Suzanne holding a ukulele

Ukulele Player Magazine

Ukulele Player Magazine (select Issue 11) conducts an interview with Suzanne Brindamour and reviews the soundtrack and documentary film “Barnstorming.”

© Copyright 2010 Tricorn Publications

Suzanne with her chin resting on a guitar

The Washington Post


By Mike Joyce

Suzanne Brindamour’s “You Are Here” is brimming with songs that are more compassionate than complex, songs about healing (“Here”), emotional vulnerability (“Given a Choice”) and adolescent romance (“He Gets Me”).

Brindamour has a genuinely distinctive voice, tart and tuneful, and she gets a big assist here from Jonasay guitarist-producer Mark Williams and a large cast of musicians who add plenty of texture and color to these heart-on-the-sleeve ballads.

© Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company

Photo by Charles Steck

Suzanne sitting on stairs

Entertainment DC

Local Music Spotlight


“It’s finally here,” Suzanne says with a laugh. She is of course referring to her highly anticipated sophomore release, You Are Here, an album co-produced by local music veteran, Mark Williams (formerly of Jonasay).

The fruition of the past several years, Brindamour’s latest offering is a wonderfully passionate album; her voice possesses an understated confidence which boldly showcases her maturing songwriting prowess.

“Many of the lyrics had been running around my head for years, with Mark’s help I was able to lay them down the way they were intended to be heard,” explains Suzanne.

After listening to You Are Here several times over, Entertainment DC’s music editor recommends: Track 2 “Given A Chance,” Track 8 “Four Seasons,” and Track 11 “He Gets Me.”

Suzanne will be holding a joint CD Release Party with Megan Hayes @ IOTA Club & Café (2832 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA – 703.522.2868) on Sunday, March 20 at 8 p.m.

Photo by David Ashman

Suzanne walking up stairs


Music By Local Singer Picked Up By WB’s Popstars

A longtime favorite on the DC/Maryland music scene, the voice and songs of Suzanne Brindamour are destined to make her a national success. “Dear Sevda,” a powerful ballad from her self-titled debut album, was featured earlier this year in an episode of the WB show “Popstars.” The series focuses on the lives of several young girls as they audition for a new band. Their determination to make it in the music biz is not unlike Brindamour’s own.

Her music has been likened to the musical styles of Shawn Colvin, Jewel and Tori Amos. Her prolific lyrics and seductive sound are sampled on her first album, which was released in 1999. The CD features a mix of original pop and folk music that is both provocative and edgy and has proved to be a huge success with critics and fans alike. Brindamour has been a “Top 10 National Artist” on the music Web site and has been named to Best Buy’s list of top new musicians titled, “Find ‘Em First Artists.” Her songs have hit the airwaves in Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Arizona, Boston, Massachusetts, and the Netherlands and on the Web.

In addition to writing and recording music, Brindamour has spent the last few years touring clubs throughout the east coat and recently returned from her first-ever West Coast tour. With a wealth of new material to draw from, Brindamour says she looks forward to releasing a follow-up to her first album next year. We can’t wait.

Photo by David Ashman

Suzanne holding a guitar

The Gazette Newspaper

Wishing on a star called Suzanne Brindamour

By Chris Slattery

This is what it’s like having coffee with Suzanne Brindamour: walk in wondering if you’ll recognize her, leave wondering if you’ll ever forget her. Laugh a little, cry a little, hug at the end. And then — and this is the important part — go listen to her eponymous album for the 50th time.

Because once you get beyond the comparisons — is she Alanis Morissette without the anger, or Lisa Loeb without the quirks, or Dolores O’Riordan without the brogue? — then you can get to what Brindamour is. Her sound is velvet harmony, plaintive and lilting — as close as a whisper, and just as compelling. She is a poet without paper, wrapping her sweetly confessional lyrics in this gorgeous voice that slides through the speakers and invites the listener in.

“I’ve always wanted to reach out to people,” she explains. “This is my way to do it.”

When she plays at Borders Books and Music in Gaithersburg at 7:30 on Friday evening, she’ll be reaching out to a hometown crowd. Brindamour is a local lady, a self-confessed “artistic type” back at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, where, incredibly, she didn’t sing a note.

“Oh I never sang,” she says. “I didn’t think I could sing. I was shy, but I’m not shy anymore!”

Growing up there was always music in Brindamour’s life. The daughter of John and Frances Tolford — Brindamour uses her late mother’s maiden name professionally — taught herself piano and learned classical guitar, with three chord-picking big brothers providing encouragement.

“I bugged my brothers about the guitar,” she laughs. “I was a lonely kid in my room making stuff up. I wanted to invent music, not just read it. I’d just play. And insecure as I was, I thought, ‘maybe someday …’ ”

Someday first dawned in Phoenix, where Brindamour briefly attended Arizona State. She responded to a rocker-without-a-band known as Kid Trouser, who put an ad in the local paper looking for “wholesome” musicians.

“That was me,” says Brindamour. She fit the bill as far as wholesome was concerned, but balked when Kid Trouser insisted she sing.

“He said ‘You’re a singer,’ ” she recalls.

“I said ‘yes,’ but I had never performed. Then I tried to cover my tracks, to say ‘look, I can’t sing.’ But I had a tape I’d recorded in my basement as a teenager, something I’d never shared it with anyone. I played it and he said ‘You have a beautiful voice!’ and I was in the band: Kid Trouser and Wisdom Bricks.”

She chuckles at the memory.

“It just goes to show,” Brindamour says, referring to her surprising vocal talent, “you might have a muscle you never use!

“I dropped the guitar and got myself a keyboard — it was the ’80s — and that led me to composing.”

As a band, Kid Trouser and Wisdom Bricks had their fans, but in the end they didn’t really knock too many people’s socks off. Brindamour hung onto her keyboard, composing scores for television and radio, working in production; and nursing a dream.

“It’s almost inevitable,” she says, struggling to explain her feelings about her gift and her grasp at success.

“This is the passion of my life — to be a singer/songwriter. But first I had to overcome the fear — what if I’m not good enough?

“If I put myself out there for my dream and it falls flat, then what is there to live for?”

Brindamour would soon find out. She headed home to Montgomery County when her mother became ill and found that music could help her transcend tragedy.

“The death of my mother was a catalyst,” she says slowly, referring to the life-changing event that somehow refocused her ambitions — and inspired the haunting song “Waiting in the Wings.”

“While it was horrid, it set me upon a path of self-discovery. I started learning more about myself, looking at what had been holding me back. I became determined to overcome the obstacles.”

The real McBeal

It’s an Ally McBeal moment. Here’s this tiny person, all chocolate-brown eyes and disarmingly crooked smile and self-deprecating sense of humor, revealing her doubts and dreams and delusions. Unlike Ally, though, Brindamour has no need of backup singers. And she never seems to be without a friend. She talks about the CD, a full-length production on Splash Records that’s available right now at Best Buy.

“When I decided to do this, people rallied around me. Family and friends were so wonderful, they came forward to support me.

“It’s such a far-fetched dream to be a rock star,” she says, laughing for a moment at the absurdity of it all. “But people believe in me, and that’s half the battle.

“They believe I’m going all the way.”

Sharing in the belief seems to be a state of mind that’s easy to attain: see Brindamour perform live this Friday at Borders Books.

Or, get a copy of the album. It’s like finding a lost diary page from the days of your first love, or spending a weekend with your best pals from school, or meeting an old friend by chance in a train station far from home. There’s love and death, war and remembrance; friendship, loyalty and piercing questions about the odd expectations society imposes. And it’s all sealed up in that silken voice, and delivered heart-to-heart with the vocal equivalent of a warm conspiratorial smile.

It’s a work that’s deeply personal, but “Suzanne Brindamour” enfolds the entire Tolford family and myriad friends in its sturdy heart and gossamer soul.

“My sister Sarah designed the cover and my sister-in-law did the color,” Brindamour says.

Her dad, her brothers, even John Perrin, her former boss from those lean waitressing days, they all helped out, believed in her, and Brindamour doesn’t stint passing credit around. There are fifth-graders with a glee club solo who have more self-importance and ego than this woman.

It looks like staying grounded is about to get more difficult, though.

Brindamour’s been getting airplay, and she’s been getting post-show e-mails from excited fans. More importantly, she’s starting to get attention from the people who sell CDs nationwide. Kip Puiia is the regional media marketing manager for Best Buy who, as a buyer of “local artist” CDs gets a lot of calls from hopeful musicians.

“Generally speaking, they’re OK,” he says. “In Suzanne’s case, she called and I said ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, send me a CD.’

“I thought it was just stunning. Everything was sensational — the musicianship, her performance, even the artwork. First class, what a talent level!”

Puiia’s convinced that a great career lies ahead of Brindamour, and he says it couldn’t happen to a nicer person.

“Suzanne is a thoroughly charming individual,” he adds.

She charms through the speakers and she charms in person, with her voice and her smile and her simple philosophy of goodness and happiness.

“Everyone should pursue what’s in their heart,” she insists.

“That’s what it’s all about. Truly happy, fulfilled people are good people — and good people make the world a better place.”

© Copyright 2000 The Washington Gazette

Photo by Charles Steck

Suzanne holding a guitar

The Washington Post

Suzanne Brindamour, Splash Records

By Mike Joyce

It isn’t easy writing the kind of songs that Suzanne Brindamour favors—soft-spun, contemplative ballads—without sounding like someone who should get out a lot more often. Fortunately, Brindamour’s brand of soul-searching proves more tuneful than tiresome on her self-titled debut.

A Maryland-bred singer-songwriter with a small but alluring voice, Brindamour opens the album by looking at love, or what sometimes passes for it, from both sides. First, she’s the bewildered object of desire on “Ivy,” a song which quickly establishes the album’s confessional tone; moments later, she’s swept away by her own yearning emotions on “If I Linger.” From there, Brindamour goes on to explore various matters of the heart, finding more questions than answers in a series of reflective tunes. The chorus from “I Don’t Know” best sums up her confusion and ambivalence: “I should be thankful on the one hand, insulted on the other/and should I share my mind would someone understand/ or mock my words, making matters worse?” Even on “Dear Sevda,” a song that takes the form of a letter to a Bosnian refugee, Brindamour often sounds as if she’s quizzing herself, especially when she asks, “why do we repeat the worst of history?”

Accompanying herself on guitar and piano—she’s got much more in common with Jewel than Tori Amos, though—Brindamour is supported by several musicians who treat her frequently appealing melodies with a sensitive, flattering touch that keeps ponderous lulls at bay.

© Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company

Photo by Charles Steck

Suzanne's headshot

On Tap Magazine

On Stage Highlights

By Adam Simkin

It’s rare, but every once in a while a local musician will emerge on the music scene and proceed to blow a whole music community away, the type that years later, you are sure to say, “I knew her when”.

Such is the case with singer/songwriter Suzanne Brindamour, whose self-titled debut album brought to light her wonderfully soft-spoken voice and heart felt lyrics. Lucky for us, she is in the process of scratching out tracks for her second album, which should see the light of day in 6 months.

Until then, try and make an effort to check out Brindamour “at the Zebra Lounge”.

© Copyright 2002 On Tap Magazine

Photo by Stephen Agricola