Mothers and daughters often have relationships fraught with emotional tension, manipulation and in-fighting, while creative people can have similarly conflicted interactions that become clouded by professional jealousies and personal differences. Conventional wisdom would indicate that a mother/daughter creative endeavor might be a minefield too difficult to navigate but renowned Folk singer/songwriter/actress/author Suzzy Roche and her gifted daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche have managed to create a literal and figurative harmonic duo together.
Suzzy came to prominence when she joined her older sisters Maggie and Terre in 1977, turning their Folk duo into The Roches. The trio was critically acclaimed for their quirky presentation and flawless sibling harmonies (Paul Simon was an ardent fan), earning status as a cult favorite but hindered by spotty record sales and sporadic touring opportunities. The sisters worked as solo artists and in various duo configurations until Maggie’s passing two years ago.
Suzzy expanded her creative ambitions to include stage and film acting as well as writing, with a novel and a children’s book to her credit. She did a short stint with Four Bitchin’ Babes, and then joined forces with daughter Lucy in 2013 for their debut duo album, Fairytale and Myth, followed three years later by the gorgeous Mud & Apples. Over the years, Suzzy and Lucy have managed to shoehorn several duo tours into their individually packed schedules.
Lucy’s path has been slightly different. Her parents split when she was two years old; her father, iconic Folk/Pop singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, relocated to England and was a sparse presence during her childhood. After earning creative writing and general education degrees, Lucy ultimately channeled her creative talents into music, releasing her debut EP, 8 Songs, in 2007 and earning comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Patty Griffin. Lucy’s third solo album, last year’s Little Beast, was a quietly exquisite triumph of emotional songwriting and nuanced execution.
Suzzy and Lucy’s latest tour could signal a new studio project, which would literally be music to our ears.