Archive for the Amy Speace Category

Notes from a Bachelor and his Dog

Posted in Amy Speace, Drive-By Truckers, Levon Helm, Merle Haggard, Tim Easton on September 30, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

The smiling creature seen above is my dog Deacon. He’s a strange little Golden Retriever, Chow, Pekingese mix (we think). He’s also my only company this week while my wife is out of town on a business trip. Hopefully, the two of us will manage to stay alive until she gets back.

In the meantime… Notes.
***I’ll start with a sad note I picked up over at Music Fog. It seems as though Levon Helm is on a doctor prescribed vocal vacation for a while after having a lesion removed from his vocal chords. The lesion was determined to be non-cancerous, which is extra good news due to Levon’s past battles with throat cancer. He will, however, need to take a break for a while to let his vocal chords heal. I hope you’ll join me in wishing him a speedy recovery. Check out the full story at Music Fog.
***Speaking of the Fog, I’ve really been enjoying all of the videos they’ve been posting from their visit to the Americana Music Conference. They invited several artists to join them in the “Celebrity Coach” (read: big ole bus) for intimate acoustic sessions. They recorded it all and are posting videos to the site. Here’s one from Amanda Shires, an artist I featured last week. There are also great performances from Charlie Robison, The Trishas, The Band of Heathens, The Belleville Outfit, Annie & the Beekeepers, and many more. Check it out.
***The September edition of Tennessee Shines takes place later this week on Wednesday night at the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville. This month, we’re joined by local bluegrassers Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier, last year’s Best New/Emerging Americana Artist Mike Farris & The Roseland Rhythm Review, and songwriters Amy Speace, Tim Easton, and Randall Bramblett.
The whole thing will be broadcast live on WDVX and Wednesday night at 7:00 Eastern. Here’s a small taste of what ought to be another great show. These are a couple of older tracks from Amy Speace and Tim Easton.
Amy Speace: Two (featuring Gary Louris) (Buy Album)
Tim Easton: Poor, Poor L.A. (Buy Album)
***As I mentioned before, my wife is out of town this week. What better time to share a track from one of my favorite bands (and one of my wife’s least favorite), The Drive By Truckers. I have no real reason for sharing this one other than to ask all of you to play it at the loudest possible volume and sing along.
Drive By Truckers: Sink Hole (Buy Album)
***I’ll end by balancing that one out with a link to stream Rosanne Cash’s latest release The List. The album isn’t released until October 6th, but you can hear the whole thing right now on NPR’s website. The album (which is Excellent) is made up of Rosanne’s renditions of twelve classic songs culled from a list of 100 essential songs her father, Johnny Cash, gave to her over three decades ago. I’ll share the original version of one of the songs here. You can read more and listen to Rosanne’s version from NPR and buy the album next week.
Merle Haggard: Silver Wings (Buy Album)

Amy Speace on The Blue Plate Special

Posted in Amy Speace, Blue Plate Special, Donna the Buffalo on October 19, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

A heads up for anyone who wants to hear some good live music on the (web) radio tomorrow. Monday at noon (Eastern), Amy Speace & The Tearjerks will perform on The Blue Plate Special on WDVX.

I first became familiar with Amy’s music a couple of years ago at the 2005 Americana Music Conference in Nashville. My friend Rob McNurlin had seen her perform at a showcase away from the conference site and could not stop raving about her set. After hearing his recommendation, I found a stack of Amy’s sampler CDs that had been strategically placed inside the convention center for conference delegates to snatch up. Of course, I snatched one up, gave it a listen, and immediately fell in love with the first track, “Step Out of the Shade.”

At times reminiscent of Dar Williams… and at times Lucinda Williams… the four songs on the sampler made me very anxious to hear the full album, Songs for Bright Street, and anxious to learn more about Amy herself.

I got the chance to do the latter when I met Amy later that weekend at the Americana Conference Trade Show. I told her how much I enjoyed the music I had heard and asked when I could get the full album to play on the air (I was at Morehead State Public Radio at the time).

That’s when something weird happened.

Amy said the album was completed, but due to record company reasons it would probably not see release until early 2006. Then she asked me not to play anything from the sampler on the air until the full album was ready to be released. That was the first time an artist asked me NOT to play his or her music on the air. It seems she didn’t want a few stations playing it early and then taking it out of rotation before the album hit. If everyone started playing it at the same time, it would have a bigger impact on the Americana Album Airplay Chart. I honored her request and decided to wait for the full album before playing her music.

The only problem was that the album release was pushed back and pushed back again. By the time it was finally released in late May of 2006, I had left Morehead State Public Radio and moved to Knoxville. At the time, I didn’t have a regular radio gig. And even now, we don’t have a copy of Songs for Bright Street at WDVX. I never got the chance to spread the word on Amy’s music.

So now I’m taking the opportunity to do so. Here are a couple of tracks from that sampler CD I picked up off of a table full of free discs at the Americana Conference three years ago. They’re also on Amy’s 2006 album Songs for Bright Street. I finally get the chance to share.

Amy Speace: Step Out of the Shade (Buy Album)
Amy Speace: Not the Heartless Kind (Buy Album)

Once again… Amy Speace will perform on The WDVX Blue Plate Special Monday at noon (Eastern) in a twin bill with Andy Friedman & The Other Failures. You can listen online at If you’re in Knoxville, stop on by and catch the free show on Gay Street.

Tuesday’s Blue Plate will feature a visit from jam-folkers Donna the Buffalo. They’re out promoting their new CD Silverlined.

Donna the Buffalo: Locket and Key (Buy Album)
Donna the Buffalo: Garden of Eden (Buy Album)