Alexis P Suter’s roots are in the church and she possesses a powerful bass/baritone voice. B.B. King once remarked “It’s a rare thing to share the stage with great talent like that young lady”. Suter also wound up opening for Levon Helm over 90 times.
Suter’s debut album was 2005’s “Shuga Fix” on Hipbone Records. Her follow-up recordings included 2008’s “Just Another Fool”; and 2011’s “Two Sides” produced by Vicki Bell and Ray Grappone. The latter resulted in Suter’s first Blues Music Award nomination as 2012’s “Soul Blues Female Artist of The Year”. Suter was signed to American Showplace Music and released two more albums; 2014’s “Love The Way You Roll” and 2016’s “”All For Loving You” each receiving another BMA nomination.
“Be Love” is Suter’s seventh recording overall. The album is co-produced by Suter with her band including backup vocalist Bell; drummer/percussionist Grappone; and guitarist/bassist Louis. The producers are also the songwriters having written ten of the twelve songs.
The opener “Empty Promises” is the first of four songs co-written by Bell, Suter, and Louis; the lyric suggesting disappointment “things will never be the same …you’re full of nothing but empty promises”. The opposite emotion is expressed on the playful “Lips, Hips and Fingertips”, “now you’re home laying next to me, I’m laying here baby in sweet ecstasy”. Relationships are further explored on “I Don’t See You Anymore” and on the title track “stop trying to be what you think people want to see …just Be Love”.
Suter states “the number seven is a great number, a blessed and lucky number! At this time in my life I’ve gotten to experience a lot especially growing up in Brooklyn. This album represents growing pains, gains and pains…sharing this music with the world lets me know I’m not alone when people can relate to that, it starts a healing process, a therapeutic relationship with my fans. People know when you’re real they can feel that”.
Grappone joins the songwriting team on both “Sway” with its New Orleans’ second line beat and “Sick and Tired Blues”. Guitarist Louis also contributes “Little Back Rider” and “Dog Eat Dog World”. Bell also contributes two more songs “So Hard” pleading that “you make it so hard to love you”; and “Go” about how the road to happiness is sometimes found only by “letting go”.
Nobody knows Suter better than her musical family, except for mom, and these songs are written especially for her. Suter and the band cover Odetta’s “Hit or Miss”; and the gospel tune “I Just Got Off That Devil’s Train” sung as a duet with her 96 year old mom Carrie.
This is a total band effort as the recording captures Suter at her very best.