The Lied To’s
The Lied To’s
Taking their name from the revered Everly Brothers song, “When Will I Be Loved,” The Lied To’s (Susan Levine and Doug Kwartler) collaborate to put the challenges of relationships squarely under their musical microscope with a formidable blend of folk, rock and country-tinged music.
The Lied To’s are Susan Levine and Doug Kwartler, two Massachusetts-based singer-songwriters who joined musical forces in 2014, released their self-titled debut cd at the legendary Club Passim in February 2015, and have been playing together ever since.
On February 17, 2018 The Lied To’s will release their sophomore record, The Lesser of Two Evils, at Club Passim. The new album more deeply explores the themes examined on their first record, including those of love, loss, uncertainty, endurance and hope after personal hardships and during trying times.
What began as a musical partnership – two solo singer-songwriters coming together to create a unique and unified sound – has evolved into a personal partnership. Both Susan and Doug are single parents of two young children a piece. Juggling family life, music, their relationship, and day jobs (Susan is a music therapist and Doug is a music producer) can be a struggle, though it is often inspiration for material. While the songs from their debut album emerged from the emotional turmoil of divorce and its aftermath, their upcoming record covers the terrain of what comes next – the grief that lingers, but also the acceptance, hope for healing and love that remains.
Susan has been a finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival, the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, and the International Songwriting Competition, among others. She also was a Tri-Centric Showcase artist at the 2008 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference (NERFA). Doug has had his songs placed on television shows, including CSI and All My Children, and was an emerging artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Nick Noble, host of the “The Folk Revival” (WICN, Worcester, MA ) states, “Doug Kwartler brings to the 21st century the passion and perception of the great 20th century folk singers like Woody Guthrie and early Bob Dylan.” Columnist, Joel Brown, in an article for The Boston Globe noted that Susan has “Some of the wistful knowledge of Dolly Parton at her best.”
The Lied To’s self-titled debut cd garnered excellent reviews, and received significant airplay on folk radio and Americana stations, rising to #3 on the Roots Rock charts. The duo placed in the top 100 on the No Depression Readers’ Poll and the record was picked as a top 20 CD of the year by Boston’s Metronome magazine, who called them “…one of the finest contemporary guy/gal duos on the scene today. “ In addition to shows at the legendary Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, the duo has played at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN, as well as venues in Virginia, New York, Connecticut and throughout Massachusetts.
Praise for The Lied To’s:
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Susan Levine and singer-songwriter-multi-
instrumentalist Doug Kwartler have teamed up to create one of the finest contemporary guy/gal duos on the scene today. – Metronome Magazine
Susan Levine has a voice somewhere between Dolly Parton and Maria Muldaur – it carries an edgy passion with a wailing “want my man” quality. – The Doug Kwartler has one of those John Mellencamp-ish, longing, honky-tonk voices that make women weak in the knees. – The Noise
“…lyrically and musically a gentle masterpiece…” – Americana UK
Rob Laurens is a songwriter’s songwriter. With a keen eye for subtle, understated detail, Rob creates songs whose lyrics resonate like the words of a writer; his songs tell stories, often expressing the kind of ideas and complexity of emotions more typically tackled in the work of a novelist. However, his writing is not over-burdened or pretentious. Rather, Rob creates songs that are subtle and insightful, with meanings that deepen with repeated listening.
Steeped in the knowledge of many kinds of American traditional music – especially Appalachian ballads – Rob seeks to emulate the best folk songs, which possess these traits. Rob has lived and traveled throughout the United States, and has had the opportunity to spend time learning folk music from Appalachian fiddle and banjo players, blues guitarists, and from recordings in the Library of Congress. Along with his appreciation of the poetry and myth of American folk song, these experiences have helped him develop what has been described by Dave Palmater of WUMB 91.9 FM Boston as, “the rare ability to write songs that seem like they’ve always been there.”
To accompany his performances of these songs, Rob uses a number of instruments, including piano, harmonica, and a cache of vintage guitars. He sings in a tenor voice with a natural, quick vibrato that is at times reminiscent of old-time Appalachian singing.
Rob has won the New Folk Award for Songwriting at both the Kerrville Folk Festival (TX) and its sister festival, The Columbia River Festival (WA). He has returned to play the main stage at these and many other festivals, including the Strawberry, High Sierra, and Napa Valley Festivals in California. He tours both east and west coasts, playing such clubs as The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, California, and Club Passim in Cambridge, Massachusetts.