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Suzanne Thomas

Dear Friends & Broken Hearts – 1998 (Rounder)

Reviewed by George Hauenstein

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CDs by Suzanne Thomas

Suzanne Thomas, guitarist of The Dry Branch Fire Squad bluegrass band, and previously of the old-timey band, The Hot Mud Family, is a great singer, and this album is a fine showcase for her. She's joined by an all-star cast, including the Seldom Scene, IIIrd Tyme Out, The Lonesome River Band, Laurie Lewis and John Hartford. Ron Thomason and other Dry Branch band mates.

The material selected is top-notch, including "Faded Coat of Blue," a classic from the Hot Mud Family days, the title track and "I Have No Mother Now." Thomas is also a very accomplished clawhammer banjo player, as she demonstrates on "Sweet Sunny South," and "Just a Few More Days." Ronnie Bowman joins her for a fine duet of the Conway Twitty-Loretta Lynn classic, "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man," one of the album's many high points.

Fans have waited a long time for a solo Thomas album. Finally, patience has been rewarded. This is a very easy album to recommend.