Episode 176: Susan Tunney
Air date: 2.8.2017
A precocious Susan Tunney was stuffed into a corset and practicing her dialect for a period piece in her college’s theater program when she had an epiphany. A voice in her head said something akin to, “What am I doing up here pretending to be somebody else?” That moment of artistic clarity found her leaving school and heading back to her native Chicago where she had the good fortune to land in middle of the heyday of the city’s fertile 90s music scene. She formed a band called Adamjack with her best friend Sophie Lee and they set about doing what bands do: writing songs, playing shows and making albums. In short order, they’d built a solid following both locally and on the road and the band was selling out top tier venues in Chicago. After Lee quit the band to attend to a family health crisis, Tunney moved to New York City and eventually back to Chicago, releasing music under her own name all the while. But a life in music can be hard on one’s constitution and years of the grind prompted Tunney to step away from the business and move to Los Angeles to focus on family. But when you’re a songwriter, the relentless muse keeps sending inspiration whether or not you think you’re listening, and before long Tunney was back writing songs, assembling a band and releasing new material. California has been good for Tunney, and her new songs showcase both her raspy alto as well as her deft hand at turning a phrase.