Loose Lips

Nana’s Sunday Jams: Susan Jane - Eugene McDaniels


Nana’s Sunday Jams: Susan Jane - Eugene McDaniels

Yes Yes Sunday Jammers. So, another week and it’s all change again and again hope you are managing to find some balance and safe distances to enjoy the mini reset.

So, this week I have been deep diving into a load of breezy and delicious pop music, pure heaven to take the edge off the cacophony of sound that keeps coming with every new announcement. Along the way I developed an unconscious pattern - at least I think it was - of listening to songs that featured a named character, usually a woman with the exception of a couple, who inspired, seduced or straight up slayed.

They got me thinking about who would be the most fun to hang out with on a sunshine filled Sunday, a partner in ambling through quiet fields or hanging out on quiet beach, as part of group or alone, someone who would have a playlist of classic bangers in their arsenal, be full of stories, opinions and a raucous laugh to match it all.

The winner is…………….Eugene McDaniels with Susan Jane, a Folk-Soul number that sings, sings, sings. Susan Jane is the ideal companion for my Sunday dreaming. McDaniels tells the story of a feisty, ferociously foxy and fierce of mind hero who marches to the beat of her own drum so much so that she inspires art. A girl who has thrown off the conventions of her gilded cage to embrace all life has to offer. McDaniels’ rousing vocals tell of the 60s’ hippy spirit that gave birth to a cultural and social movement still felt today in music, fashion, art and ideas. I love that a person ‘dancing in the rain, eating sugar cane feeling no pain’ could evoke so much about a moment in time. When I think of the tunes’ characters Susan Jane stands out, she seems more rounded, humane and alive. She thinks, moves and feels, she’s not an object or a metaphor to illustrate an idea, she is the idea. I would happily wile out with her at a party, engage with her ideas and be infected by her laughter.

McDaniels was better known as a Soul artist working with luminaries such as Roberta Flack. He was known for penning deeply soulful music with lyrics that often touched on the political. The album that features this song, Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse, was a departure from the norm infusing blues, funk, jazz, folk creating an album that became a collector’s item in the mid 90s among rap music and rare groove enthusiasts. A fully realised banger.