You are hereAmanda Shires
'Does anybody need to make an announcement?' enquired Amanda Shires in her unmistakable West Texas drawl right at the beginning of her set at the Kirton in Lindsey Diamond Jubilee Town Hall tonight. Joined by regular musical partner Rod Picott on guitar and long-time friend Todd Pertil on lap steel and banjo, Amanda immediately won over the audience as the trio performed songs predominantly from Amanda's current album CARRYING LIGHTNING. The well-attended show brought the best out in the Nashville-based singer-songwriter as she performed songs such as When You Need a Train, Detroit or Buffalo and Sloe Gin, interspersed with some of her off-the-wall and quirky humour.
Alternating between fiddle and ukulele, the tiny singer's distinctive voice rang out through the room with an equal percentage of strength and frailty. Amanda has the kind of storytelling voice that makes the listener sit up and take notice, especially on songs like Put Me To Bed and Shake the Walls. Midway through her first set Amanda was only too happy to stand aside and allow Rod Picott to take centre stage, who went on to perform a couple of songs from his current solo album WELDING BURNS, with fine renditions of the title song and Rust Belt Fields, the song that opens the record.
In between the trio's startlingly assured song performances, Amanda's off-the-wall humour shone through as she regaled the audience with tales from home, including the tale of her grandmother's disdain for any sort of literary preferences other than maintaining a life long commitment to reading the Bible.
Concluding with three outstanding songs from Amanda's current album, Ghost Bird, Swimmer and Kudzu, the trio returned to the stage for a fine interpretation of George Jones's Tennessee Whiskey, leaving the audience thoroughly fulfilled, musically speaking.
Providing support tonight was blues singer/guitarist Gerry Cooper who alternated between standard acoustic and Michael Messer steel guitar with a short set of blues songs including Down the Highway, Lone Wolf Blues and the Depression-era Hezekiah Jenkins song The Panic is On, which featured a few well chosen updated lyrics.