Susan Alcorn

Susan Alcorn started playing pedal steel guitar 25 years ago. Her music has changed the perception of the instrument for many. She grew up listening to big-band music as much as the pop music on the radio as she could. When she was thirteen years old, she picked up a guitar and began to play slide guitar. She was inspired in particular by Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Son House, as well as dobro (her favorite artists were Mike Auldridge and Josh Graves). She began pedal steel guitar playing a few years later and was a regular performer with Texas-western bands. While her initial pedal steel work was focused on the styles of players, namely country and swing, Alcorn was also deeply influenced by Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane. After performing straight-ahead jazz for ten-years, Alcorn took Paul Bley’s advice and developed a unique approach to the instrument. This included jazz, minimalisms, Gamelan Musics, Indian Classical Musics, folk musics of Latin America to name a few. Although Susan Alcorn typically plays solo, she has collaborated in performance with electronic composer Pauline Oliveros, German bassist Peter Kowald, and multi-instrumentalist Eugene Chadbourne. Her debut CD “Uma” was released by Loveletter Recordings in 2000. Soon afterward, a CD featuring recordings with Chadbourne, called “Texas Music”, was published on Chadbourne’s imprint. Ms. Alcorn currently resides in Houston, TX from

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