Kit: On the line with me I have a surprise. I have the one and only Susan Cowsill. Hello Susan
Susan: Hey Kit, this is Susan Cowsill and I want you to know something. When I'm anywhere near KRIM country, I look forward to hanging out with my good friend, Kit McGuire at Kit's Korner, to listen to the great indie artists that he plays on KRIM-FM 96.3. Cuz that's KRIM baby!
Kit: ha ha ha ha that's beautiful
Susan: It's just something I came up with Kit
Kit: Fantastic, gee wiz. You hit the nail on the head.
Susan: There you go.
Kit: First of all I have thank yous. I'm a very thankful person, for many reasons. I'm more excited than you are because _____ close to where you are at I actually have close friends - when you consider friends a lot of people throw the term out quite loosely, but in all due respect, and in every sense of the word, I have to give thanks to some of the closest friends in my life who are there with you. First of all - on your side - I need to thank Georgeanne, publicist. I love her dearly. She is a sweetheart and she's been so great and instrumental. I also need to thank Katie Lake, your web person. And on my side, my dear sweet friend, best friend, confidant, mentor. She's everything. She's had a lot to do with my success, Angela Lee. I also need to thank, last but not least, Sid Galindo, a good friend of mine, into film there as I was. Hopefully still am. Thank you so much everybody for helping to pull Susan - another one of my best - Susan with her husband, Russ Broussard. More best friends in my life. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Susan: Well we're happy to be here, Kit.
Kit: Ah, this is awesome. To begin with, just a little background for the listeners. Keep in mind we're covering all of central Arizona here. Back on May 20 in 1959, Bud and Barbara Cowsill became the proud parents of a bouncing baby girl, who they named Susan Claire Cowsill, who had lungs that would become infamous, as we all know. I've been playing your stuff for the past couple weeks. It just blew me away. Your latest CD is called Just Believe It and I have to tell you - it's a long, I'm not going to get into the long story of who lead me to where and how, but when I heard it, when I was first told about it, all I could think of was, "Little Susan Cowsill... She made a CD. What's this going to be? The Top Tambourine Hits of 1980?"
Susan: You're funny Kit
Kit: I'm teasing
Susan: Of course
Kit: But when I heard it, I had to play it again and again and I haven't stopped playing it. You couldn't have named it better, Just Believe It. The thing is, this isn't a brand spanking new CD that was just released.
Susan: No, it is not.
Kit: Take us back to pre-Katrina if you will
Susan: Sure Now, I'm not good with details but and I got back up in here. We were recording Just Believe It, when Russ? When was that? It was before Katrina obviously, let's say a year before Katrina.
Russ: 2004 - Spring 2004
Susan: And was kind of a long time coming because I had never made a solo record before. And we put our heart and soul and every dime we had into it. And it was a wonderful experience. We had a lot of great people playing on it. Lucinda Williams and Adam Druitz came in and sang and great friends and musicians from New Orleans. And it was a true labor of love. And I'm incredibly proud of it. It was scheduled to come out in - was it September???
Russ: September/October 2005 which was right after the storm.
Susan: We had quite a lot of plans for it. We had a tour lined up and it was even previewed in Rolling Stone by David Fricke as something to look out for. It was going to be really awesome and then the storm came and we lost - um - we lost our possessions. I lost my brother, Barry.
Susan: We were traveling in a van for four months directly after the hurricane with our children dispersed throughout the country at different places with relatives, going to different schools, and I think considently/consequentually whatever that word is, the attention and all the plans that were for Just Believe It pretty much just morphed into surviving and just trying to get through the next months. And the rest is history as they say.
Kit: Right. When I heard about that, it hurt. It hit home with me, not only for your family, but my wife, before she passed away, she was always a big Cowsills fan.
Susan: Oh really
Kit: Oh yes, even up till, she passed away quite young at 57. But she had all The Cowsills music you could possibly find. I think she had some ...
Kit: Yes she did, as well as Melanie, Buffy and in fact one of the things that just blew me away was that you had Lucinda Williams, and obviously you would have Lucinda in with your project there. You do need to put me in touch with Lucinda. I play Lucinda all the time here and I'm trying to get in touch with Lucinda as well as Betty Harris who I play.
Susan: Oh wow
Kit: Yes, I'm playing all your friends and my friends but some of them are very, very hard to get a hold of.
Susan: Yes I know. I have trouble getting a hold of them as well. hahaha
Kit: Yes, so I'm working on Lucinda and Betty as well. I'm hoping to hear back from them. I am in touch with Caroline Hinning.
Susan: She's suppose to be a very up and coming young lady.
Kit: Right Very good material. We all keep very good company, us musicians.
Susan: Yes we do
Kit: In fact, when I heard you guys and read the background history, it blew me away because see you're not a newcomer obviously. Your family grew up right after you were born in Canton, well your Dad being a Navy recruiter. When he retired, you guys uprooted and went to Newport, Rhode Island, and that's where it all began. When The Cowsills rollercoaster came to a stop, you guys still got together, as you still do. Your brothers do, in fact, I saw you guys are going to be getting together, oh I forget when, tomorrow night or something.
Susan: Thursday night actually
Kit: Right. If fact tomorrow you're playing at one of my old hangouts, Mother Egan's. You're going to be playing at the Central Presbyterian Church and your brothers I hear are going to join you.
Susan: Yeah well you know there's a - I have my band with Russ and I and two other guys, Tad Armstrong and Aaron Shroup - The Susan Cowsill Band. And following that will be the actually Cowsills with - although my brother John currently is - for at least the next year or two - he will not be with us. He's in The Beach Boys as their drummer. And so my wonderfully, talented husband Russ Broussard is also drumming for The Cowsills. It will be Bob and Paul and myself and Russ and then my bass player from The Susan Cowsill Band is also going to sit in with us Cowsills.
Kit: Well the funny thing is - besides The Susan Cowsill Band - we're going to go backward just a little bit. A lot of people may not realize you were in a band called The Continental Drifters which may actually - from my point of view - made significant musical history and I still have Continental Drifters music at home. You guys were on the cover of Offbeat magazine and here's a little tongue in cheek, I understand that you guys once in a while when you get together over at Carrollton Station you do a little zydeco and call yourselves, The Bonhoffs.
Susan: Well actually what that Bonhoffs project was about was soon after Russ and I - because Russ was also in The Drifters - as soon as the band broke up, Russ and I were kind of looking for a stable, um just kind of like a day job after The Drifters and we started working on Bourbon Street with a friend of ours that had a zydeco band. And we um kind of hooked up with him and kind of performed a zydeco/pop band to play on Bourbon Street. For a couple of years we did that and that's where The Bonhoffs actually originated. And you know every once in awhile we'll still go down there and play with 'em.
Kit: Geez see you make me want to go back to New Orleans. I told you that earlier. I'm homesick for Austin and I'm homesick for 'Nawlins.
Susan: Yeah, both wonderful towns.
Kit: Oh yeah. Well it was - last time I was in New Orleans like I said it was a year after the storm and it hit me like a double edged sword. I loved it and I hated it.
Susan: I appreciate that.
Kit: Unfortunately of course if I was Howard Stern on ...
Susan: Thank God you're not
Kit: Yeah, if I was on XM I would really be vocal about the aftermath but we're not going to get into the politics about it. But ...
Susan: Tell me. We're getting a new president.
Kit: Yes,yes anyways
Susan: Did I say that?
Kit: hahaha and that's OK.
Susan: Yeah you're right.
Kit: Ah that's very good. Good news. The CD Just Believe It was ready - well actually launched but it got buried in the dust of Katrina. Now we're bringing it back alive and from all I'm seeing, hearing and reading, it looks like it is gaining ground.
Susan: This is the rumor on the streets. I would love for that to be the case and I'm certainly willing to do whatever it takes, we are, to help that along. I know you have done your part over there in Azurona to kind of put it back on the map and I really appreciate that, Kit.
Kit: It's my pleasure. Like I say, I play and promote who I believe in and we're good friends. I've always believed in you, Sue. A little bit about the songs - well obviously there's one song I can't play. I wish I could. I'd play it. I love "Talkin'" but I think that is just too cool. But in my playlist I've been playing obviously "Crescent City Snow", "Nanny's Song", "I Know You Know", and let's see what else have I been playing here. Something else "I Know You Know" and "Nanny's Song" and there's another one I was playing too. The name escapes me. When I read the history behind "Nanny's Song" that gave me goosebumps. I tell my listeners "Listen close."
Susan: Yeah that was quite an experience we had, huh Russ?
Russ: The name is about my Grandmother, it's what we called her Nanny. And Susan and I were visiting her in the nursing home. It was our weekend turn to visit with her and she was on her way out. For probably 36 hours straight we sat in the room with her, to comfort her as she moaned and groaned and grip on to her bedrail and "No, No I don't want to leave I don't want to leave this earth. My babies, I've got to prot....."
Susan: I mean she literally went on for at least 14 hours moaning those actual words that are in the chorus of "Nanny" When we came away from there, I ahhh, it had been in my head so consistently for that whole day. I said to Russ, "I got to get this out of my head and I think it's a song."
Kit: I'm sitting here with goosebumps as we speak in that position myself a few years ago and so I know what that's like and you guys captured it. That's the magic.
Susan: Thank you so much. I'm glad you like it.
Kit: Switching from "Nanny's Song" of course the other "Palm Of My Hand." That's good for radio play. We - that's the other one I was trying to think of.
Susan: Yeah, "Palm Of My Hand" That's a wonderful song too. I'm very pleased with that one. It's a song about looking for something that's been in front of you the whole time.
Kit: You listen to the CD the first time through, and even the first time though everything could be considered a hit and once you've listened to the whole CD, something drives you to listen again and again and it becomes an addiction. And that happens with me with a few artists when I listened to "Crescent City Snow," to me, that's a tear jerker. That's very emotional for me. Especially while you're singing "Crescent City Snow" you bring up a lot of vivid memories for me when you talk about Jackson Square, beignets at Dumont's. For people that don't know - have not been to New Orleans - you do not go to New Orleans unless you go to Cafe Dumont and you sit there, you order what they call beignets - it's like a pastry with powdered sugar on it and you get this powdered sugar all over your clean white - your clean black clothes.
Susan: Try not to wear black
Kit: That's right You just never know who is going to show up. They have roving minstrels - when I say that it could be a guy walking around with a saxophone or guitar
Susan: Street musicians
Kit: Made friends with a guy who plays saxophone. In fact it was just up on the levee - on there.
Susan: Up on the moon walk
Kit: Yeah, I captured him with my cousin and his fiancee. He was quite captivating. But when I heard that, it took me back, so I listen to it quite often as you can imagine. Are you familiar with Arnoo's (or Our Nose??).
Susan and Russ: Sure
Kit: Well his fiancee, Tammy, used to manage Arnoo's. She's not there anymore but she's not there anymore, but she's quite well known around town. If fact she's probably caught you guys playing over at Carrollton Station. I'm sure that she has. But with the launch of - I guess you could call it a re-launch of Just Believe It like I said, from what I'm seeing and hearing, it's taking off.
Susan: Wouldn't that be awesome.
Kit: Yes and I have my fingers crossed. I'm doing everything that I can here ..
Susan: And Kit we appreciate it so much.
Kit: And I'm in contact with a lot of people coast to coast and in other countries as well who keep an eye on what I'm doing and I'm just letting them know, I'm hitting them over the head with Just Believe It.
Susan: It's on - go get 'em.
Kit: Yes. So you're in Austin at SxSW
Susan: Yes indeed
Kit: And you're presenting two awards - did they happen to tell you what awards you're presenting?
Susan: I think - I'm pretty sure one of them is a Hall of Fame - Austin Hall of Fame Award. And the other one I'm not clear on. I don't even know what time it starts, Kit.
Kit: I think it's 8 o'clock tonight.
Susan: It's 8 o'clock tonight, great. Thanks Kit
Kit: I've got your itinerary in front of me
Susan: Oh I need to get one.
Kit: And you're booked all the way into September goodness, but I don't see Arizona anywhere.
Susan: Oh I'll have to do something about that.
Kit: Rest assured that either Katie or if Georgeanne is staying out of trouble over on the other continent maybe she'll let me know but wherever you guys play in Arizona, I will be there for sure, if not the whole staff here. We will go.
Susan: Where do you suggest we play in Arizona?
Kit: OK some very good friends of mine from Austin, Del Castro played at a place in Scottsdale called Martini Ranch. They packed the place - obviously we had carte blanch, VIP treatment. Very good establishment, great people. It's called Martini Ranch. They have a couple of locations, but they have one in Scottsdale that would be
Susan: That would be a good spot.
Kit: That would be a good spot for you guys, yes. I mean there's larger places, but I don't think you're going to fill the stadium with 50,000 people.
Susan: Well I don't either
Kit: But once you've accepted the Grammy next year, we can start working on that.
Susan: That's what I'm talking about.
Kit: There you go. You're itinerary - geez.
Susan: We're going to be busy this summer for sure.
Kit: Let's see tomorrow at noon you are to be playing at my old hangout, Mother Egan's. That's down at the other end of 6th Street from where you are at. You're at 4th and Brasos right now but if you go west on 6th Street you'll run into Mother Egan's. It's right across from Opal Devine's, another hangout of mine. Then tomorrow night you're going to be at the Central Presbyterian Church for YOUR showcase, the Susan Cowsill Band and then the big surprise after. Yep
Susan: THE COWSILLS!
Kit: There you go. And another hangout on the 14th, Continental Club. A lot of good friends of mine have played there. Jane Bond, Gene Forsyth Everybody in town I know of plays the Continental Club at one point.
Susan: That's an awesome little club.
Kit: Oh yeah
Susan: The Drifters used to play there a lot, as well.
Kit: Well I see on the 15th you are going to be on the panel for the 16 Magazine discussion, interesting.
Susan: That's right. I'm going to talk all about the old days and 16 Magazine
Kit: Does somebody happen to have a 16 Magazine with your picture on the cover?
Susan: I'm going to guess that one might be around.
Kit: Oh that would be cool.
Susan: We were on the cover quite a bit in those kind of like cartoon characters, you know.
Kit: Oh yeah I remember seeing those
Susan: I would see if I was going to be next to Davy Jones
Kit: Well here's a true story, OK. As you know, my sister Suzanne, the station manager here, when we were kids growing up, when I was playing professional music, we would use the garage, like a lot of people do, to rehearse. And she would, and here she is 8-years-old, coming out with these white go-go boots. She wanted to be a go-go dancer in my band. And I would say, "Mom, Mom get her out of here." She wanted to be Susan Cowsill.
Susan: Oh my. Well my brothers had the same reaction that you did.
Kit: You actually came on board with them seriously when you were age 8, right?
Susan: That's correct.
Kit: You've been a professional since age 8 and gee whiz that was only a couple of years ago anyway.
Susan: Yeah, no. I'm coming up on ... I guess this is my actual 40th year in the business. Someone should throw me a party.
Kit: Yes, yes. Had I been in Austin, we could have arranged that.
Susan: _____ on me right now haha
Kit: Yeah, my heart's in it. But anyways, remind everybody I'm talking with Susan Cowsill from The Susan Cowsill Band, like I've been telling everybody on my show for the past couple of weeks, The Cowsills were actually the band that set the idea in motion that led to the television series The Partridge Family. Now I understand you're still trying to figure out if you were Suzanne Croft or Susan Dey.
Susan: Yeah, I'm going with Susan Dey.
Kit: Oh oh oh she was my - I had a crush on her.
Susan: So did every man, boy and cat alive.
Kit: Oh yeah No, I understand Suzanne Croft is still active in film, in and out of film and ...
Susan: Is she acting? or is she singing?
Kit: She's acting. One person leads to another and I found a lot of my information on the IMDB - Internet Movie Data Base - which you're listed as well.
Susan: Yeah well I do a lot of film work
Kit: Right That's what I was going to ask you. How did the thing with Florence Henderson go the other day?
Susan: Oh it was really, really, really fun. She is a very sweet lady and we had a wonderful day with her (auto cuts out) I think it's on a retirement channel, Kit, of all things.
Kit: That's just for me
Susan: That just for you, right.
Kit: Yoaw, how - that's got to be precious for a lot of people. Mrs.
Susan: That was really fun.
Kit: Mrs. Brady hahaha
Susan: Mrs. Brady. It's always some TV mom we're hanging out with.
Kit: Now once you leave Austin after SxSW, where are you headed after that, do you know?
Susan: We're heading back home and I'm going to let Russ answer this because I know there's some stuff we're doing but he's the keeper of the information.
Russ: Umm I think at the end of the month we're doing a Cowsill date in the Dakota and then the first weekend in April Covered In Vinyl back at The Station and then we have French Quarter Festival in New Orleans and then the Jazz Fest in New Orleans, Cowsill date out in California that same weekend as well as a house concert in Hollywood that Susan and I are doing that same weekend. The weekend is like the 26th or 27th. It just keeps it going from there. heeheehee That's about all my memory can hold right now though.
Kit: Yeah it refreshes my memory of when I was on the road, playing myself and the Holiday Inn becomes your home. But anyways, we're talking to Susan Cowsill and her husband Russ Broussard from The Cowsill band. They are down in Austin, Texas, right now at the South by Southwest Film and Music Festival. We're going to get back to Susan and Russ after a couple words from our sponsor. We're also going to play from Susan's latest CD. The CD is called Just Believe It available where all quality CD can be sold, bought, found.
Susan: And also at susancowsill.com
Kit: That's right. I forgot to mention that. susancowsill.com and also on myspace. Everybody's got a myspace and if you go to myspace it's simply Susan Cowsill. So, with that being said, we're going to take a break with Susan here. We're also going to play "Palm Of My Hand" and we'll be right back with Susan Cowsill here at Kit's Korner on KRIM-FM 96.3 Present temperature is 69 degrees at 11:47. Kit McGuire here. You're at Kit's Korner and my special guest - probably my most special guest
Kit: EVER - yes - and actually you are. You can well imagine people I have interviewed through the years - this is exciting because we're friends. I always get excited when I'm talking to my friends on the phone long distance. But anyways, we're back with Susan Cowsill and Russ Broussard who are presently in Austin, Texas for the SxSW Film and Music Festival. You guys have some really heavy-duty awards. Do you want to tell us about your awards?
Susan: Sure. Let's see well we just recently - __- oh I'm getting another phone call. It could be another award. - won the award for the - we have a magazine in New Orleans called the Offbeat, although it is a national publication and we won the Best Roots Rock Band and that's - I won the Best Female Vocalist. That was pretty cool.
Russ: Urma Thomas was in the category which is
Susan: That was pretty unbelievable
Russ: unheard of because in New Orleans she wins everything.
Susan: And then I'm also the Gambit - The Big Easy Awards are coming up again this year and we are nominated. I'm not even sure what we're nominated for but I do know we're up for an award there.
Russ: which we - last year's Gambit Awards - The Big Easy Awards is what that is called - Susan - we won for Best Roots Rock Band for that one as well.
Susan: I'm not sure but we might be up for that one again. And we just got back from Japan. We were in Tokyo performing and speaking on a panel for an organization called the P.E.N. Club, which is an acronym which stands for Poets, Essayists, and Novelists and it's one of the oldest humanitarian - human rights organizations in the world actually. And they were doing a summit on natural disasters and the cultural impact thereof. And they invited us, after meeting us down in New Orleans after Katrina, as we wrote a few songs related to the storm and they had a wonderful summit with writers and film makers and musicians and that was very, very cool. I think we're doing something similar like that in Rhode Island coming up. They're having also a kind of conference on tourism and natural disasters. So we've become natural disaster specialist, if you will.
Russ: A little side career of ours.
Susan: Now I think also we are working on a - there's a documentary in development for Russ and I to go to Africa with Georgeanne. Humm I think they even have the name. It's called "The Rhythm of The Rains" and it's going to be like a chronicling of our journey to Rwanda. And we're going to go to an orphanage there with some musical instruments and entertain the kids, maybe even bring them back over to the States for a performance for themselves. Really looking forward to that.
Kit: Oh that would be wonderful. That really sounds exciting. When you go over to Africa, keep a close eye on -
Kit: Yeah because she tends to get herself in trouble.
Russ: It's in the works. It's the producer, Noel Donaron is developing it. We're meeting with music - instrument manufactures to see if they can supply us (Susan: Help us out), help us out getting some instruments because we don't want to go empty handed for sure.
Kit: Right. Well I have a couple other awards. This is more recognition. This actually packs a wallop. There's people who look at this all over the world, not just in central Arizona, but every week I have what's known as the Kit's Korner Top Ten list of the week. And for this week, I'm not going to read the whole list, but for this week, holding the #6 position is Susan Cowsill with "I Know You Know"
Susan: Oh wow
Kit: And the #1 position
Susan: Get out
Kit: Susan Cowsill with "Nanny's Song" Yes, and that's based on radio air play frequency, listener call-ins, comments. yep
Susan: Ahhhh That's really awesome Kit. Tell your listeners - or I'll tell them myself - I appreciate the support and I'm really glad that everybody is digging the music. And we are in the process of writing our next record, so, we'll get this one out and have it have it's day and then we'll have something directly after it.
Kit: Fantastic. I can't wait until Georgeanne sends me my little goodie - my goodie package.
Susan: Goodie bag
Kit: Yeah, like I told you off the air, we have construction people here in the studio diligently working on a Susan Cowsill Shrine in here.
Susan: Well awesome. We're going to get you some CD's and some posters and all kinds of good stuff.
Kit: You're such a sweetheart. I thank you so much.
Susan: I thank you too Kit
Kit: Well I need to let you guys go. I know Sid needs his office back.
Susan: Yes Sid does need his office back
Kit: Once again I want to thank Georgeanne - who is Susan's publicist - as well as Katie Lake - who is Susan's webmistress or master or whatever - these people are very very hard working, diligent
Susan: Yes they are. They kick butt. Can you say that on your station?
Kit: Sure can. You just did.
Kit: They kick butt. I love 'em. I love 'em both dearly. And they are equally my friends as well. I've know them for awhile. And then on my side, my people who helped arrange this - set this up - my sincere thanks to Angela Lee. I love you hun.
Susan: I love you She's right here hearing all the love.
Kit: And one of my best film friends ever - to this day I'm an actor and Sid's work impresses me. I almost feel intimidate by his work, he's so good. Sid Galindo. That's where you guys are at.
Susan: Yea !! Waaa hooo !!!
Kit: Yeah, three cheers for all my friends in Austin. I can't thank you enough Susan. We will be in touch. Keep me up to date on everything that is happening, going on.
Susan: Absolutely and look out for your little package - your little care package.
Kit: Oh and I thank you so much, so much. Russ take good care of Susan for us.
Russ: Please Thank you Kit
Kit: Alright and I'll be talking to you guys later on
Susan: OK good deal
Kit: So with that we're going to close this out. My sincere thanks. I can't thank you guys enough.
Susan: Well we had a great time. We appreciate it too. You keep rockin'.
Kit: Alright I definitely will Susan. Susan Cowsill from Austin, Texas, at the SxSW Film and Music Festival
Susan and Russ: clapping
Kit: Right everybody clapping. All my friends. You're listening to Kit McGuire here at Kit's Korner on KRIM-FM 96.3 What better way to close out the interview than "I Know You Know"
Song: I Know You Know