On her new album Songs for Bright Street, New York-based singer/songwriter Amy Speace demonstrates why she’s quickly become one of her adopted hometown’s most celebrated emerging artists. Possessing a commanding voice, a distinctive melodic sensibility and an uncanny knack for nailing complex emotions in song, Speace makes music that’s both illuminating and effortlessly accessible. From the rustic rush of "Step Out of the Shade" to the bittersweet lilt of "Water Landing" to the gentle acoustic intimacy of "Two," Songs for Bright Street’s 12 original compositions (plus a slyly countrified reading of the Blondie classic "Dreaming") showcase Speace’s unique gifts, offering catchy Americana with indelible hooks, sharply observed lyrics and a gritty urban edge. Among those impressed by her sassy songcraft is legendary folk-pop songstress Judy Collins, who chose Songs for Bright Street to release on her new Wildflower label. Amy Speace has already won a loyal grass-roots fan base, thanks in large part to live performances that merge warmth, humor and emotional immediacy, and to a tireless touring schedule that’s already taken her across the United States. She’s also won considerable critical acclaim, with The Village Voice observing that Speace is "taking her Americana away from twangy contemplation toward tangy confrontation" and noting that she’s "not another of those breathy would-be child poets, but a real singing writer of songs." Time Out New York stated, "Amy Speace plays sweet, twangy folk music with a clear voice and an innocent vulnerability," while The Nashville Scene noted that she "balances wry humor with open-hearted honesty." And renowned Nashville critic Robert K. Oermann, writing in Music Row, dubbed her a "new star." Listen at Last.fm
I was born in Baltimore at the tail end of the hippie-dippie-love-fest decade to two very solid, faith-based people who had nothing to do with love-ins and be-ins and were probably in church the weekend Woodstock swept the country. My Dad grew up on a really small farm in a really small house with an outhouse, three brothers, a sister, a few dogs and cows and things that a farm would have, and one very solid, very Baptist widowed mother. I think my Dad looks like a movie star in his old black & whites: a football star, Eagle Scout, Bible memorizer. My mother was born in Baltimore and was very much a city girl. A catholic, plaid skirt-wearing, Catholic Girls’ school goin’ city girl. Her dad was a sailor who died in the ocean when she was a girl and her mom was a Boston transplant who never lost her accent, even up until she was 103, lying in her bed in my parents’ home in rural Maryland, whispering to the stars of her long lost love. I was born in Baltimore. My sister and my brothers were born there, too, so I guess we’re from there, but we moved around enough that I felt a bit restless. Minneapolis, Williamsport, Pennsylvania. My feet never rooted anywhere. Part of me thinks of myself as being “from” New York City cause I’ve lived in and around Manhattan longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in my life and I started writing and playing music here. Home is perhaps where you choose to land.
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