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Suzanna Smith: Halfway Between Heaven & Love

There are relatively few contemporary female vocalists who evoke Peggy Lee, at least not genuinely. Suzanna Smith, new to recording but a seasoned pro who has been honing her artistry in and around the Bay Area for over a decade, numbers among that rare ilk. That Smith sounds like Lee-slightly breathy and warmly sensual with a hint of huskiness-is undeniable, but the parallels extend much further. Lee’s ability to not just caress a ballad but smother it in mink has seldom been matched. She was also a sage swinger-never too much, never too little-as well as a first-rate songwriter. Smith checks all those boxes.

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