Susie Burke and Dave Surette are the second concert in the Denmark Arts Center at the Drive-In LIVE Music Series presented by Chalmers Insurance, Norway Savings Bank, and Bridgton Twin on Sunday, September 13, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. at Bridgton Twin Drive-In.
Susie Burke and David Surette have made a name for themselves as one of the finest acts on the lively New England folk scene. Together since 1988, Susie and David have built a steady following for their own blend of contemporary, traditional, and original folk and acoustic music. Burke’s vocal style is at once stunning and heartfelt, and is matched by Surette’s fluid fretwork. Both are well-respected within the folk music community, as is demonstrated by the fact that they have appeared as backing musicians on numerous recordings. Many of these have come out of the New Hampshire Seacoast area, where Susie and David are based, and which has a well-deserved reputation as a haven for folk and acoustic music. Susie Burke has been singing on Seacoast stages since the early 80s, as a soloist, a member of several local bands, and in several duos, including one with guitar whiz Harvey Reid.
Her musical tastes and influences are varied and many, encompassing contemporary and traditional folk, swing, country, topical songs, and acapella singing, with detours along the way for Broadway show tunes and classic ballads.
“She possesses one of the finest, purest ballad sopranos heard in folk music today,” writes Scott Alarik in the Boston Globe, noting that “her phrasing is unerringly devoted to the lyric,” and that “Burke displays a gift for pulling honest emotional chords – all too rare in these clever and cynical times.”
Before devoting her energies to music full-time, Burke worked as a day-care teacher, and her love of kids is evident in her wonderful participatory children’s concerts. David Surette has been performing in the Seacoast area since the mid-80s, both with Susie and with a number of other groups and musicians. He is well-known as a top-notch accompanist in New England’s contra dance and Celtic music circles and is also in demand as a studio musician. He was awarded an NEA travel grant in 1994 to study the traditional music of Brittany, France, and has written a book of Celtic guitar arrangements for Mel Bay Music. Recipients of Individual Artist Fellowship awards from the NH State Council on the Arts in 1993. As a multi-instrumentalist, David brings a variety of stringed sounds to the duo; Folk Roots magazine notes that his “bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin playing is exemplary.” In addition to performing and recording, Surette maintains an active teaching schedule and is head of the folk department at the Concord (NH) Community Music School.
These events are not business as usual. Gathering people during a pandemic is tricky and requires thoughtful measures. This COVID-safe music series is in substitution for Denmark Arts Centers fall fundraiser. These concerts are rain or shine events, as their music will be piped into your vehicle, in case of inclement weather. A description of what the experience will be like at the concert accompanies each band listing on the website. The goal for each of these events is to get art into the community, employ musicians, and provide a bit of relief for our weary minds.
The gate opens at 12:00 p.m., with the concert starting at 1:00 p.m. Reservations are required, $50 per vehicle, with a maximum of 5 people per vehicle. To purchase tickets or find more information, please visit www.DenmarkArts.org/event. The Bridgton Twin Drive-In is located at 383 Portland Rd. in Bridgton, Maine only 30 minutes from North Conway, New Hampshire and one hour from Portland and Lewiston, Maine.