AMY BLACK: A DOWNHOME BLEND OF COUNTRY, FOLK, ROCK & SOUL
Amy Black courtesy photo
By Mike Flynn
With a powerful voice, a knack for storytelling and southern tradition in her blood, “timeless” might be the best way to describe the gritty and soulful sound of Amy Black.
The Alabama-born singer brings her brand of folk, blues and classic country to Johnny D’s in Somverville on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.
It seems like just yesterday when Black was serenading a captivated crowd at the Old Worthen on a merry “Tex-Mass Eve” with her smokey southern rendition of Blue Christmas, or when she was joined by David Amram, Jonathan Edwards and his whole band on Angel From Montgomery during a Jack Kerouac birthday celebration.
But the former Lowell resident’s star continues to ascend rapidly. Since releasing her sophomore album One Time in April 2011, she has shared the stage with national acts like the Court Yard Hounds and Chris Isaak.
Now residing in Boston, Black continues to tour far and wide to promote One Time. Saturday’s show at Johnny D’s will be her last full-band show in Massachusetts for 2012. After, she’ll hit clubs in New York, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia before heading back to New England.
“I’m so excited to get back up there (Boston) and hopefully see some old friends,” said Black when we caught up with her recently via phone while she was enjoying an afternoon on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, N.J.
Asked about whether she prefers performing with the band or solo in the singer/songwriter style, Black’s answer reveals, perhaps, the quiet courage that has fueled her career.
“It’s a very different thing performing solo, you don’t have the band to fall back on,” said Black, who’s been known to cover material from Waylon Jennings to Bill Withers during full band shows. “It’s really about the song and connecting with the audience, which is scary, but the more I write the more I want to do it. I don’t really do any covers in my solo shows now.”
Black’s musical inspiration stems from her roots as a preacher’s daughter living in Missouri and Alabama, and, more recently, time spent living in Lowell where she marveled at the architectural beauty of the city’s mills and its rich history. The hauntingly beautiful Molly, tells the story of a Lowell mill girl.
Black’s songs give perspective to everyday life, or, as she puts it, are really all about “loving, lying, drinking, dying and going to heaven — not necessarily in that order.”
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Amy Black
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 29, 7 p.m.
WHERE: Johnny D’s Uptown Restaurant & Music Club, 17 Holland St., Davis Square, Somerville.
INFO: $12 general admission or $38.68 for GA and dinner combo. Click here for more.
Mike Flynn is a native Lowellian with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication/Film from Emerson College where he produced The Jazz Oasis on 88.9 fm WERS. After graduating college, he left Lowell for sunny California where he sought refuge from the horrors of Visual Effects editorial work on such abysmal pictures as Mission Impossible 2, Kung Pow: Enter The Fist and Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box in Los Angeles’ many superb used record stores. Upon returning from Los Angeles to Lowell in 2001, Mike attended the graduate program in publishing & writing at his alma mater, Emerson College. He was an on-air personality at 980 WCAP am in Lowell from 2008-2012 and has hosted Almost Acoustic on 91.5 fm WUML Lowell since 2011. He likes long walks on the canals and, for some reason, thinks that he has seen far more sunrises than sunsets.