Susan Cowsill is best known for her childhood role in bubblegum family band the Cowsills, but she shouldn't be. Her exquisite harmony and background singing with Dwight Twilley, Carlene Carter and the Smithereens, her work with New Orleans supergroup the Continental Drifters and her long-delayed foray into solo work show her to be an original master of power-pop and roots music. On 2005's Just Believe It, her most recent album, Cowsill's voice is like a flood of sunshine over open fields, modulating between the pure and the raw, as she consistently finds melodies that would make Brian Wilson or Sandy Denny smile knowingly. In 2005, she lost her home and her brother, Barry, in Hurricane Katrina, but she's refused to abandon the city, its culture or its people, and every note she sings draws on that rich, bottomless American pop source.
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