She was a child violin prodigy from the Texas Panhandle who now describes her unique music as “Americana-Indie Crunk.”
Amanda Shires bought her first violinÂ at the age of ten from a pawn shop in Mineral Wells, TX. When she was 15 years old, she played fiddle with The Texas Playboys,Â the backing band for the King of Western Swing Bob Willis. In 2011,Â she playedÂ a backing-musician role in the Gwyneth Paltrow movie, “Country Strong.”
Amanda’sÂ unique soundÂ highlights her fiddle playing, but allows the music behind it to tell its own story. She fills out her sound with sturdy, yet sometimes primitive-sounding drums. The guitarsÂ playing behind her howl and screech, as if attempting toÂ alert the audience of some wrongdoing or pain. However, Amanda’s soothing voice gathers those emotions and helps the listener overlookÂ any misconduct and embrace the pain that is inevitable in life.
HerÂ great ear for musicÂ may have led her to marryÂ Americana starÂ Jason Isbell in 2013. Isbell, the Alabama songwriter and guitarist, completed the trifectaÂ at the 2014Â Americana Honors and AwardsÂ winningÂ Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year. The couple just released the two-song EP, “Sea Songs,” in February, which includes covers of Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers” and Warren Zevon’s “Mutineer.” 2015 won’t slow down for the pair as Amanda and Jason announced theirÂ first child is due in September via Isbell’s Instagram Account.
The sky appears to be the limit for Amanda Shires as she continues to craft a uniqueÂ andÂ sought-after sound. RecordingÂ with Shovels and Rope, Justin Townes Earle, and the Thrift Store Cowboys among othersÂ is a testament to her playing ability. However, it may be her songwriting ability thatÂ advances her career even further. With four solo albums completed in her young recording career, AmandaÂ willÂ hit the studio again in May, according to Rolling Stone.
Check out the video for “Devastate” off Down Fell The Doves (2013) and let us know what you think!
Photo credit: Erica Shires