Steve Ferrara - drums; Anton Sanko - keyboards, vocals; Mark Shulman - lead guitar; Suzanne Vega - lead vocals, guitar; Michael Vesceglia - bass, vocals
This recording was the second of two captured on Vega's Solitude Standing tour for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. Vega was at the top of the charts with her compelling song about child abuse, "Luka," which, nearly twenty years later, is still heard regularly on adult contemporary stations around the globe.
Vega was in the dawn of her performing career in 1987, having just released her second album. And although she seemed somewhat nervous, Vega pulled off a memorable show that opened with an cappella version of "Tom's Diner." That song, oddly enough, would be transformed by bootleg DJs into a top Euro-dance track some years later. Although only a partial set from the entire show was recorded, Vega does a strong version of "Straight Lines," followed by the poignant song, "Small Blue Things." She performs her signature tune, "Luka" near the end of the set.
Born to a mother who was a jazz guitarist, and a successful Hispanic novelist father, Vega grew up in New York City in the culturally rich district of Spanish Harlem. She attended the New York School of Performing Arts, the high school immortalized in the film, Fame, with the hope of becoming a dancer. But before she could fully explore that avenue, she decided to start playing her original folk songs at the same Greenwich Village coffee houses that launched the careers of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.
By the mid-1980s, she had hired a professional music management company and had a deal with A&M Records, who brought in Patti Smith's guitarist Lenny Kaye to co-produce. Her first album, released in 1985, received strong reviews but stalled commercially. It would be her second album, Solitude Standing, and the hit single, "Luka," that would launch her career globally. After getting married to producer Mitchell Froom (Crowded House, Paul McCartney), having children, and eventually divorcing, she returned to performing in 1998. She continues to record and tour to a very loyal cult following.