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Suddenly, Tammy!

Country of origin:


Type of music generally:

Quirky pop rock


Final released album, (We Get There When We Do.) (1995). Third album, Comet, recorded, but not released. Beth Sorrentino now plays solo.

See also:

An unofficial Suddenly Tammy site


blackgirls? Tanya Donelly and Belly? Ben Folds Five (in instrumentation, especially)? (Neile)

Covers/own material:


General comments:

Suddenly, Tammy!'s songs are perfect pop numbers, and the unorthodox combination of piano/bass/drums sans guitar *works*. Beth Sorrentino reminds me very much of young Natalie Merchant, but I couldn't tell you why. She certainly doesn't sound anything like her, with her childlike voice that manages not to be annoying. (

Lively, individual pop rock that may not be to everyone's taste but I really love it. Beth Sorrentino has a babyish voice (though not as babyish as the singer for the Cranes, more like Tanya Donelly). Good musicians, some delightful songs (especially on the first album). My only quibble is that the second album, particularly seemed not to show much songwriting range. I guess I would say that their first album, to me, showed more promise than their second album has delivered. I have hopes for the future—they're talented and fun. (Neile)

Suddenly, Tammy! was a revelation in performance: i've always been a little iffy about their albums, but now i am hearing nuances i had previously missed—those nuances being Jay and Ken. Beth's steady pounding pulse on the piano had previously grabbed my attention at the expense of her bandmates, and i had thus missed a lot of the rhythmic quirks. (

Before I went to see them live I'd never actually heard any of their music, so I was quite surprised at what I found. I was immediately inclined to like them just for their instrumentation (piano, bass, drums), particularly since they used it so well. I had trouble making out most of the lyrics, but really enjoyed the piano/bass interaction. I couldn't decide if the songs had a better chance of growing on me or becoming irritating, since Beth has a really odd, slightly grating voice. Despite that, they were clearly having so much fun performing and talking with each other that you couldn't help but love them. Definitely a good band to see live, though they didn't inspire me to run out and buy any of their stuff. (neal)

Her voice is a tad like Tanya Donelly's but is much less child-like on the slow songs. The ballads with just Beth Sorrentino on piano are quite good, touching. (

Great band. (sspan)

I've grown fond of Suddenly, Tammy! Beth Sorrentino's piano is exquisite. She's making me fond of the "piano-led" band. Check out Suddenly, Tammy! (Matt.Bittner)

Comet is an excellent album, and it's a real shame that, in a classic major label move, it got shelved. I think it would have garned Suddenly, Tammy! a lot of new fans...well, assuming they heard about it. (

Recommended first album:

I enjoy (We Get There When We Do.) more, but I still like the debut, Suddenly, Tammy! more than other discs. (Matt.Bittner)

I prefer Suddenly, Tammy! to the second disc—to my ears it sounds more quirky and original while the latter sounds just a little bit too smoothed over. (Neile)


Suddenly, Tammy!

Release info:

1993—Spinart Records, P.O. Box 1798, New York, NY 10156, U.S.A.—spart-5


Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Must have if you like something a little different

Group members:

Ken Heitmeuller—bass, vocals
Beth Sorrentino—vocals, piano
Jay Sorrentino, drums

Produced by:

Suddenly, Tammy!


This really is an offbeat album—Beth Sorrentino sings offbeat and it's just a touch odd and I really like it. Good energy. I have been playing this disc since its release and it's always welcome in my player, often on repeat. (Neile)

I don't know what it is about Suddenly, Tammy! but their music, while not particularly brilliant, is irresistible. Interesting lyrics, too. (

*fantastic* pop trio from lancaster, pennsylvania. features the formidable drums-bass-piano combo and a great singer. this ain't bubblegum pop but *classic* pop music. fresh, catchy, guitarless pop. a "modern rock" radio darling that i'm not ashamed to like. one of my favorite releases of 1993. (

(We Get There When We Do.)

Release info:

1994—Warner Brothers, U.S.A.—9 45831-2


Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for those who like quirky, infectious pop rock

Group members:

Beth Sorrentino—vocal, piano
Jay Sorrentino—drums, vocal
Ken Heitmeuller—bass, vocal

Produced by:

Warne Livesay


the album is *brilliant*. the piano-bass-drums combination is still as fresh as when their first album showed up and the songs are off-beat pop gems that avoid the usual pitfalls of quirky pop. vocalist beth sorrentino sounds more like nanci griffith than nanci does, but we can deal with that cos the music is so great. highly recommended. (

This sounds quite good, particularly with the nifty piano music. Definitely on the pop side of ecto fodder. i love the music...i'm a sucker for piano music, and i find their "piano pop" style quite original. on the other hand, it is a bit *too* pop-like for me, and once i've gotten through the music itself i find there's nowhere for me to go; the lyrics are decent, but certainly not captivating. (we get there when we do.) doesn't have much variation, and the whole album seems to be in a non-changing style. i like that style a lot, but it doesn't hold up as well after repeated listening. (damon)

Though I like their self-titled disc better, Suddenly, Tammy! are charming. Poppy without being brain-dead, and the piano/bass/drums only combo is a nice change from the usual. Original. (Neile)

Terrifically tuneful and touching, Tammy! :) (dixon@physics.Berkeley.EDU)

Not nearly as good as the debut, but it's cool anyways. (

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2009-01-04 18:36:27.
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