Saturday, May 18, 2024

New Music Monday: Sue Decker tackles hard topics on her new record ‘Keeping Time’

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Victoria and Vancouver Island have a lot of musical talent, and Victoria Buzz wants to highlight some of the best and brightest local artists and bands.

Every Monday, there will be a fresh ‘New Music Monday’ article to help people find and support local artists and bands that are up-and-coming, well established or hidden gems!

For this endeavour, Victoria Buzz has partnered with our good friends at CFUV 101.9 FM, UVic’s campus radio station, to find and select the musicians and bands for this regular column.

This week, Sue Decker is the New Music Monday highlight!

Sue Decker is a musician who began her journey in her 30s blending the sounds of roots, blues, country and Americana on a slide guitar. 

She started playing while living in Edmonton at a local bluegrass jam and has since been nurturing her tablets for writing and playing a mix of guitar and lap steel and has called Victoria home for the past 10 years. 

Decker recently released her second studio album, Keeping Time, which she recorded down in Nashville last summer. 

Keeping Time is an ode to Decker’s roots and her love for blues, but it is infused with Americana that she says has been compared to the likes of the iconic Lucinda Williams. 

Since 2019, when her first album Outskirts came out, she says the main difference was in how she went about recording the songs. 

“The first one was done in sort of small bits over a period of probably a year,” Decker told Victoria Buzz. 

“Every song got a very bespoke set of instrumentation and we took a lot of time with the pre-production and that was a really great learning experience.”

Comparatively, on Keeping Time, she said her producer insisted she play the songs live off the floor during her recording sessions and she got the whole album done in three days because of that. 

In addition to the difference in the recording process, Decker said many of the songs off Keeping Time are older songs of hers which she wanted to reinvigorate and bring to life more than she was able to when she first wrote them. 

“I used some of what I learned from that first album to polish up those songs, so I feel like that is represented,” Decker explained.

“There were a couple that I wrote in the year or two before recording it, but there’s quite a few that came from the vaults.”

When asked to highlight one song that was special to her from the album, Decker says that “Love Made for a Lifetime” is particularly significant because of what it’s about. 

“It was inspired by my neighbours in Edmonton who were an older couple and he ended up developing dementia,” said Decker.

“I was kind of this witness to the side of watching that process unfold and how it was for his wife. They’re just such a lovely couple.”

She added that her hired studio musicians in Nashville liked the fact that she was tackling some harder topics such as this on the record. 

“It is definitely a tearjerker, but I feel like it helps people to know they’re not alone in dealing with that experience,” she explained. 

If you like what you hear, you can find Sue Decker’s music in full on Bandcamp, Spotify and Apple Music

Decker has a couple shows coming up on Vancouver Island before she hits the road to tour the album out in Alberta. 

She will be playing a set as a duo with her partner Gavin Hodgins accompanying her for a Victoria Folk Music Society show at the Norway House on Sunday, April 28th.

Decker will also be playing a show up in Port Alberni with a full band  at Char’s Landing on Saturday, May 4th.


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CFUV is a non-profit campus and community radio station that plays a ton of local music of all kinds across Vancouver Island. If you like to support local music they are an amazing resource with a plethora of new local tunes in their arsenal. 

“I make the kind of music that doesn’t get played on commercial radio and to have it go out on the airwaves, especially locally, means a lot,” Decker said. 

“I really appreciate the time that it takes for volunteer hosts to put in to get music out there…It’s just for the love of it and it’s for the soul.”

Tune into CFUV 101.9 FM on air or online!

Let us know what you think of Sue Decker in the comments below.

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Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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