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 violin 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, the backing band for the King of Western Swing Bob Willis. In 2011, she played a backing-musician role in the Gwyneth Paltrow movie, “Country Strong.”

Amanda’s unique sound 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 guitars playing behind her howl and screech, as if attempting to alert the audience of some wrongdoing or pain. However, Amanda’s soothing voice gathers those emotions and helps the listener overlook any misconduct and embrace the pain that is inevitable in life.

Her great ear for music may have led her to marry Americana star Jason Isbell in 2013. Isbell, the Alabama songwriter and guitarist, completed the trifecta at the 2014 Americana Honors and Awards winning 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 their 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 unique and sought-after sound. Recording with Shovels and Rope, Justin Townes Earle, and the Thrift Store Cowboys among others is a testament to her playing ability. However, it may be her songwriting ability that advances her career even further. With four solo albums completed in her young recording career, Amanda will 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!

Amanda Shires
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Photo credit: Erica Shires


About The Author

Holland, MI native currently attending Michigan State University. Studying Media and Information, with a focus on TV, Cinema, and Radio. Plays Division 3 Ice Hockey at Michigan State. Enjoys country, blues, alternative, punk, folk, and rock.