Naked Dreams


Originally from New England and now based in Horseshoe Bay, Texas, singer-songwriter Susie Warley released a modern country rock classic with her 2009 CD Naked Dreams. Proving that country music is more a state of mind than just a red state, Warley’s country rock may sound influenced by greats from Skeeter Davis (‘50s) to Linda Ronstadt (‘60s) and Marti Jones and Aimee Mann (‘80s), yet with a memorable batch of satisfying tunes, Warley stakes out a vibe all her own. To help realize her contemporary country pop vision, Warley has assembled a fine crew of backing players including Texas guitarist John Inmon. A rising guitar figure from the Lone Star State, Inmon made a solid impression among guitar fans with his 2008 Songs For Heavy Traffic. Compared to the well honed guitar instrumental sound on his CD, with Naked Dreams Inmon assumes the role of guitarist and producer. Inmon’s always tasteful fretboard work is balanced by Warley’s elegant countrified vocals. The music of Naked Dreams ranges from torch songs and light ballads to a more guitar driven upbeat groove with a solid pop edge.

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Musical Background

I confess, I’ve been a lifelong student of the school of rock. Growing up in New Hampshire, I listened to all the great rock legends of the 60s, 70s, and a few from the 80s. I started playing guitar when I was 12, played for a few years, put it down for a few years, and then picked it up again. After moving to Texas, I was exposed to the blues and country. My first album, Kalypso, is an acoustic collection that trends toward folk-country. But rock ‘n roll is my true love, so when I approached John Inmon about producing a rock album for me, his eyes lit up and he said, “Let’s do it!” I knew then that I’d met my musical soul mate. It was a serendipitous moment. But what I didn’t realize is that working with John would be a transformative experience. He is a living legend and a marvel to watch, as he weaves his magic. A musical Merlin, of sorts.

New CD

As I mentioned, I’ve always had a burning desire to do a rock album. Naked Dreams began with a dilemma, followed by an epiphany. You see, most venues in Texas hire pure country artists, and my sound is more torchy, folksy, pop-rock. So here I am, in the land of honky-tonks wondering, do I go hard-core country or do I follow my heart? Ultimately, I followed my heart and aspired for an album that had spirit and rocked, and, at the same time, offered a nice array of songs in terms of musical and thematic diversity. We recorded all the guitar tracks at John’s studio and then finished out the rest of the tracks at Cedar Creek in Austin. John’s amazing to work with. He intuitively knows how to interpret a song, even in its crudest form. He knows how to capture its spirit, how to build dynamics, and how to take the song to its highest level. He told me, “a song speaks for itself.” He makes it sound so easy; but the truth is, John is a visionary and a creative genius. His gorgeous guitar solos are all over the album and they’re heavenly—no, they’re mesmerizing. Here in Austin, we are blessed in that we have an abundance of talent, so even if you don’t like my songs, you’ll be impressed with the musicianship. The album also features some incredible piano, organ, and violin solos. It’s the kind of album that other musicians listen to, and they’re blown away.

Favorite Guitars

I’ve always loved Taylor, but then a few years ago, I got my first Breedlove, just the standard Atlas model. It has a great sound and is the perfect size for a woman. But then my husband had to go and ruin me with a custom Breedlove C25. She’s made of myrtle wood and features a mother-of-pearl inlay of a horse on the fret board, perfect for a Texan! Now this beauty has spirit and she sounds as impressive as she looks, with rich bass tones. Now, with a rock album out, I found myself compelled to do the Dylan thing and go electric. That’s when I lost my heart to “Orpheus,” a hunky, hollow-bodied Taylor T-5 adorned with beautiful Koa Wood. Not only is he a handsome, but he can sing, and his voice resonates in deep, vibrant tones that are almost intoxicating. He’s so sweet!

Musical Influences

Well, as I mentioned earlier, I love classic rock. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, CCR, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Fleetwood Mac, and the cool jazz-rock of Steely Dan. I love Pearl Jam and Sound Garden too. I admire the guitar virtuosity of Lindsey Buckingham, Eddie Van Halen, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. The must-have’s in my musical library include The Beatles (White Album) and Abbey Road, Fleetwood Mac’s Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan’s Pretzel Logic, The Eagles Hotel California, Heart’s Dog and Butterfly, and Elton John’s Madman Across the Water.

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