24/2/2021 - Shedding My Skin.

Dear Friends,

It has been a long time between newsletters. The last time I wrote to you, I had been in a 'rabbit hole'... I fell even further for a little while. Both my parents fell seriously ill and my mother passed away in late August. My father is now very feeble and has deteriorated rapidly over the last few months. I have taken some time off work to spend some time with him as well as try and find my equilibrium. I was swimming in murky waters for a while and trying not to drown.

Yet, I count myself lucky as I had a job during our lockdowns - my son lost his, and lost his way for a little while. My daughter's course was extended due to the lockdown, but she has now completed it and hopes to be looking for work in childcare soon. I think the last year was very hard on young people, especially those who had left secondary school and were looking forward to stretching their wings away from home. But, as I said... we were some of the lucky ones...

During lockdown, I did a couple of gigs over zoom for the Berwick and the Victorian folk clubs and an Emmylou Harris Tribute on FB live, for the Drunken Poet. You can watch the show on Youtube on this link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dr0ZEQvalaU

I spent a lot of time reading, reflecting, and writing in my journal, in between working and caring for my parents ... wondering about the future of the music industry and my music career as so many gigs were cancelled and opportunities melted away. Maybe the reflection had also something to do with clocking up a milestone birthday and knowing that time is precious with less time ahead of me, as well as the loss of my mother, some friends, and some favourite musicians.

I was blessed when things opened up in late October, as I got a couple of opportunities to perform at the fabulous Drunken Poet again - my Joan Baez tribute, as well as a Wednesday, Women and Whiskey night where I got to sing my original songs as well as a couple of covers to a great reception. There are some posts of photos and songs on my Facebook site from that gig.

Which brings me to the next point... the Quiet Man Singing Sessions are BACK! We were planning to start last month, but then went into the sudden 5 day lockdown so we had to delay the session till next Wednesday 3rd March. As a result we will have 2 sessions in March. Details are on the flyer below. For those of you in Melbourne intending to join us, you will need to book and the sessions will be held in the front bar to comply with COVID restrictions. Kathryn and I look forward to seeing your lovely faces soon and ironing out the wrinkles in those vocal cords.

I have also been busy beavering away on a couple of music courses - one on production and one on writing for sync licensing. I think I bit off more than I could chew... but as they say - you eat an elephant one mouthful at a time. That's how it feels with everything that has been on my plate. It has been an interesting time and a period where I have been challenged to shed my 'old' skin as a new way of being present in the world is being demanded of me.

This reflection turned out as a piece of prose poetry titled - Shedding My Skin  which you can read on my poetry site, through this link, or directly on https://thesoulfulheart.com/2021/02/23/shedding-my-skin/

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you want copies of the poems, songs, cds, or help with songwriting... or simply a friendly ear in these challenging times.

Sending you much love, peace and blessings,

Suzette xx



To download the track "Surrender My Will" for free, go to https://suzetteherft.com/dl and enter the code abcd-1234

April 2020 - Holding My Breath

The last few weeks 

It seems that I have been 

Holding my breath… 

Suspended by a thin thread… 

Clouded with uncertainty… 

Stuck in a surreal landscape… 

Fear is the language 

In the town 

It spreads like gossip 


Fear – in empty supermarket shelves 

Fear – in the theft of important hospital masks 

Fear – in the queues waiting to buy guns… 

When in reality 

We all have enough… 

We would 

If we shared what we have. 

Even if we don’t have spare money to share – 

We can share our time, our energy, our compassion… 

We can share our talents, our gifts… 

To ease the hunger of Spirit… 

The hunger of Heart… 

Or even real empty stomach hunger.. 

I don’t want to stay suspended 

I don’t want to stay paralyzed by fear 

I don’t want to stay holding my breath 

This is the time 

I must rise out of my stuckness… 

Rise out of fear… 

To acquire less and to give more… 

To move inward 

To discover the completeness of who I am 

The completeness of who we are… 

We are gifts to each other. 

We are enough as we are. 

We refuse to be defined 

by the market world of Success… 

Success – the crown of the entitled few 

Success – that comes at a cost 

To our environment… 

To our indigenous cultures… 

To our own communities… 

To our own families… 

And our own creative selves. 

We desire for all to be truly Wealthy  - 

Wealth of well-being 

Wealth of deep satisfaction in life 

Wealth of  our inner creative life. 

Let us refuse to hold our breath any longer 

Let us remember that we are enough 

Let us remember that we have enough to share 

The time is now to choose 

The Way of Love not Fear 

Let us breathe out a new way of being in the world 

And stop holding our breath.

March 2020 - Cancellations .... and Small Things

Dear Friends, 

Just a quick note to let you know that due to these strange and difficult times, and mindful of our social responsibilities to those who are more vulnerable, the Singing Session at The Quiet Man has been cancelled until further notice. 

Actually, quite a few of my gigs have been cancelled in recent days, and I, with my colleagues are wondering how long this will endure. Some of my musician friends are experiencing financial hardship. So if you have been wanting to buy a cd, rather than listening to Spotify... maybe this is the time to chase up your favourite artist or two and make a purchase. Venues that support live music have also been affected and we hope that they can ride through this storm with our support. 

I just wanted to leave you with a poem I wrote just over 2 years ago... titled 'SMALL THINGS'. 

Do not waste precious moments 

Waiting for the future 'big' thing 

That moment, 

That time, 

That person... or that situation 

which will save you... 

or throw you a lifeline... 

or rescue you from your oblivion... 

your invisibility... 

That time or the situation 

that you are waiting for 

where you show the world who you are... 

where you share your gifts with the larger world... 

Or the person 

who will finally see you 

and give you a sheltering space 

that will bring you peace... 

that will bring you the happiness that you long for... 

that will heal your heart-break... 

No, do not waste precious moments 


for that time, that person, that situation 

who may or may not come... 

Who can tell? 

Instead, start with the present moment... 

the present time... 

the people with who share your life now. 

Start small. 

Start right where you are 

and do the small things 

with great love... 

Be in the present moment now 

with great love. 

That is all. 

There are other poems on my site that you may wish to read and fill your soul with.  They can be found here... (the soulful heart). 

Till I can sing for you soon... Much love, 


Aug 2019 - A Time of Feast

Dear Friends, 

It has been many months since my last newsletter. Summer passed very quickly. The highlight for me was being Joan Baez in the Celebration of Woodstock at The Port Fairy Folk Festival. I got to open the show with 'Oh Happy Day' and 'Joe Hill' on Stage 3 to my biggest audience ever... possibly 8 or 9000 people squashed into the venue. Not only that, but I got to sing with Melanie - the one and only - who was at the original Woodstock. It was amazing and so inspiring to be in the presence of a warm-hearted soulful woman legend. I felt truly blessed!  Here is a tiny clip of the event at Port Fairy with the amazing Pete Fidler accompanying me. https://youtu.be/8Awl8EeHonw 

In Melbourne, we are currently dragging ourselves through the last month of winter. It has been bitterly cold at times, but today the sun has been shining, and I am looking forward to more warmth and some essential Vitamin D from more sun... hopefully in the not so distant future. 

Despite the cold weather, I have been very busy on the music front, and my August is bursting with gigging opportunities. Unfortunately, I have only had time to complete one new song in the last couple of months, which I performed at the June Writers' Block. It was titled 'No Friend But The Mountain', written in response to the heartbreaking story of Behrouz Boochani, who is detained on Manus Island, with so many other refugees.  The song can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/A355YyYkh0s 

I have also been very humbled (and surprised) to receive an award from Folk Victoria - the 2019 Graham Squance Memorial Award, to honour my longstanding contribution to the Folk Music scene in Victoria. This award was presented to me at The Newport Folk Festival in Melbourne at the end of June. I will continue to work to enrich the folk music scene here and support and encourage new comers and my peers. Part of my vision is to revitalise Folk Victoria, with the help of some like minded people. 

As I mentioned earlier, I have a basketful of gigs coming up and I hope that I can catch up with some of you at these events.  In particular, I have two very special gigs.  One is a house concert with my friend and colleague from The Quiet Man singing sessions, Kathryn Clements on Sunday 18th August.  Details are on the flyer below. I hope that I can meet some of you at this intimate setting where we can enjoy some wine and cheese as well. The other special concert is in Sale.  This is the first time that I have had an opportunity to perform in the Gippsland area, and I am so looking forward to it.  I will also be holding a Songwriters' Workshop on Performance skills. This will occur on the Friday 30th August (concert) and Saturday 31st Aug (workshop). Details of both are on the flyer below.  If you have any friends in the area, please pass this onto them. 

On the personal front, I have been feeling at peace with myself. There is no handsome stranger on the horizon as yet, (for those of you yearning to ask) but I've learnt to value myself a lot more over these last few years, and some amazing songs have come out of this time of growth and reflection. 

Even the possums have finally left my garden these last two weeks (with some assistance to relocate), and I went to the nursery last Sunday to treat myself to a dozen new roses to plant... I lost so many plants to the possums over the last 4 years.  So like the Spring, ready to spring into life and blossom, and like my possum mangled garden, showing signs of tender new leaves, I am getting ready too. I have just posted another poem titled 'Feast' on my poetry site "Distillations of A Soul" which also has another free download of a song of mine, if you would like to check it out. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I hope to see you very soon. 

With much love and blessings. 

Suzette xx 

To download the track "The Caged Bird Sings" for free, go to https://suzetteherft.com/dl and enter the code abcd-1234 

Aug 2018 - Sweetness after Grief, Songs of Hope and Seeds of Compassion  

Dear Friends, 

I hope you are enjoying the pleasant easing into Spring with the long awaited warmth filtering through the air.  Today I got to sit in the sunshine by the beautiful Maribyrnong river and enjoy a meal with some friends and nursing colleagues of mine.  I then wandered to Poynton's nursery to soak in the colours and the perfume of beautiful plants, but also to buy 6 metres of black netting. I need the netting to wrap around the plants that the possums have shredded. They are destroying my…

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Sept 2016 - The Sonoran Dogs 

Hi Everyone, 

Just a quick email to let you know that the Singers Session is on this Wednesday...yes, the 20th September.  I have been laid low these last couple of weeks with a lingering cough and some troublesome times at work.  I have been sustained by some quiet time and some good friends with a listening ear and wise words.... so thank you to those angels who have come in many disguises. 

In addition to the session on Wednesday, I would like to ask you to support a gig that I am arranging on Thursday…

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Song birds - Aug 2016 

Hello my friends, 

To celebrate two gigs that honour the song and the singing, I am offering you a free download of my song 'The Caged Bird Sings'.  This song's title is the shortened version of the real title 'I know why the caged bird sings', which is the same title of the poem and the autobiographical book by Maya Angelou. She was an amazing woman whose story inspires me. 

My song is my story but it shares a resonance with the poem.  I sing because it gives me life... it is my very breath.  I would…

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The year goes off with a Big Bang!!! 

Dear Friends, 

I started off the year thinking this would be my 'slow down' year... but instead, I've had a very busy time over the last few months -  starting in January with the lovely little festival in Georgetown, Tassie... then in our own lovely town of Newstead... Somewhere in early Feb, my son and I headed off to Sydney, to view the Dutch Masters exhibition, plus see the sights.  I am not that familiar with Sydney having only been on a weekend a couple of times, and Christopher hadn't been since he…

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Dear Friends, 

I have a new poem for you that I posted on my new website solely for the use of my writings - which I have called The Soulful Heart - Distillations of a soul. 

If you click on the link below it will take you to my poem on my website, (which also has a photo of a sunrise that I took in Morocco, on the Sahara desert, and a song of hope), all about beginning again. It seems an appropriate time to begin again on this the first day of the New Year. 

I have a couple of…

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JUL 17 2017 – THE PILGRIM 

On the personal news front - I’ve had my head down and hands to the grind stone, busily working full time over the last 5 weeks with another few weeks to go, as I am desperately trying to pay for for my overseas holiday and put some funds back into the credit card. It is my own little ‘Camino’ to Morocco and Spain. In 2012, I made a ‘Musical Pilgrimage’ to the US, visiting and singing in places that were dear to my heart. Now it is time for another pilgrimage - A pilgrimage of…

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Dear Friends, 

I hope this New Year finds you well and happy. There has been lots happening even though we are only in the second month of the year. 

On the personal front, my father was diagnosed with cancer late last year and had a major operation which he is still recovering from. He now faces 2017 with more news regarding the appearance of other cancers. I also lost a good friend to cancer last year too - Hugh McDonald, who produced my first 3 cds. His family…

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On Saturday, I went up to Marysville. I went up to meet the man who has restored my beautiful Maton Southern Star guitar on two occasions. The very first time was in 1980. I was only young then, but my friend who had visited the factory to get his own guitar fixed knew that I was looking for a quality guitar and had asked if the broken down old guitar he saw in the window was for sale. This guitar, was being used by the guys at the factory to jam on. But, if there was a buyer, they would fix it up and…

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Endings and Beginnings - Nov 2015 

It's been a time of endings and beginnings over the last couple of weeks.

Tonight I went for a walk along the Maribyrnong River.  As I was leaving my place, the sky was pink and there was a little pale fingernail moon in the sky.  I walked along the river on the Flemington Racecourse side, enjoying the quiet evening.  A few Vietnamese men were fishing, a few people were walking their dogs... but really, nothing much else was happening.  I almost had the track to myself for most of the way.  I saw the…Read more

CDs Launched at THE SPOTTED MALLARD to a packed house.... 

It was a packed house at The Spotted Mallard on Thurs 27th August.  Despite the rain and cold and the tram strike that happened during the day, the place was packed out by so many beautiful people.  I was flying... I could feel the love surging between the audience and me like a beautiful wave...So many people with so many compliments about the songs, the atmosphere, the spectacular band in Patrick Evans and Pete Fidler.... So many compliments on Facebook and on my phone. I was on a high for days.

Brendan…Read more