with special guest Nels Andrews
“Amy Speace sounds uncannily like a 21st Century Joan Baez, her timbred voice full of genuine emotions…the record soars with salient vocals and poetic lyrics,” writes The Classic Rock Examiner in its review of Nashville singer-songwriter Amy Speace’s third album, Land Like A Bird (Thirty Tigers). After releasing two well-received albums on Judy Collins’ Wildflower Records, Bird is Speace’s first record since migrating south from her longtime home in the NYC area.
Amy Speace‘s path to songwriting may not have been a straight line, but like many journeys, has been better for the winding way. Born in Baltimore, Amy grew up the oldest of 4, moving homes and states every few years, learning early about comings and goings, and finding solace in music very early. After graduating from Amherst College, she moved to Manhattan to study acting, toured with The National Shakespeare Company for a few years until a bad breakup and a $50 pawn shop guitar sparked a late-blooming songwriting burst. An appearance at an open mic led to a regular gig at The Bitter End, which led to an independent release of her first songs and in 2005, a chance encounter with Judy Collins’ manager changed her life. Judy Collins signed Amy to her own Wildflower Records label in 2006, releasing Songs for Bright Street. The Killer In Me followed in 2009, with a rare duo appearance by Ian “Mott the Hoople” Hunter, who brought her to the UK for his Acoustic Tour. USA Today called her “a rising star”, NPR named the title track from Killer “Song of the Day” and wrote “her velvety, achy voice recalls an early Lucinda Williams.” In 2010, John Platt of NYC’s premiere AAA radio station WFUV named Amy’s song “The Weight of the World” in the Top 5 of his list of the “Best Folk Songs of the Decade,” a song that Judy Collins herself would record and call “one of the best political folk songs I’ve ever heard”. In 2009, Amy shifted landscapes, moved south to Nashville, and beginning the writing of her latest album Land Like A Bird. Produced by Neilson Hubbard it features guest vocals by Kim Richey and is already receiving the best reviews of Amy’s career. “Amy Speace is the perfect torchbearer for the unconscious cool of true Americana” (Houston Press). Amy will also be seen in the upcoming documentary “Nothing Can Hurt Me: The Big Star Story”.
Opening the evening will be Nels Andrews, who came out of nowhere to win the New Folk Songwriting contest at the Kerrville Folk Festival, following past New Folk recipients Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and Lyle Lovett. His first record, Sunday Shoes, released independently in 2005, was deemed by BBC2′s legendary DJ Bob Harris as one his “Albums of the Year”. The record went on to win critical praise from the US, UK and Dutch Americana music communities, and has earned him awards from Kerrville, Telluride, Mountain Stage New Song and Falcon Ridge in 2006. His latest notebookful of observations and extrapolations appear on his second album, Off Track Betting. Produced by Todd Sickafoose and released February 2008, the record features a band that includes Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco, Erin McKeowen) on bass, Adam Levy (Norah Jones), Wilco keyboardist Michael Jorgensen, drummer Ben Perowsky (Joan as Policewoman, John Lurie), vocalists Ana Egge and A J Roach, and an amazing and innovative grouping of other musicians on surprising instruments. The new songs were recorded in Brooklyn at Trout Studios, and now spring from the textures and rhythms of New York City, as seen from the abandoned piers and rooftops as a new form of the red desert dust and sagebrush oceans.
TICKETS: $15 Advance/$18 Door; Kids Under 12 are free