The Scotsman Sessions #103: Suzanne Butler and Sandy Butler
Welcome to The Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, Suzanne Butler performs the title track from her debut album Be Your Own Man, with her husband Sandy Butler on guitar
Singer-songwriter Suzanne Butler is part of a musical family: she co-produced her striking debut album, Be Your Own Man, with husband Sandy and father-in-law Steve.
“To me that feels completely normal,” she says, “the obvious thing to do when my family are talented and available. Lucky me. I think a close relationship cuts out a lot of the barriers to being expressive and effective on a project, as you’re able to speak
very plainly to one another.”
For their Scotsman Session, Suzanne and Sandy have chosen to perform an acoustic version of the album’s title track. “It has a lot of meaning and emotion attached, as it was written for someone close to me who escaped an abusive relationship. The phrase “be your own man” is one that women can apply to themselves too, I think.”
Since 1998, Butler has been closely involved with the charitable organisation Fischy Music, which supports the wellbeing of children between the ages of three and 12. As she explains, “We do lots of concerts and projects which often involve helping
children to write their own songs about things that matter to them. Working at Fischy has been a privilege, I can’t think of a more rewarding role for someone like myself who loves songs and appreciates the work they can do in society.”
Butler’s own children kept her busy doing lockdown, which didn’t leave much time for writing new material.
“It seemed hard enough to manage home-schooling for them,” she says, “while working three days a week and keeping some sort of positive shape to our lives.
Maybe I’ll write about it all a bit further down the line, but for now the best I can say about lockdown is that I tried to stay sane and not drink wine before 5pm!”
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