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Press Bios of Various Lengths

Uber Short
Whimsical and perceptive, witty and poignant, disarming and delightful, genuine and relatable, slightly subversive.  Definitely memorable.  https://suefink.com
Short
Since 2001, Chicago-based singer-songwriter Sue Fink has been enchanting audiences with her whimsical perspective on the world.  She shares witty social commentary and perceptive observations of the human condition.  Her genre, “urban campfire cabaret,” is folk with a hint of jazz, a large dollop of humor, and a drop of sadness for good measure: think Christine Lavin, with a dash of Rickie Lee Jones, Melanie, and Nellie McKay.  https://suefink.com
Longer
Chicago-based singer-songwriter Sue Fink has been enchanting audiences since 2001 with her whimsical perspective on the world. She is a witty social commentator and perceptive observer of the human condition. Her genre is folk with a hint of jazz, a large dollop of humor, and a drop of sadness for good measure: think Christine Lavin, with a dash of Rickie Lee Jones, Melanie, and Nellie McKay. In a term coined by CatBird band-mate Jane Godfrey, she calls her style “urban campfire cabaret.”

Sue’s original songs have received national and local airplay on numerous folk shows, including “The Midnight Special” (Rich Warren, WFMT) and “Folk Festival” (Lilli Kuzma, WDCB). She performs mostly in the Midwest (IL, IN, MI, MO, WI), and has toured both coasts.

Sue performs in various configurations:

  • Solo (or with accompanying musicians)
  • CatBird (duo, with Jane Godfrey)
  • SongSisters (trio, with Amy Dixon-Kolar and Patti Shaffner)

For more information, please visit https://suefink.com

Pretty Darn Long

Chicago-based singer-songwriter Sue Fink has been enchanting audiences since 2001 with her whimsical perspective on the world. She is a witty social commentator and perceptive observer of the human condition. Her genre is folk with a hint of jazz, a large dollop of humor, and a drop of sadness for good measure: think Christine Lavin, with a dash of Rickie Lee Jones, Melanie, and Nellie McKay. In a term coined by CatBird band-mate Jane Godfrey, she calls her style “urban campfire cabaret.”

Sue’s original songs have received national and local airplay on numerous folk shows, including “The Midnight Special” (Rich Warren, WFMT) and “Folk Festival” (Lilli Kuzma, WDCB). She performs mostly in the Midwest (IL, IN, MI, MO, WI), and has toured both coasts.

Her Checkered Past

While Sue has always considered herself a writer (short stories, poetry, commentary), she came to music and performing in a rather circuitous fashion.

As a child she took the requisite piano lessons but wouldn’t practice, so that ended quickly.  But music was as essential to her life as breathing:  she loved discovering artists on the radio, attending concerts, listening to songs over and over, pondering lyrics.  It simply never occurred to her that being a songwriter/performer was something she would ever do.

One night, in the late 90s, while listening to The Midnight Special, Sue heard “Ballad of a Ballgame,” Christine Lavin’s song about being picked last for sports teams.  The lyrics were both funny and poignant – the kind of story Sue might tell herself – and for the first time, Sue saw the glimmer of new possibility.

Shortly thereafter, Sue took a songwriting class with Andrew Calhoun to determine whether something she’d written might possibly be a song.  The verdict:  YES!  Now she realized she needed to learn how to sing and play guitar in earnest.

In 2001, Sue “won” her first gig at an open mic, saying “oops” between each chord change (“the audience thought it was part of my act!” she says).  In 2003 Sue released her EP, Not Quite There Yet; she considered the title also a self-review.  But she was learning.  She learned that despite her somewhat shy nature, she loved to perform and connect.  She learned that she had something to say, and a unique way of saying it.  In the spirit of “fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” her ignorance of songwriting “rules” and her “beginner” status were akin to wearing a “Trainee” button, or sporting a “New Driver” sign on her car:  others were patient and encouraging, affording her the flexibility to experiment and grow.

Inspired by and in love with the Chicago songwriting community, Sue continues building her repertoire and honing her skills.  Since her dubious debut, she’s recorded three full-length albums (Damsel In Distress, 2006; Thoughts at an Intersection, 2009; and Treasures & Time Travel, 2018) with some of Chicago’s finest musicians.  In 2013, she and singer-songwriters Amy Dixon-Kolar and Patti Shaffner recorded SongSisters: LIVE! – adding harmony and instrumentation to a collection of their own songs and several covers.  Sue has also released several singles, including “Battle of Ages” (2019), a story of collision between the powers of greed and those who aim to keep democracy and hope alive.  She’s also released her CICADA SUITE: two cicada-related songs, released in 2021 on a specially made, cicada-shaped flash drive!

Sue performs in standard venues, house concerts, folk series, libraries, and more.  She performs solo, with backing musicians, as a duo (CatBird), and as a trio (SongSisters).  Please visit https://suefink.com for more information.

Too short
“Brevity is not my forte.” – Sue Fink

“Life is short and so am I.” – Sue Fink

“Sue is one fine songwriter, in addition to being a lovely and engaging performer. She rocks!”
Ron Holm

Program Director, JustGoods (Rockford, IL)

“A totally disarming songstress, with humor based on wit and style – and brains of a very quirky nature. She can be devilish, childlike, deadly serious – sometimes all at once! Fun to be had at every intersection.”
Nancy Emrich

Presenter, LilFest