Susan Alcorn


Altmusic is proud to announce Susan Alcorn (USA) touring New Zealand, November 2015!

One of the world’s greatest pedal steel guitarists visits New Zealand!

Susan Alcorn takes the pedal steel guitar far beyond its traditional role in country and western swing music. The Baltimore based musician has ripped the instrument from its typical genre and cast it in a whole new light. From comfortable country glissandos to deep surges and theremin-like science fiction noir, the shimmering earnestness of the instrument is used to full effect in her arrangements that probe the depths and textures of her songs.

Known among steel guitarists for her virtuosity and authenticity in a traditional context, Alcorn first paid her dues in Texas country and western bands. Soon she began to expand the vocabulary of her instrument through her study of modern classical music, free jazz, and world musics. Her pieces reveal the complexity of her instrument and her musical experience while never straying from a very direct, intense, and personal musical expression.

“Alcorn’s pedal steel tones, stretch, float, and dance in the air, and on the ears, expressing something that’s worlds beyond words, yet able to communicate on the deepest level.” – Signal to Noise

“Susan Alcorn is a great player who has mastered and redefined an unlikely instrument. With an exquisite touch she invoked it’s history, extended its emotional and ethereal strengths and explored its microtonal possibilities, drawing it out of the contexts that traditionally render it invisible, or generic, and into its own mature discourse, reminding improvisers that ‘free’ includes the right to be romantic, melodic and four to the bar.” – The Wire (UK)

“beautiful, glassy and liquid, however far she strays from the pulse and conventional harmony.” – The Guardian

Tour info

Christchurch – Lyttleton Coffee Company – Thursday 12 November
Susan Alcorn solo and with Reuben Derrick and Daniel Beban (Orchestra of Spheres)
(free bus from The Auricle, New Regent St. 7.30pm)

Dunedin – The Anteroom, Port Chalmers – Friday 13 November
Susan Alcorn solo and with Alastair Galbraith
(free bus from Countdown Dunedin 7.30pm)

Queenstown – The Sherwood – Saturday 14 November

Wellington – Meow – Wednesday 18 November
Susan Alcorn solo and with Tom Callwood (The Phoenix Foundation), Tristan Carter (The Troubles) and Nell Thomas (Orchestra of Spheres)

Auckland – Audio Foundation
Friday 20 November – Susan Alcorn solo and with Hermione Johnson and Anthony Donaldson
Saturday 21 November – Susan Alcorn solo and with Greg Malcolm and Anthony Donaldson

ticket presales available via Undertheradar, $18.50 presales / $20.00 on the door (prices include booking fee) 

Susan Alcorn website:

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Tour manager:

Jeff Henderson

Tel: 09 3735790

cell: 027 3607239


Special thanks to CNZ and Undertheradar.