Sister Soozie: Two Decades of Music
Violinist, vocalist, guitarist and longtime friend of the E Street Band, “Sister” Soozie Tyrell also has the distinction of appearing on more Springsteen records — E Street and otherwise — in the past two decades than anyone not named “Bruce” or “Patti.”
Tyrell is most known most for her warm, scene-setting violin sound, which became an integral and full-time supplement to the E Street Band with the release of The Rising in 2002. Born in Pisa, Italy to a military father, Tyrell crisscrossed the globe as a youngster, investing herself in music before eventually settling in New York City. Her first spin in the E Street orbit came when she formed the group Trickster with Lisa Lowell and Patti Scialfa; in 1980 she began performing on records by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. She spent the ’80s leading her own country band and working with Buster Poindexter; yes, that’s her on “Hot Hot Hot.”
Tyrell’s first appearance on a Springsteen album came with Lucky Town, where she contributed backing vocals, and since then she’s appeared on every Springsteen studio album — including the non-E Street records. But it was with The Rising that her violin became one of the band’s focal points, particularly on tracks (and continued live staples) such as “Waitin’ on a Sunny Day” and “Lonesome Day.”
Tyrell and her violin were also part of the Seeger Sessions album and tour band in 2006, making her one of a few E Street residents to appear in both bands. Over the years she’s also performed with Sheryl Crow, Shawn Colvin, Train, Elvis Costello and Scialfa; she released her solo debut, White Lines, in 2003.