Where to find the Award winning Boogie Woogie piano player...


Listen to Sue's Latest Podcast, GEMS, Volume 2.


We were nominated for TWO San Diego Music Awards this year!! Best Jazz Band (Sue Palmer & Her Motel Swing Orchestra) AND Best Blues Album (for GEMS volume 2)!! Thank You San Diego and Thank You to SDMA!! Music Awards will be announced on March 23rd at House of Blues.
Thank you to everyone who came, including Birthday Girl Jannette, special guests Laura Jane and Tiki God Thomas Yearsley, my entire fabulous band The Motel Swing Orchestra, Tio Leos, and Wicked Harem Productions!
Sue Palmer GEMS, Volume 2
GEMS, volume 2, continues the compilation of some of my favorite personal recordings over the years, with my bands and one new one, recorded in 2019, with Laura Jane ("Oh Well"), and an all star cast, at the Thunderbird Analog Studios. Here it is available in its entirety. GEMS volume 2 is also available in podcast form if you want to hear the narration with the album. ENJOY!!!!

Note: right click the 'mp3' link if you want to download each song

  1. Soundtrack to a B Movie, by Sue Palmer, Sue Palmer&Her Motel Swing Orchestra: Sue Palmer, piano, Sharon Shufelt, drums, Oliver Shirley, bass, Jonny Viau, sax, April West, trombone, Steve Wilcox, guitar, Live version, 2002.
  2. Dark Eyes, traditional,Sue Palmer, piano, Pete Harrison, bass, Sharon Shufelt, drums, April West, trombone, Jonny Viau, sax, Steve Wilcox, guitar, 2015.
  3. Do Lord Remember Me, traditional, Sue Palmer, piano, Sharon Shufelt, drums, Rob Thorsen, bass, Deejha Marie, vocals, Earl Thomas, vocals, 1999.
  4. Oh Well by Laura Jane Willcock, Sue Palmer, piano, Sharon Shufelt, drums, Thomas Yearsley, bass, Laura Chavez, guitar, Jonny Viau, sax, Laura Jane, vocals, 2019.
  5. Freak Lover by Mark Unobski, Sue Palmer, piano, Frosty Smith, drums, Greg Willis, bass, Cadye Kane, vocals, Eric Hokkanen, violin, Steve James rhythm guitar, 1996.
  6. Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere, by Hadda Brooks, same as #1, Deejha Marie vocals, 2002.
  7. Bricktop, by Sue Palmer, April West, Sharon Shufelt, Sue Palmer, piano, vocals, Sharon Shufelt, drums, vocals, Pete Harrison, bass, April West, trombone, vocals, JPBalmat, alto sax, 2015.
  8. 2 Deuces, by Lil Hardin Armstrong, Tobacco Road: Sue Palmer, piano, Preston Coleman, bass, Sharon Shufelt, drums, Phil Shopoff, trumpet, Eric Hybertsen, clarinet, April West, trombone, 1988.
  9. Down Amongst the Sheltering Palms, by A.Olman and J. Broman, Sue Palmer, ukelele, Pete Harrison, ukelele and bass, Sharon Shufelt, drums, vocals, April West, vocals, Phil Shopoff, lead vocals, JPBalmat, clarinet, Jonny Viau, gull sounds/sax, 2015.
  10. East St. Louis Toodle-oo, by E. Ellington, B.Bigard, and B. Miller, Sue Palmer, piano, Pete Harrison, bass, Sharon Shufelt, drums, April West, trombone, Phil Shopoff, trumpet, Jonny Viau, bari sax, JPBalmat, clarinet, 2015.
  11. On the Sunnyside of the Street, by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, Sue Palmer, piano, Sharon Shufelt, drums, Rob Thorsen, bass, April West, trombone, Jonny Viau, sax, Steve Wilcox, guitar, David Mosby, vocals, 2001.
  12. Narrative, written by Sue Palmer, performed by Romy Kaye, live show "Soundtrack to a B Movie," Dizzys, 2002
  13. Just for a Thrill, by Lil Hardin Armstrong, Sue Palmer, piano, Sharon Shufelt, drums, Oliver Shirley, bass, April West, trombone, Romy Kaye, vocals, 2002.
  14. Fish for Supper, traditional, same as #8, Preston Coleman, lead vocals, 1989.
  15. Ferriday Breakdown, by Sue Palmer, The Hayriders: Sue Palmer, piano, Katie Cavera, bass, Jonny Gee, rhythm guitar, vocal, Gino Meregliano, guitar, Junior Smith, drums, 2007.
  16. Blue Skies, by Tom Waits, "New Coat of Paint, songs by Tom Waits," Sue Palmer, piano, Buddy Blue, guitar, Tony Bishop, bass, Pete Boyd, drums, Floyd Dixon, vocals.
  17. Ladies Shoes by Sue Palmer, Sue Palmer&Her Motel Swing Orchestra: Sue Palmer, piano, Sharon Shufelt, drums, Pete Harrison, bass, Jonny Viau, sax, April West, trombone, Steve Wilcox, guitar, Deejha Marie, vocals.
  18. Dragnet for Jesus by Sister Wynona Carr, Sue Palmer, piano, Rob Thorsen, bass, Sharon Shufelt, drums, April West, trumpet, trombone, Eric Hybertsen, sax, Candye Kane, vocals, 2001.
  19. Angels All Around You, by Dana Leewood, project to benefit the Nicole Brown Charitable Foundation, featuring Nicole's Choir, with soloists: Dana Leewood, Lisa Sanders, Eve Selis, Candye Kane, Mary Dolan, Randi Driscoll, Sue Palmer, piano, 2011.
  20. Speakin' My Mind by Sidney Bechet/Blue Monk, T. Monk, Sue Palmer, solo piano, recorded at John and Blanche Ulrich's home, 2015.
Review: SUE PALMER: Gems, Vol. 2

by Ted Burke, SanDiegoTroubadour.com

San Diego jazz pianist Sue Palmer, the Queen of Boogie Woogie, the Sultana of Swing, the Lady Who Skates on the 88s. That is to say Ms. Palmer has been an invigorating presence on the live music scene in our busy burg, hustling and bustling her infectious blend of rhythm, riffing, boogie woogie, and barnstorming boogie in bistros, clubs ,cafes and concert halls. Her style, two-fisted, elegant, and rocking without fail, has been captured live and in the studio on a stomping array of over 14 albums, aided with the inestimable brilliance of some of the area’s best musicians.

Her 2018 release Gems, Vol. 1, was a fine-tuned selection of her best tunes from her CD releases over the years. It was a potent 20 songs in a variety of styles—rich in blues, hot in jazz, mournful and soulful as the mood dictated, all of it graced with the signature left hand-right hand keyboarding of Palmer, who never forgets to swing. Elevating with contagious energy, it’s a choice introduction to Palmer’s work and the players who help make the music sizzle like steaks on a hot grill.

And now we have Gems, Vol. 2, a new collection of syncopated savvy. For the blues lovers among our readership, “Soundtrack for a B Movie” fills the room with a blues saxophone chorus punctuated by Palmer’s rattling on the keys and Steve Wilcox’s bittersweet guitar fills, brief but very soulful. “Dark Eyes” is elegant, lilting and emboldened by trombonist April West’s shimmering tone. The band moves smoothly over the walking bass, with Palmer ringing in a spry and lyric solo. Johnny Viau rounds matters out with a smoky saxophone sortie.

“Bricktop” raises the ante with jump blues, the band riding the bass and drums in perfect sympathy, with piano and trombone framing the Lambert, Hendricks and Ross-like chorus that invokes the vagabond spirit with a loose-fit precision. David Mosby takes a sauntering vocal turn on the Jimmy McHugh-Dorothy Fields’ classic “On the Sunny Side of the Street.” Mosby’s voice is big, declarative, embracing, and fitting for the tune’s good cheer, an idea accented with Palmer’s sparkling chord work and an ebullient solo.

The 20 tracks on Gems Vol. 2 are impressive in stylistic range and performance, and the work of the many musicians that Palmer has worked with through the years have created a body of work that succeeds in that rarest quality. That quality is that she and her bandmates are “old school” in the eras they draw from, with none of the moldy aura of mere revivalism. This collection of tracks isn’t destined for the museum where artifacts languish. This music lives when played by the right combination of players committed to keeping things lively on the bandstand and on the dancefloor.

Coming up in 2020!

Sunday May 10th - Gator By the Bay
Cancelled until 2021

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