Fresh from her acting stint in Black Snake Moan, Memphis own Amy LaVere is still thumping away at the stand-up bass and cranking out new albums.
Her newest CD, Anchors and Anvils, will be released May 15. The follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut release, This World Is Not My Home, the album was produced by Jim Dickinson (Big Star, The Replacements, North Mississippi Allstars) and recorded at his studio, The Zebra Ranch in Coldwater, Mississippi.
"Amy LaVere is the most promising emerging artist I've seen in years, says Dickinson. She has the whole package the songs, the voice, the looks. You run across artists all the time who have part of it, but Amy has it all. And it just keeps growing.
Anchors and Anvils features LaVere on vocals/stand-up bass, Jimbo Mathus (electric guitar), Jim Dickinson (Wurlitzer/piano), Bob Furgo ('gypsy' violin), Chris Scruggs (steel guitar), Tommy Burrows (mandolin/fiddle), Jason Freeman (acoustic/electric guitar), Eric Lewis (steel guitar/acoustic guitar), and Paul Taylor (drums).
The 10 tracks, including three penned by LaVere, showcase her sensual and haunting distillation of classic country/gypsy/cool jazz/pop. Anchors And Anvils delivers smart and sexy tales of spooky love, twangy ache, sultry torch and gutsy blues that is totally unpredictable and relentlessly daring, the sound of an uncommon artist unafraid to be exactly who she is.
LaVere was born in a small Texas/Louisiana border town, nurtured by musical parents with a passion for traditional country. Her family moved 13 times by the time she entered high school, ultimately landing in Detroit where she fronted the punk band Last Minute while still in her teens. The early 90s found her in Nashville as part of the burgeoning Lower Broadway scene, where she began to play upright bass as half of the popular roots duo The Gabe & Amy Show. By 1999, shed moved to Memphis where the citys diverse music community suited her unique style.
Memphis doesnt allow you to be trite, she says. It not only forces you to be original, its an accepting and supportive place for that which may seem unusual any place else. Theres very little music industry here, but plenty of musical freedom.
Check out producer Jim Dickinsons video interview with LaVere.