good time. Thank you very much. Are you going to come to the show? No pressure. No pressure.
Teresa: After I get off the air.
Teresa: This show is on 9-11, maybe so. Bourbon Rocks on Sixth Street Ė midnight.
Teresa: OK and then youíre taking off tomorrow for the peace rally
Susan: Yes thatís going to be cool.
Teresa: Alright have fun there.
Susan: OK thank you so much
Teresa: Thank you very much. Thanks guys
Want to listen to this interview? KUT has it archived!! Click the word 'listen' next to Susan's name.