Passion, drive, and great writing – these adjectives define the music and life of Susan Cattaneo. Raised in the farm country of New Jersey, Susan found her place in the musical world at an early age, singing six-part harmony with her family around the dinner table. After stints in bands in college, she spent a year in Italy, where she studied Italian and performed a mix of standards and traditional Roman songs in various piano bars in Rome. Upon her return to the States, she began a dual career in New York City. By day, Susan was a television writer/producer, earning an Emmy nomination and NY State Broadcasters Award. By night, she was the co-lead singer in the Blackfish Band, a funk-folk outfit that also launched the career of Mike Errico, where she became a regular fixture at clubs like The Bitter End and Kenny’s Castaways. Applying her writing talents to the craft of songwriting was a natural next step, and following her musical dream, Susan headed to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music on a vocal scholarship.
Hired by the Berklee songwriting department upon graduation, Susan spent a few years splitting her time between teaching, raising two kids, and writing in Nashville. In 2009 Susan decided to resume her performing career. She recorded her debut album of original songs Brave and Wild with an all-star cast from the New England Americana music scene. The record won critical acclaim, and was named Boston debut of the year and one of the Top 10 records of 2009 by Wicked Local (along with releases by Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and the Avett Brothers).
With her new record, Heaven to Heartache, Susan introduces a more country edge to her songs, a color she only hinted at on Brave and Wild. Featuring a who’s who of Nashville’s top session players (Tommy White, Jeff King, Pat Buchanan, Paul Leim among others) along with her top notch Boston band (which includes Fairport Convention’s acclaimed drummer, Dave Mattacks), Heaven to Heartache beautifully showcases Susan’s voice and talent along with great songs and great songwriting.