Spotlight on The Americana Music Festival and Conference # 1
The Americana Music Festival and Conference is approaching. So it’s probably time to spotlight some of the artists who will be performing in Nashville in September (there are so many that are, as yet, unknown to me).
So who better to commence with than Amanda Squires.
Shires is a Texas-based singer, songwriter and violinist who has performed as a member of the Texas Playboys, Thrift Store Cowboys and Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit. She also has released three solo albums – Carrying Lightning (2011), Sew Your Heart With Wires (2009) and West Cross Timbers (2008).
Shires’ fourth solo album, Down Fell the Doves is about to be released. Not only is “Devastate” the title of a song on her new album, it’s an apt description of what Shires does with her music. The song has recently premiered and here’s the clip for that song (not much visual movement I’m afraid).
The new album is a collection of eleven new songs, most of which feature her husband Jason Isbell on guitar, that include a soulful love letter to Leonard Cohen and a fierce meditation on invincibility. “Devastate” comes from a place of insecurity. “Have you heard this one? ‘Relationships sink when there are too many passengers.’” said Shires, who appeared with Gwyneth Paltrow in the 2010 movie “Country Strong,” and has toured and recorded with Isbell, Todd Snider and Justin Townes Earle, among others (is that her on the front cover of JTE’s album The Good Life?).
“I don’t know where it came from or who said it first. It’s that way for me with “Devastate”. Myself, when I am completely happy I fear the worst is inevitable (that must be some kind of cherophobia*or something). Maybe sometimes you start to believe that your lover, husband, boyfriend, whatever, has someone else on his mind. And she’s probably better than you in all the places you aren’t.”
Down Fell the Doves is due August 6 on Lightning Rod Records.
Here’s the tracklist:
1. Look Like A Bird
4. Box Cutters
5. Deep Dark Below
6. Wasted And Rollin’
7. If I
9. Drop And Lift
10. A Song For Leonard Cohen
11. The Garden Song
Here’s an older video – Shires performing “When You Need A Train It Never Comes”.
* extreme and irrational fear of gaiety or happiness