Posted June 23, 2020 by Jeff in Tunes

Suzanne Vega Gets Into a New York State of Mind for Her New Album

Suzanne Vega
Suzanne Vega

Grammy and Peabody Award-winning singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega will release her new album, An Evening of New York Songs and Stories, on Sept. 11 via Amanuensis/Cooking Vinyl. She recorded the album live at the Café Carlyle in New York City; it features her most New York-centric repertoire and serves as a musical relationship with the city. 

The album’s first two singles, “Walk on the Wild Side” and “New York Is My Destination,” are available now.

“It is always a pleasure to play at the Café Carlyle in New York City, where this album was recorded,” says Vega in a press release. “It is a small exclusive club that has hosted legends from Eartha Kitt to Judy Collins and is also known to be the place where Jackie Kennedy met Audrey Hepburn. I love it for its bohemian old-world glamour! I decided it would be fun to perform a New York-themed show there with songs inspired by New York City or for which New York provided the backdrop, including ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ by my late, great friend, Lou Reed — a song I rarely heard him sing himself.”

Longtime guitarist and musical director Gerry Leonard, bassist Jeff Allen and keyboardist Jamie Edwards back Vega on the album that she recorded in early 2019.

It features new takes on her old songs like “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner” as well as deep cuts from her catalog like “Frank and Ava” and “Ludlow Street.” The mix of repertoire also features “New York Is My Destination” from Lover, Beloved: Songs from an Evening with Carson McCullers, Vega’s one-woman play about the Southern gothic novelist Carson McCullers. An Evening of New York Songs and Stories is produced by Leonard, mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Kevin Killen and mastered by Grammy Award winner Bob Ludwig.

To promote the album, Vega performed a rare livestream set in honor of New York City’s essential healthcare workers. The performance was part of the “Music for the Soul” series created by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, NYC Health + Hospitals and AFM Local 802 to “inspire the heroic medical community, connect isolated patients to the outside world and provide paid work for musicians.”


Jeff started writing about rock ’n’ roll some 20 years ago when he stood in the pouring rain to hitch hike his way to see R.E.M. on their Life’s Rich Pageant tour. Since that time, he's written for various daily newspapers, alt-weeklies, magazines and websites. Feel free to comment on his posts or suggest music, film and art to him at