Damn it all to hell! You know my weakness for an edgy female singer / songwriter, who dips in and out of rock, folk and roots music, so what do you do? You only go and send me one of the finest such releases I've heard in aeons, knowing full well I'll end up like a slavering stalker. Gits.
And so it has proven to be with Baltimore born, New Jersey based, New York gigging Amy Speace. Album number two is coming out on Judy Collins Wildflower label and sees Ms Speace firing out a bakers dozen of heartfelt, soul stirring, uplifting and crashing back down again songs, half of which (in a righteous world) would be acclaimed in the streets with, perhaps, an array of banners and balloons.
Among those half dozen would be the killer ballads 'Shed This Skin' and 'Make Me Lonely Again', the more sprightly 'The Real Thing' and 'Double Wide Trailer'. And let's not forget about the duet 'Two', sung with The Jayhawks' Gary Louris. Every one of those is an absolute peach. Which isn't to say that the rest are mince, for they still outshine most new tunes I hear. She's got an ace band of musicians (the aptly named Tearjerks) together and there's also an unspecified male harmony singer who pops in to make some telling contributions.
Generally, it's the ballads where she comes into her own, as Ms Speace knows how to rip your heart out and shred it to pieces with the aforementioned Make Me Lonely Again', an absolute killer. The less said about the Blondie cover the better, but that's one misstep in 13, so we'll let it slide (and program it out). The best of the rockers is probably 'Not The Heartless Kind' which has some mighty fine slide guitar to keep it going.
An album that made me a very happy man, and which has been on constant rotation over the last couple of weeks. If you have any semblance of taste, you should be nipping off around about now and getting your very own copy.
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Made a better impression on me than any other support act for Ian Hunter in 38 years of following the great man. CD played almost to destruction since I bought it on the tour, not a weak track on it and to cap it all she's a lovely lass with lots of time for fans.
Check her out next time she's over here, booked for Glasto in summer and touring with her band while here which includes James Mastro from Ian Hunters band, you will not be disappointed.
what a find this albums is, every song is very good and the cover of blondie's dreaming is a treat.she is going to be coming to scotland soon in support of ian hunter at edinburgh, what a double bill. highly recomended.