Tag: amanda shires

MUSIC REVIEW | Amanda Shires – Down Fell the Doves (2013)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “For someone who could easily rely on the pure prettiness of her voice, Amanda Shires doesn’t seem interested in taking that easy way out.”

Shires 1
I first became aware of Amanda Shires a few years ago when Jason Isbell released his breakthrough solo record, Southeastern.  While I found her perfectly up to the job of filling out his music with her voice and violin, I never thought of her as all that essential.  Then, I saw Isbell live without Shires joining him on the Australian leg of his tour.  That night, I was nothing short of blown away by Isbell and his band.  But as fantastic as they were, I couldn’t help but notice a bit of a hole left by Shires’ absent voice and violin.  It was a big enough hole to make me immediately more appreciative of what she does, and make me want to hear what she can do when front and centre, instead backing things is up.  Which is why I listened to Amada Shires solo record, Down Fell the Doves.

I was expecting fiddle, I was expecting ukulele.  What I wasn’t expecting was the spiritual like chant and sparse instrumentation of Look Like a Bird.  Even if I was expecting that, I wouldn’t have been expecting Shires to deliver it so well.  There’s an ominous tone to this song that makes it hauntingly attention grabbing, while never sounding like it’s trying to grab your attention.  And when her violin comes in, it only compounds that haunting non challans. (more…)

***2015 RECAP*** MUSIC REVIEW | Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (2015)

Isbell
Two years ago, Jason Isbell was several albums into his solo career. But I still thought of him mainly as the dude who used to be in Drive-By Truckers and I wished was still in Drive-By Truckers. Then he released Southeastern, an album that received amazing praise across the board. And even better, it lived up to that praise. Southeastern was Isbell declaring himself a legitimate solo artist who had more than broken the chains connecting him to his old band. So while I was interested in Southeastern before it came out, I was in no way expecting the watershed record that it ended up being. This time around, in the lead up to its follow up, I have been officially stoked, pumped, excited and hanging out for Something More Than Free for nigh on six months.


With the fiddle of Amanda Shires almost as prominent as Isbell’s voice and guitar, It Takes a Lifetime is exactly the kind of traditional country with a modern feel that I want from Isbell. Leading in to the singer, songwriter stuff of 24 Frames, and Something More Than Free is quickly living up to my half a year of anticipation. Isbell’s older than his years, world weary voice has always been one of his greatest assets. And delivering lines like, “This is how you make yourself vanish into nothing, and this is how you make yourself worthy of the love that she gave to you back when you didn’t own a beautiful thing”, is exactly what it was made for. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free (2015)

Isbell
Two years ago, Jason Isbell was several albums into his solo career. But I still thought of him mainly as the dude who used to be in Drive-By Truckers and I wished was still in Drive-By Truckers. Then he released Southeastern, an album that received amazing praise across the board. And even better, it lived up to that praise. Southeastern was Isbell declaring himself a legitimate solo artist who had more than broken the chains connecting him to his old band. So while I was interested in Southeastern before it came out, I was in no way expecting the watershed record that it ended up being. This time around, in the lead up to its follow up, I have been officially stoked, pumped, excited and hanging out for Something More Than Free for nigh on six months.


With the fiddle of Amanda Shires almost as prominent as Isbell’s voice and guitar, It Takes a Lifetime is exactly the kind of traditional country with a modern feel that I want from Isbell. Leading in to the singer, songwriter stuff of 24 Frames, and Something More Than Free is quickly living up to my half a year of anticipation. Isbell’s older than his years, world weary voice has always been one of his greatest assets. And delivering lines like, “This is how you make yourself vanish into nothing, and this is how you make yourself worthy of the love that she gave to you back when you didn’t own a beautiful thing”, is exactly what it was made for. (more…)