As a parent, I can’t even imagine the fear and heartache that Toronto-based singer/songwriter Suzanne Jarvie endured when her 14-year-old son fell down a spiral staircase and sustained a serious head injury that left the boy comatose. Nor can I imagine the joy she must have felt when, despite his doctors believing he wouldn’t survive, Jarvie’s son awoke from his coma.
She has chronicled the entire experience in her remarkable debut album “Spiral Road,” a deeply personal collection of Americana tunes that runs the gamut of emotions. From the melancholy of “2458” to the grim realization of “Before and After” to the optimism of “Never Gonna Stop” and “Love Is Now,” Jarvie lays her soul bare on this first-rate song cycle.
“(A friend) told me about his friend Suzanne who was a lawyer, a mother of four, and secretly, one of the best singer/songwriters he ever heard,” says “Spiral Road” producer Hugh Christopher Brown. “When I then came to hear Suzanne with my own ears, I was rapt from her first line. Her voice and writing weave to hold you in her presence. She is blessed with a grace that eases acceptance of mystery.”
Additional standouts on “Spiral Road” include the title track, “Tears of Love,” “Angel of Light” and “Wait for Me” — though you won’t go wrong anywhere on this terrific album. (Jeffrey Sisk)