Last night with Susan

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I can never entirely get my fill of Susan Werner. She pops into Central Iowa for a few hours every now and again, but never stays long enough.

Last night, she made a brief appearance at Music Under the Canopy’s Singer Songwriter Music Festival. Sandwiched between Bejae Fleming and Greg Brown, Susan performed from about 8 o’clock until 9:15, when Brown took the stage. The crowd was sparse — “intimate” might be a nicer way to put it — but everyone clearly loved Susan.

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She performed a variety of her best stuff from The Gospel Truth, Hayseed, Kicking the Beehive, and other albums. Guitarist James Biehn (from Norwalk, Iowa) accompanied Susan on most of the songs, and I must say his performance made her sound fantastic — especially given that they had just met earlier in the day.

I adore Susan Werner — I’ve seen her in concert more times than I can count, including one memorable evening at a friend’s home last fall. Her personality just shines through her music and lyrics, and she’s just so charming and funny I can’t get enough of her. Plus, she’s an amazing musician.

Here’s a cool thing I recently learned about her: She’s got a musical hitting the stage in Atlanta in September. She is the composer and lyricist for Bull Durham the Musical, playing Sept. 3-Oct. 5 at the Alliance Theatre — and if things go well there, it may be moving to Broadway.

The Singer Songwriter Music Festival continues at the Brenton Skating Plaza in downtown Des Moines tonight (with Mary McAdams, Coles Whalen, Katelyn Epperly, and Anna Nalick) and tomorrow (with Jason Walsmith, John Waite, and Damon Dotson).

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