|Amy LaVere - Stranger Me|
Record Label: (Archer Records)
Amy LaVere’s new studio album on Archer Records, Stranger Me, is set for release July 19th in the USA and July 4th in the UK. The highly anticipated album was produced by Craig Silvey whose work with Arcade Fire resulted in the album of the year at the 2011 Grammy Awards. Planning for touring in the USA and UK is well underway beginning with a special media event scheduled in London in April.
Stranger Me features Amy on upright bass and vocals, Rick Steff on keyboards, David Cousar on guitars, and Paul Taylor on drums. Other contributors included Jonathan Kirkscey and Bobby Furgo (strings), Jim Spake (saxophone), John Stubblefield (bass), and Nahshon Benford (trumpet).
Additional recordings were made in New Orleans at Preservation Hall with horn arrangements by noted Preservation Hall Band member and Bingo Show leader, Clint Maedgen.
Recording engineer Daniel Lynn assisted Craig Silvey with the recording and mixing at Music + Arts Studio in Memphis and additional mixing at The Garden Studio in London. Stranger Me was mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound in New York.
- 1. Damn Love Song
- 2. You Can't Keep Me
- 3. Red Banks
- 4. A Great Divide
- 5. Often Happens
- 6. Lucky Boy
- 7. Tricky Heart
- 8. Stranger Me
- 9. Candle Mambo
- 10. Cry My Eyes Out
- 11. Let Yourself Go (Come On)
Genre: Indie / Rock / Roots Music
Location: MEMPHIS, Tennessee, United States
Produced by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire), Stranger Me is LaVere's third album and is the follow up to the Jim Dickinson-produced Anchors & Anvils.
The album recently received an 8 out of 10 review from Spin already calling it "the breakup album of the year."
Always texturally rich and often employing dissonance and off-kilter instrumentation, Stranger Me is Amy's most exploratory work to date. Alternately haunting and exuberantly defiant, it is a perfect backdrop for this collection of songs about frustration and feeling emotionally disconnected.
Amy LaVere was originally planning on making this album with Dickinson. He had not been in good health for some time, and she felt that she might not have many more opportunities to record with him.
"He was the one who really got me to believe in my own voice," says LaVere.
When he passed in August 2009, in addition to grieving one of her greatest mentors and champions, she was back at square one in the recording process. One of her first thoughts, after she was ready to begin thinking about producers, was Silvey. They met in London through a mutual friend at the BBC, hit it off immediately and he volunteered to run sound for her performance on Later With Jools Holland. Like Dickinson before him, Silvey encouraged LaVere to follow her own muse, even when (especially when) it led her to more esoteric choices, like the one to cover Captain Beefheart's "Candle Mambo."
LaVere kicked off her national tour on Saturday in Memphis with an official album release celebration.
Taken from: http://bandweblogs.com/blog/2011/07/20/amy-lavere-releases-stranger-me-album-2011-tour-dates/
Amy LaVere is an American singer, songwriter, upright bass player and actress. Her music is classified as Americana, combining a blend of classic country, gypsy jazz, and southern soul. She has released three albums on Memphis label Archer Records, and has multiple acting credits in major motion pictures.
Real art is personal, close to the bone, unshakable and undeniable. Stranger Me slices throats and raises the black flag. If you've followed Amy LaVere's career you're aware of her formidable background. Memphis luminary Jim Dickinson produced LaVere's Anchors & Anvils. Recently, LaVere revealed this about the late Dickinson: "He was the one who really got me to believe in my own voice."
The death of Dickinson, her break-up with longtime lover/drummer Paul Taylor and departure of guitarist Steve Selvidge left LaVere at a crossroads. LaVere conveys first class pain, love, venom and soul in these memorable songs. LaVere recruited Craig Smiley to produce Stranger Me--a musical departure from her previous releases. These 11 songs showcase LaVere's new band. Two key members, multi-instrumentalist Rick Steff (Lucinda Williams, Cat Power & Lucero) and guitarist David Cousar (Jim Dickinson, Willie Mitchell & Al Green) lend a wide-range of expertise on these sessions.
The scathing "Damn Love Song" opens Stranger Me with an eerie battle-march drone. She sings, "Right now, I'll do it right now/Here's your damn love song/And don't it say it all." A warning hiss, indeed. "You Can't Keep Me" treads towards pop waters, and she sings "I'm gonna break this chain you got around my neck." One must admire the vengeance in the lyrical sentiment of this tune.
LaVere uses more horns on Stranger Me than past recordings, which provide a lush quality to the overall sonic landscape. At times, the embellishments are a bit thick. Kristi Witt's hypnotic "Red Banks" serves as one of the sapphires on Stranger Me. This number carries real spook, true rock & roll grit and meat hook truths regarding an evil lover. "Great Divide", an upbeat R & B-funk number, allows this ensemble of musicians to travel another melodic path.
LaVere's inspiring voice sounds quite convincing on "Often Happens", and her honest lyrics linger for anyone whose ever been in the singer's position. LaVere is one of the few songwriters who could pull off Jimbo Mathus' "Lucky Boy" by delivering a dark message with such a sweet voice...
The title track employs a new sound from LaVere. "Stranger Me" contends as one of the most revealing and vivid songs she's ever written. "Candle Mambo", a Captain Beefheart cover, exists as a fine and strange love song. LaVere always renders interesting cover tunes by artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Kristi Witt and now Beefheart. "Cry My Eyes Out" emerges as a sad, subterranean dirge where she sings "It's a dark highway/And I feel like a wreck."
This album ends with the soulful, sultry and tempting "Come On". These compositions mark a changing of the guards in LaVere's career.
RELATED AMY LAVERE ARTICLES
All Swampland Reviews
Swampland Interview with Amy LaVere
Amy LaVere's Anchors & Anvils
Amy LaVere's Died of Love
The Six Degrees of Swampland: The Dickinson Family
Amy LaVere & The North Mississippi Allstars in Atlanta
The band (Steve Selvidge, Amy LaVere, Tom Taylor)
Photo credit: Janene Otten ( Joe´s Pub, New York City; February 2009)
Joe´s Pub / NYC 2009
Royal Albert Hall, October 1, 2008 / PR Photos
Amy LaVere Band (Amy LaVere, Paul Taylor, Steve Selvidge)
"I´m surrender! Well done! Completely new sensation & breakthrough. Fantastic album, I give 10* and all hope for Tais Award 2012 in Cat. N° 12 - Overseas Countries. Nomination."
Benjamin Tais Amundssen
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