Amanda Shires – Carrying Lightning

Amanda Shires Interview

The musical magnet inside Nashville draws some uniquely special talent to it’s heart. One of them is Amanda Shires, but her Dolly Parton-esque vocals and heart-string plucking violin are far more difficult to pigeonhole than your usual country act. Her lyrical wings stretch over Americana as wide as Tom Waits’s well worn pork pie hat.

I love her new record, Carrying Lightning, the songs make you want to get a job in a lumber yard and buy an old pick up truck.

What initially drew you to the violin?
I was at a pawnshop with my dad and was instantly drawn to it. I don’t know if it was the shape or the mysteriousness of it. I just had a reaction to it and knew that the violin was supposed to be for me.

Do you write better songs when you are happy or sad?
I write all the time. I usually try and write something every day. It doesn’t matter if I am happy, sad, indifferent…I try to practice the craft of writing. I do think that it can be cathartic but I go for daily.

Was the new record Carrying Lightning easy to record?
Easy? I guess so. No one was shot or maimed.

What is your fav song?

Who are your musical heroes?
Neil Young, Thin Lizzy, Bob Wills, Leonard Cohen

You don’t like to give away too much about your lyrics, why is this?
I think people bring their own experiences into a song when they hear them. I want the songs to speak to folks on an individual level…

Do you ever write a song to tell somebody something you couldn’t do in real life?
I haven’t done that yet.

The Ghostbird video is amazing (below), how involved are you with the other aspects of your music?
Very involved.

Who are listening to at the moment?
I like AA Bondy, Centro-Matic, Dolorian, Justin Townes Earle, Rod Picott, Jason Isbell, Dawes, Band of Horses, , and Nicki Minaj.

Do you ever have a day off from music? If so what do you do?
My days off from performing are either spent sleeping or paying bills and going to the movies or hanging out with my friends.. Sometimes a day off from performing might include writing new material, getting a hair cut, or writing with other friends in Nashville.

Where is the best place to eat in Nashville?
There are tons of great places..I like Burger Up and City House.

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