Austin-based singer/songwriter Suzanna Choffel learned of her involvement in the new film Catfish in a surprising manner – through friends congratulating her after having seen it, and obviously after the documentary was already released. In a world where increasing importance has been placed on musicians to have their work heard through alternative channels and music placement in film has become akin to competitive sport, it was the ultimate act of kismet that allowed Suzanna’s version of the Jimmy Driftwood classic, “Tennessee Stud,” to become a centerpiece of one the fall’s most buzzed about cinematic releases.
Catfish follows a relationship developed in the digital age that goes awry, played out deceptively over social media by a young man and woman. When the man asks the woman, admittedly an avid equestrian, to send him a song she’s sung about a horse, she offers an audio rip of Choffel’s “Tennessee Stud.” “It’s funny, because I barely remember filming the original version of ‘Tennessee Stud’,” explains Choffel from her home in Austin. “I know it was a Valentine’s Day show in 2009, and I had kind of screwed up the words, so after two days up on YouTube, and something like 50 hits, I asked my manager to take it down and delete the file. How crazy is it that in such a short time span, fate would step in, and it’s a central piece of this story?” Since the original version has been erased, Choffel created a new video of “Tennessee Stud,” which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfywB4K3xOw.
Though new to the world of film, Suzanna Choffel is no stranger to the realm of music. Born and bred in Austin, TX, a city with music at the central core of its being, Suzanna has risen organically through the hallowed ranks of famed Austin musicians, her peers voting her the “Indie Artist of the Year” in 2009. In addition to winning and being named finalist in a melange of respected songwriting and performance competitions, Choffel has the ear and precious time of illustrious musical personnel, both in her backing band and featured in her sophomore release, due to be in stores in early 2011.
Steady Eye Shaky Bow, an album two years in the making, is currently being cooked to perfection by producer Danny Reisch (White Denim, Bright Light Social Hour). The infectious first track, “Archer”, has journalists nationwide comparing Choffel to the likes of Feist, Norah Jones, Amy Winehouse, Neko Case and Erykah Badu for her idiosyncratic smoky, sultry sound with an indie pop sensibility. Choffel is joined on the record by a host of very special guest musicians, such as David Garza, Michael Kincaid of What Made Milwaukee Famous and New Orleans’ legendary Big Sam’s Funky Nation.
A taste of “Archer” can be heard here: