Scot Sax, Suzie Brown bringing the blues to Dickens
He was writing Grammy-winning songs and dropping visceral guitar riffs in the power pop/rock band Queen Electric. She was a successful cardiologist with a degree from Harvard Medical and an undiscovered voice. They met at a mutual friend’s wedding, danced before they even spoke, got married and started touring together.
With two vastly differing musical backgrounds, influences and tastes, Scot Sax and Suzie Brown may have never envisioned that their styles would mesh. But when the two go on stage at Dickens Parlour Theatre in Millville on Monday, Sept. 28, Sussex County will get to hear firsthand just how well those styles have blended together.
“She needed a little more rhythm and upbeat stuff in her set, and I think I needed a little more sensitivity in my set,” Sax explained. “That was a good thing for both of us. Our show now is better than what it was before. The albums are better than before.”
While Sax and Brown seemed to have found their sound playing their own blend of blues both at shows and on their new album, “Our Album Doesn’t Like You Either,” set to release on Sept. 25, it wasn’t always that way.
In fact, it wasn’t even until sometime between Scot changing the stereo to David Bowie from Suzie’s folk music and Suzie first realizing that she wanted to pursue music professionally that things began to change.
“I was in particularly hard-rocking phase, and she was playing acoustic gigs. It wasn’t our thing to play together,” Sax explained. “The music part really had nothing to do with our relationship. We didn’t play together at all for the first couple years.”
And Suzie continued to pursue her music, even with her promising and demanding medical career, and the fact that both her parents and her sister were doctors, as well.
“She grew up in a family of doctors — she calls it the family business. It’s hard not to do what your family does,” Scot explained. “Six years ago, she was sort of singing and someone overheard her and told her she had a great voice. Within a year, she wrote a bunch of great songs, made a record, got great reviews.”
“She just loves music so much, genuinely loves it. She just digs music too much to work in a hospital full-time.”
After beginning to work two weeks on and two weeks off at the hospital, Suzie continued writing songs, going on tour and developing her sound. That’s when things really started to make sense for a collaboration.
“Our lives and our music started to meet in the middle as time went on,” Scot explained. “My music has evolved into more blues, which I never thought I’d say — something just clicked with me.”
The result has been more fun at both shows and on their album, as made evident by lines referencing Ke$ha and Honey Boo-Boo, and songs about the married couple’s life together.
“I think it’s got some funny stuff,” Sax said. “You don’t have to know the song to dig it right away. If it’s a good song, it makes it so much easier. That’s what our show is now — you can have a good time and not know the songs, because you feel like you kinda know the songs already.”
With another child due on Dec. 17, the current album tour will be the last chance to hear the duo live for a while.
“This is gonna be it for a while. We’re gonna make this one count,” said Sax.
As an added bonus, the show will kick off with a showing of Sax’s debut documentary, “Platinum Rush,” which aims to show audiences the not-so-glamorous side of being a successful songwriter, offering an inside perspective on songwriting and what it takes to make that perfect song, and what it takes out of its writers.
To make the film, Sax set out to find answers to questions such as, “What does it take to write a hit song?” and “What inspires a song?” He spoke to songwriters including Lisa Loeb, Oliver Wood, Eric Bazilian, Ed Roland, Julie Gold, Ron Sexsmith, Steve Forbert, Diego Garcia, Anne McCue, Busbee and Louise Goffin.
The showing of the documentary at Dickens Parlous Theatre in Millville on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. will be followed by the couple’s live performance on the theater’s stage. Tickets cost $20 and are available online at www.dptmagic.com.