Susie Blue and the Lonesome Fellas raise funds for Ukraine relief with “The Gal in Black”

Susie Blue & the Lonesome Fellas  just released a new single “The Gal in Black”.   Originally titled “The Man in Black”  the tune was written by Johnny Cash,  and is a War protest song.   The band offers the mp3 for 99 cents, sending all profits to the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund

I chatted with Susie aka vocalist Solitaire Miles this week and this is what she had to say about the tune –

“I decided to record it because of the recent events in Ukraine and it’s the hardest tune that I’ve ever had to perform.   I always love to sing but I found it really difficult to wrap my chops around this one.   Not just because it’s Johnny Cash,  and he talks through half of it,  but because it’s such a very sad and serious subject… war and people dying.  I just couldn’t bop through the lyrics as Susie Blue, I had to feel the lyrics, like Cash did… and so it might not lilt or swing like my regular material does. I actually got choked up a few times because his lyrics are so poignant.  I have family in both Ukraine and Poland and so I wanted to be able to do something to help them during all of this.”

Leave it to Solitaire Miles to come up with such an eclectic offering,  not too many jazz singers would take a bite out of a Johnny Cash tune, especially one this austere.   The band keeps the tempo and arrangement of the Cash original,  featuring a responsive blues style played by guitarist Martin Gioani,  with Miles’ vocal sounding like a crossover between a mournful Billie Holiday and an undefeated Cash.  Where else are you going to hear an amalgam  of Holiday and Cash?  If they were both alive during this time they would surely have something to say about what’s going on in the world.  “The Gal in Black” is certainly  worth the 99 cents just to add to any magpie collection.

You can Download  the song at the band’s  Bandcamp page –

All proceeds will go to support the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund