Folk-Rock Duo Comes To Town

by Jenn Wagaman, News-Miner, Fairbanks, Alaska, May, 2000

If you're a fan of Greg Brown, or any of the singer-songwriters on the scene today, you might want to check out Karen Savoca this weekend at The Blue Loon. The New York based singer will be touring the state with her partner, Pete Heitzman.

Savoca is described as a funky-folk singer, whose broad-ranging voice is often compared with that of the late Janis Joplin.

"Someone called us folk'n'rollers the other day," said Savoca in an interview from her hotel room in Corvallis, OR, where she is currently on tour. "i like that one. We have a good time and we don't take ourselves too seriously."

Despite that lack of seriousness she and Heitzman have come a long way in their career together. The two met while Savoca was attending Syracuse (NY) University, and began playing together. They now live in a renovated church in upstate New York, where they record their own albums. Savoca has refused to sign with any labels, insisting on producing her own music.

"I know people with big record deals and they're not happy," Savoca recently told a Nevada reporter, "They're no longer doing what they want to do. I have more freedom. Nobody is telling me what records to make or what to put on the CD cover."

It's this kind of sassiness towards the record industry that gives Savoca her kick. When asked how old she is, she responded, "I still get proofed when I go buy beer, but I'm old enough to buy."

Savoca feels the recording industry is biased, especially toward women and their age.

"I'm not young and I'm not old," said Savoca. "That's one thing I don't like about the business I'm in. As a woman in music there're all these double standards, pressure to wear makeup, lose weight, lie about your age, put a flattering photo of yourself on the CD cover. Why should people think less of me because I'm over 30? It's whether your music moves people that really counts, and that's what I care about."

-- Jenn Wagaman, free lance writer

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