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  Susan Didrichsen
Susan Didrichsen Everybody's News - Cincinnati, Ohio
Home Grown April 5, 1996

Singing bikinigrams wasn't exactly the ideal form of vocal exposure Susan Didrichsen planned. While attending Ohio University, the native Cincinnatian routinely plugged herself into the Athens, Ohio open-mike circuit, spoiled by the utopia of performing her own music. But upon relocating to New York after graduation, Didrichsen learned to master certain necessary methods of financing a music career, which progressed from bikinigrams to performing jazz standards at private parties.

Didrichsen's payoff finally came in the form of her first independently-released CD, Soulsex, a collection of steamy, R&B centered original rock songs full of aching, sexually powerful messages. Didrichsen's delivery is a potent white woman's wailing, like Joplin or Etheridge, a trait that she gratefully credits t o her years spent doing cover songs.

"When I came to New York, I had not a clue what I was doing and I didn't really want to do cover music because like a lot of people, I just wanted to do my own music, I wanted to do original stuff. Then I figured out that the way you make money in New York City is, you do cover material," she says of her resignation. "So once I started doing cover music, I actually developed my style a lot; my style changed. I did a lot of black Top 40. I did a lot of soul music. And I started being influenced by people like Gladys Knight and Tina Turner and it changed my voice. And the voice you hear on the album now is really the result of having done a lot of soulful music."

Soulsex boasts a plump list of musicians - both friends and studio players - which gives many of the tracks the feel of a religious revival meeting. She repetitively refers to the "vision" of the album, a soulful style that she says might not be particularly commercially appealing to current radio, but one that gets her message across.

"The reason doing the music that I put on this album was so important to me and the reason I called it Soulsex is because I really believe that sex and spirituality go together. And I think it's one of the number one problems in the world, that religion and politics try to divide those things....The very last song on the album, 'Time To Be A Woman', is really all about that, where I say, some people may say you're hot or cold, or black or white. This is the way we tend to polarize women. It's kind of a different aspect of the virgin/whore complex. You're either this or you're that. You're a good girl or you're a bad girl. What about all the stuff in between? I can be really intelligent and a good business person and a really good, moral person and I can also love sex. And maybe even be drawn to the darker sides of sex, as long as I take responsibility for it. I find that a lot of people really respond to women who are strong and in command of their sexuality."

   
 
Soulsex
CD $13.99 catalog# sdcd-100
Soulsex
 
 


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