“I’m just trying to tap into what’s good and true,” says Nashville-based singer/songwriter and yoga instructor Suzi Ragsdale about the intersection between yoga and music. “Yoga is compatible with my view of the world and my writing has to be compatible with my view of the world. It needs to mean something to me or I’ll just not write that song.”
Fluidly flowing throughout her music, the discipline and practice of yoga and the spiritual connection between the physical and spiritual finds a fount of creative energy within Ragsdale. Her new single “Wildflowers” carries a basic understanding of the importance of natural beauty over cultured domesticity. “I’m following my heart. So darlin’, please don’t be surprised / If I pick wildflowers over roses, whiskey over wine” she sings, illustrating that idea poignantly.
Set upon a percolating percussion and a wistful slide guitar, Ragsdale silky vocals glide effortlessly over the song like the garden butterflies in her video for the song. Shot on her recently purchased six acres of unspoiled land 30 miles west of Nashville, the gorgeous backwoods-ian looseness of the environment matches the hippy groove of the song.
“When we shot the video for ‘Wildflowers,’ I had just moved to the country and my new property seemed the perfect location for the shoot,” she explains matching the synergistic energy between the music and the visuals. Amidst a babbling brook, gravel roads, and an untended flowerbed, Ragsdale aptly wanders barefoot in torn jeans and sundresses, like the beautiful hippie that she is. She adds sentimentally, “Check out the real star of the video, Tex, my beloved English Bulldog, who graduated to heaven a few months later. Bless his soul.”
Collaborating with acclaimed producer Sam Frank who has worked with such notable artists Sia and Emile Sande, she recorded it in comfortable and convenient surroundings of her home. That carefree and breezy grace radiates warmly in the tenderness in the tracks. “The making of this EP has been so much fun,” she recalls. “I can say that of all the records I’ve made but each has its own individual circumstances and excitement.”
“This past February, [Frank], my co-writer on ‘Wildflowers,’ came for a long visit from his home in London and produced the rest of the EP in my living room, with the exception of a few tracks at legendary steel player, Dan Dugmore’s Shabby Road studio,” she says.
“Sam and I have been collaborating for over 20 years and it’s such a pleasure to work with someone who feels like family … as well as those who actually are family,” she laughs! “The support and interest of my father [Country Music Hall of Famer Ray Stevens] has brought this project to fruition. He co-produced ‘Wildflowers’ with Sam and has made it possible for me to share these recordings with you.”
Returning to the essence of yoga and the cosmic connectivity of her music with the cleansing of mind and body, she explains the crux of her new EP in somewhat metaphysical terms, apropos for the boundless spirit that guides her with natural elegance. She concludes, “Though not intentionally written to be so, this group of songs has a common thread of transformation … of accepting what’s out of our control, but without resignation … instead rising from the proverbial ashes with perseverance and strength, humor and grace.”