Cowboys Sweetheart

I was pretty sure I'd like Amanda Shires even before she started her set at the 5 Spot last week. For starters, I'd heard her on WRVU a couple of weeks ago, so I had a pretty good idea what I was in for. But the thing that clinched it for me, before she had even sung a note, was when she did an off the cuff take of "Stardust" during her soundcheck. As much as I love Sinatra and Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald, I think my favorite version of that song is Willie Nelson's, and hearing Hoagy Carmichael's melody on the fiddle evoked memories of his take on it. It was a great (and unplanned) start to a fantastic set.

After making a name for herself as a vocalist and fiddler with the Thrift Store Cowboys, Amanda has spent the last few months playing around Nashville with A Band of Men. She plays country music... the good kind. It's not particulary hip or trendy or alternative or any other adjective people like to throw in front of the c-word around here to differentiate themselves often abysmal tripe that Music Row generates. It's just really good songs, sung by a voice with just the right amount of twang, and punctuated by fantastic fiddle playing. The kind of music that even people who claim to not like country wouldn't be able to help enjoying. It's contemporary and timeless and fantastic.

Amanda and her Band of Men will be playing at the Basement in Nashville tomorrow nite, Tuesday, February 19, at 9 pm. If you miss that, they'll also be at FooBar on Thursday, March 6.

Amanda Shires - "Keep It Close" (mp3) from Being Brave


Glad to see Amanda's getting some more love! She's fantastic.
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