Susan Werner at Mendelssohn Club March 19

Susan Werner is one of a growing number of performers attempting to revive traditional pop songs from the 1930s and ’40s. Local residents will have the opportunity to witness Werner’s unique style when she plays the Mendelssohn Club (415 N. Church St.) Friday, March 19 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Werner’s show is part of Charlotte’s Web for the Performing Arts March concert lineup. For more information, call 964-2238.

Werner has been touring around the country to promote her fourth national release, I Can’t Be New. As a singer, guitarist, pianist and songwriter, she is a multitalented performer who incorporates elements of jazz, pop and folk into her music.

During a recent interview with The Rock River Times, Werner explained that she had a clear vision for this album.

“The aim of this project was Carole King meets Cole Porter,” Werner said.

All of the 12 songs on I Can’t Be New are original, but written in the style of 1930s and 40s music. While recording this CD, Werner listened to Chet Baker, Julie London and Ella Fitzgerald for inspiration. To order I Can’t Be New, visit

Werner hopes to bring this classic music to the masses once again. “The timing of this CD could not have been better because it seems as if there’s new interest in the Great American Songbook with artists like Rod Stewart, Bette Midler and Cyndi Lauper singing traditional pop songs,” Werner said.

She also believes this older genre will appeal to modern listeners. “There seems to be a new interest in listening to songs that are pleasant; songs that are gentle. It’s a more recent development, and I think it has something to do with 9-11,” said Werner.

Over the years, Werner has visited Rockford several times. Aside from the Mendelssohn Club, she’s performed at various local festivals and at Memorial Hall. “Rockford’s been very kind to me, very supportive. I look forward to coming back,” Werner said.

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