The Maine Department of Tourism should consider hiring Suzy Bogguss as its spokeswoman.
“I’ ve absolutely fallen in love with Maine, and there’ s no better time than August,” said Bogguss, who will perform at 8 p.m. Friday with Jamie O’ Neal at the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland.
Last year, Bogguss picked up her son Ben at camp, then she, husband Doug Crider and Ben drove around Maine in a rented RV for five days, before a couple of shows downstate. This year, she’ ll pick up Ben from camp again, and her family will be tourists until the Rockland show.
“We’ ll have lobster every day, in some form,” she said.
Bogguss enjoys festival shows more these days.
“I like them a lot now,” she said. “When that was all that I was doing, I didn’ t find them as rewarding or intimate as I’ d like. Now I’ m doing a lot of theaters and smaller venues, so now [festivals] are kind of party time, with an upbeat flavor.”
Bogguss is touring behind her latest album, the jazz-tinted “Sweet Danger.” The album, which she produced with old friend Jason Miles, is a definite departure for Bogguss, who wrote seven of the release’ s 12 songs.
“Sweet Danger” marked a new musical direction for Bogguss, one that she enjoyed.
“It’ s fun to collaborate with good friends, to learn, to get a different flavor. Jason let me spread my wings a little bit. We used East Coast players, and part of the challenge was finding a way to meld the two styles together.”
After Rockland, Bogguss will play a month of dates with the “Prairie Home Companion” tour. She’ s been a regular with “PHC” for the past year.
“One of the things that I love about it is that Garrison takes a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach, and I’ m the same way,” she explained. “I enjoy being around him and watching the process work. I’ m just one of the players, and that’ s refreshing and challenging.”
Bogguss takes a similar tack when planning her next project.
“I wait for something to signal what I want to do next,” she said. “I always jump into a project. I’ ve always been a fan of singer-songwriters, and I’ ll probably continue to write more material. I’ ve always had control over production, but on ‘ Sweet Danger,’ I had control of the melody as well, which is really exciting. I like the challenge of coming up with a melody that hangs in people’ s minds.”
For more, call 1-800-LOB-CLAW or 207-596-0376 or visit www.mainelobsterfestival.com.