"black-eyed SUZIE pulled me out of my lawn chair!" Al Friesen, Made In Manitoba, Golden West Radio
Cutting their teeth as a four-piece family band, once comprised of mom, dad, eldest son and daughter, black-eyed SUZIE's mother-daughter led core continues to turn heads with their songs and stories of epic distinction. Don't be surprised to find yourself swaying in the breeze or carried off down a meandering river unexpectedly lost in thought and introspection, while tapping your toes under a canopy of bright acoustic rhythms and melodic voices reminiscent of birdsong you've long forgotten from childhood.
Harkening back to a 70's Fleetwood Mac/Neil Young era and an alternative rock 90's Crannberries/Radiohead vibe, black-eyed SUZIE's songs speak of finding some beautiful truth in the shadows. Their live performances are always a treat appealing to audiences young and old alike, taking the listener on a roller coaster ride of energetic highs to contemplative lows and everything in between. They will certainly get you up, make you smile and possibly even make you cry!
Lead-singer-songwriter, Christine Marek, draws on a difficult past growing up in a small conservative community with a Schizophrenic brother who tragically took his life the year she was married. Following was a deep dive into an increasingly abusive relationship, an experience she describes as akin to a frog being unknowingly cooked in boiling water. Armed with an intimate knowledge of mental illness and domestic abuse, she is passionate about bringing awareness to these still very stigmatizing issues.
"When you grow up isolated on the Canadian prairie you develop a deep connection to the land, the sky and the creatures that reside there. Isolation becomes your best friend and at times your worst enemy. Life has been rather relentless since I was a child, one tragedy unfolding after another, and it was often isolating and impossible to find others who could understand the level of loss and trauma that I was exposed to on an ongoing basis. It made learning and socializing much harder and naturally I clung to the solace of nature and began to express myself through music and art at a very early age as a way to cope. Facing these obstacles alone made me strong in a lot of ways, but there are permanent scars that will never totally fade. Creative expression has helped me make sense of these things that were often out of my control. Nature was the soothing elixir that provided relief. The two are unequivocally connected. Since integrating into urban life, I find that I long for the clear night sky most, and then the alternating silence and birdsong that is almost non-existent here over the hum of constant traffic."
black-eyed SUZIE released their first studio album, Back To You, in 2012. The band is currently working on a new single and EP along with their electric guitarist, Bobby Fraser, while continuing to play small venues, house concerts, community celebrations and festivals around Manitoba. Highlights include the National Elk’s Curling Bonspiel, Headlining the Manitoba Summer Games, Harvest Sun Music Festival's Moody Manitoba Workshop, Winnipeg's Swords and Sabres and Fringe Fest, two consecutive years at Fire and Water Music Festival, Indie Week 2017, The Manitoba Night Market and Winnipeg's first Mac and Cheese Festival! They are a mainstay at the Manitoba Summer Games and in December of 2018 had the special opportunity to share their personal stories of survival through word and song at The WAG to support Breaking The Silence on Domestic Violence.
The band enjoys regular airplay on CFGW 94.1 Fox FM, CJ104 Stillwater FM, and The Colorado Phil Show, and have been featured on Made in Manitoba Golden West Radio, CKUW 95.9 FM, UMFM's Winnipeg Music Project Podcast, EV’s Underground CKCU-FM 93.1 in Ottawa, Random Tangents on www.95xonline.com Radio Texas, The Invisible Man Show and iTunes popular Women Of Substance Radio Podcast.