Susan Shook was born and raised in rural Chesterton, Indiana (3 miles from the sandy, hilly dunes of Lake Michigan) and now resides in equally hilly northern Kentucky. She grew up surrounded by 7 musical siblings and all sorts of instruments (piano, clarinet, oboe, saxophones, French horn, trombone, trumpet, and a tuba/sousaphone — proudly played by her twin brother). She was also exposed to all sorts of musical genres from classical to folk to pop. While Susan would hear bluegrass bands at festivals as a kid, she never really correlated the name to the specific qualities and history of this music until starting mandolin lessons on a whim (while her daughter took banjo). At that point, she became fully entranced by bluegrass music’s inescapable toe-tapping rhythm and drive, tight vocal harmonies, melodic and often speed-defying instrumental passages, and how an entire group of pickers builds from and coordinates with other musicians – and their crowd of listeners. As the saying goes, “She’s hooked.”
By day, Susan works for a Fortune 10 healthcare company, providing legal guidance in a variety of areas and subtly trying to influence others to enjoy bluegrass in their free time – as an audience member, or preferably, as a picker!