AMANDA SHIRES CONTINUES TOUR FOR CARRYING LIGHTNING, PRAISED BY SPIN, NPR, WALL STREET JOURNAL AND MORE
New Videos Available and Performances with Justin Townes Earl and Jason Isbell
Justin Townes Earle says Amanda Shires, “has the spirit of Spade Cooley. With a voice that whispers Dolly and lyrics that scream Faulkner, this girl shines like a diamond but she’s pure Pearl.” High praise also comes from NPR, AOL’s The Spinner, WNYC, Daytrotter, and more for the Lubbock-born gem’s latest album, Carrying Lightning, released on May 3rd.
From playing fiddle in the Texas Playboys at the precocious age of 15 to accompanying Jason Isbell on his latest album Here We Rest, as well as co-founding the band Thrift Store Cowboys, it’s her own songwriting that’s blossomed over the years. The record is the work of an artist gaining control of her considerable talents and funneling them into a cohesive whole.
Now living in Nashville, she released the stunning West Cross Timbers in 2009. On Carrying Lightning her Texas twang and fetching vibrato can dance playfully around a melody or haunt a line like a mournful ghost, as she does on “Swimmer” with, “April was the last time I think I saw you /You were carrying lightning / The way you walked into the room / If I was a flower I would’ve opened up and bloomed.” And she deftly employs her fiddle, ukulele and even whistling skills to similar effect. The resulting sound is a beautiful but woozily surrealistic swoon - that befits an artist who cites Leonard Cohen and alt-country dark horse Richard Buckner as two of her biggest musical influences.
Averaging 120-160 dates a year, Shires is not slowing down. Currently, when not headlining her own shows she’s touring with Earle, singing harmony and playing in his band, or performing impromptu dates with Isbell. She is hitting the West Coast in September, followed by an Americana Music Conference showcase, and continues to produce a slew of music videos including the paper-doll animated “Ghostbird,” the sultry “Sloe Gin,” and “Detroit and Buffalo,” recently filmed by Director Tim Harmon.
“…inspired new record and the result is simple, raw, heartfelt and a delight."NPR Tiny Desk Concert
“Shires sings more like an earthbound Emmylou Harris. She composes folksy, matter-of-fact shuffles about love's downside, then comes back for more.” SPIN
“Her strong, palpitating voice has drawn comparisons to Dolly Parton, but her work is less ethereal, more soulful and darker. There's some Tom Waits and George Jones in there, too.” WALL STREET JOURNAL