Chester-based music groupSuzie and the G-Tones are promoting their debut album, “Wine, Tears, & Rain,” at Ashland’s Coffee and Tea in Ashland this Saturday. The band’s lead singer, Susan DePhillip, promised the audience a good time.
“[The audience can expect a] little bit of everything,” DePhillip said. “We hope they enjoy it and have fun [Our job is] to keep the audience happy and hopefully touch them in some way.”
(Though the band has played in Chester/Petersburg, most of the band’s tour dates are currently in Richmond and northern Virginia. However, DePhillip said they are in the process of scheduling dates and hope to perform in the area soon.)
Suzie and the G-Tones consists of DePhillip, lead guitarist John Georgiou, drummer Gary Williams, and bassist Chris Colohan. Scott Young, whom DePhillip said she met at a music festival last year, is the band’s keyboardist, and he played saxophone on the debut album.
DePhillip and Georgiou have a history that goes back 26 years as the two were in a musical trio, About Time. According to DePhillip, the trio still gets together once a year at their event called About Time Music Festival – held at Ed Allen’s Campgrounds in Lanexa, Va. – at where musicians gather and raise funds for different charities. So far, they have raised money for Richmond Autism Integration Network and the Chesterfield Innovative Academy for Girls, a school for at risk-girls in Chesterfield County. The fundraising will continue with Suzie and the G-Tones’ March performance at Southern Railway Taphouse, which is a kickoff event for Massey Cancer Center Benefit.
While DePhillip said About Time was a fun college trio, she described Suzie and the G-Tones as a band of mature and seasoned musicians. Though distance can sometimes be an issue – DePhillip, Colohan and Williams live in Chester, while Georgiou lives in Alexandria – DePhillip expressed admiration for the band.
“The experience of [playing with] these guys is why this band is successful [and] why we can continue doing what we do,” DePhillip said.
“Unfortunately time and distance [works] against us but this is really just a great band to be a part of, great guys [to] work with and [they’re] super easy to get along with. Everyone is open to each other’s ideas, there’s no drama.”
Suzie and the G-Tones started out playing covers, but DePhillip said she was the one to initiate talk about recording original CD.
“We’ve been trying to record an original CD for a number of years, first started really seriously trying in 2010 and had a couple of recording projects that fell apart,” DePhillip said. “Beginning of last year, I approached this band [about recording an original CD] and they all said immediately, ‘I’m in, let’s do it’ so we began recording ‘Wine, Tears, & Rain’ in April.”
DePhillip categorizes “Wine, Tears, & Rain” (which was recorded in Georgiou’s home recording studio, and he mixed and mastered the album) as acoustic rock but said the album (released last November) is all over the place musically. She said she hopes to start working on a sophomore album soon and reiterated her admiration for the band’s collaborative efforts.
“What I like most about the album is how when everybody else added their parts and their input, it took songs that I had written and just made them so much better,” DePhillip said, “so that’s really the most exciting thing for me is just when I hear little parts that John added or a bass line that Chris added or a little drum part that Gary did, it’s not just a little song I wrote [anymore].”
- Suzie and the G-Tones’ tour dates
- Saturday, January 21 Ashland Coffee & Tea, Ashland
Saturday, February 18
Bryan Park Bar and Grill, Richmond
- Friday, March 24 Southern Railway Taphouse, Richmond (Massey Cancer Benefit)
- Saturday, June 3
Ed Allen’s Campground, Lanexa
- Saturday, August 5 Hardywood Craft Brewery, Richmond (Private Event)