Home Read Classic Album Review: Oh Susanna | Sleepy Little Sailor

Classic Album Review: Oh Susanna | Sleepy Little Sailor

The rootsy balladeer gets into a more contemporary, soul groove for her third LP.

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I wrote back then (with some minor editing):


I first heard Oh Susanna a coupla years back at a CD listening post in an L.A. record store. Listening to her authentic-sounding Appalachian folk and bluesy balladry, I thought I’d come across some long-lost obscure backwoods Yank. Turns out Susanna — Suzie Ungerleider to friends and family — is from Vancouver.

Sleepy Little Sailor, her third CD, is just as appealing, but far more sophisticated and less misleading. Stepping away from rustic Americana in favour of a more contemporary, soulful groove, Ungerleider conjures up 11 magical tracks of darkly rich roots-pop tinged with country heartbreak. From the haunting beauty of All That Remains to the close-up-the-honky-tonk soul of Ted’s So Wasted to the lacy medieval elegance of St. Patrick’s Day, these tales of saints, sinners and, yes, sailors, should get plenty of attention around the CD-store listening post — not to mention the rest of the music world.