The ASCAP award-winning songwriter, singer, and guitarist has cut a remarkable
career path. During his thirty-plus year career, Suggs has produced and released
five albums of his own songs. He’s also produced over a dozen releases for the
independent label The Cascades Recording Company. He’s been named
“The Very Best of The Best” in music by Campus Activities magazine.
He has been inducted into the National Campus Entertainment Hall of Fame.
Del is recognized as one of the pioneers of a musical genre known as “Trop
Rock” (tropical rock)-- popularized by such artists as Jimmy Buffett and Kenny
Chesney. Early in his career, Del coined the term "saltwater music" to describe
his style. The recent book “Trop Rock Songs: Stories and Tales” by Andy
Forsyth devotes a full chapter to Del and his music. His songs are frequently
covered by other Trop Rock artists-- in fact his song “Magic Chair” was the title
track John Reno's third album.
And just what is saltwater music? "That's the most popular question I'm asked
before I perform," he said. "I say it's a combination of acoustic rock, pop, blues,
and folk music... with a sunburn! After people hear me play they understand
what I mean. And although some of my music is about the coast, it's really more
of a feeling than a 'subject'."
A veteran of the “College Circuit,“ Del built his career playing at colleges and
universities across the USA. In fact, if you went to college in the last thirty years,
there is a good chance that you heard him play on your campus. Del is a
perpetual finalist for national awards from the campus entertainment field, and
has been voted “Best Solo Artist” by the school membership of Association
for the Promotion of Campus Activities
Suggs was the third inductee into the National Campus Entertainment Hall of
Fame in 2001, and was actually the first performer inducted. He was a Finalist
for "Best Music Act" in the Campus Activities magazine Readers' Poll, and
he was also a Finalist for "Coffeehouse Artist of the Year" from the National
Association for Campus Activities.
Suggs' performance at the "World Music Fest" in Shirahama, Japan sold out in
just three hours. He has also done seven Caribbean tours, primarily benefit
concerts for the "Kids And The Sea" (KATS) program which teaches swimming
and maritime skills to island children.
It's no wonder he's been featured on Public Television concert specials, Public
radio, cable TV, and live concerts across the United States and the Caribbean.
He was even featured in the Banana Republic catalogue, which published his
review of their travel bags. Suggs is also a voting member of the National
Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the Grammy Awards people).
To top it off, he’s a finalist for “Campus Speaker of the Year” as voted by the
school membership of Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.
In addition to his musical career, Suggs has taken a lifetime of volunteering
experience and created a number of leadership development programs which
have become a hot ticket at colleges across the country.
By the way, his latest musical release is a new Christmas CD called “Almost
Christmas.” His latest book, Truly Leading: Lessons in Leadership just had
it's fourth printing. And he shares the cover of the book Roadmap to Success
with none other than Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Ken Blanchard (The One-
Minute Manager). In his spare time, he's currently restoring a 1974 Chrysler
“I guess I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up,” he said in
an recent interview. “The problem is, I want to do everything.”
Performing Songwriter magazine describes Suggs as "Jimmy Buffett
jamming with the Indigo Girls and James Taylor." Dirty Linen, the
acoustic/folk music magazine, said "his songwriting adeptness is a marvelous
blend of depth and perception that never fails to inject serious subject
matter with consistently entertaining music."
Suggs is a contributing author to the 2008 book “Tour:Smart” by Martin Atkins
(Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, et al). Other authors include Henry Rollins, Zim
Zum (from Marilyn Manson), and more rock royalty.
But Suggs' appeal goes far beyond the college age group. "My show is really
geared towards adults of any age. I think acoustic music requires some mental
effort to be truly appreciated. The songs and the stories actually have some
content, some meaning. People whose musical tastes stretch from Jack
Johnson to James Taylor to John Mayer all like my music. It's not heavy or
depressing. It doesn't beat you over the head with some moral. I just have a
point of view that people enjoy."
Although he tours primarily as the headliner of small shows, Suggs has shared
the stage with such notables as Jonathan Edwards, Guy Clark, John Hammond,
Townes Van Zandt, Pierce Pettis, John McEuen, Peter Rowan, Velma Frye, Mac
McAnnally, Roy Bookbinder, Larry Groce, Gamble Rogers, Garrison Keillor,
Steve Key, Tim Weisburg, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and many others.
Del Suggs is an original. His continued success performing and recording is a
reflection of the timelessness of his music. He is one of those individuals who
comes on stage as a stranger, and leaves it as a friend. That is a rare gift.