21 March, 2014Print
Amy Lavere To Release New Concept Album 'Runaway's Diary' Out May 27 Via Archer Records/Thirty Tigers
Amy LaVere's music has been called many things: dark and sexy, witty, feisty, breezy, mysterious. And she is all of that on 'Runaway's Diary.' But if 2011's 'Stranger Me' was SPIN's "Break Up Album of the Year," then its 2014 follow-up solidifies LaVere's position as masterful storyteller.
On opener "Rabbit," the stage and scenery is set as Amy recounts a tale of running away from home as an adolescent. Using friend and frequent collaborator Seasick Steve as the inspiration for the title character, Amy plots the course for the rest of the album. Evocative themes naturally emerge: home, belonging, those who wander, those who are lost and the details of the journey that connects all of it.
In addition to the eight tracks LaVere penned, she chose songs written by Townes Van Zandt ("Where I Lead Me"), John Lennon ("How?"), Ned Miller ("Dark Moon"), and local Memphis songwriter Mike McCarthy ("Lousy Pretender") to fit the narrative of 'Runaway's Diary.'
When it was time to record the album, LaVere sought out Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars)--friend, musical collaborator and the son of her late mentor and 2007's 'Anchors & Anvils' producer Jim Dickinson--to produce the project.
Having already worked together on folk supergroup The Wandering (with Valerie June, Sharde Thomas, and Shannon McNally) and his first solo album, 'Rock n' Roll Blues' (New West 2014), Luther immediately embraced the project.
"We bonded and began working together in a state of mutual longing to work with my father, Jim, after he passed," Luther says. He claims that 'Runaway's Diary' is "a culmination" of LaVere's collaborations with the Dickinson family and calls it "one of the best records I've ever been a part of - both as a musician and a producer."
"Amy's whole life went into this song cycle, from her childhood family dynamic and her own history of running away to growing up on the honkytonk highway and not ever being able to quit running, perpetually moving, giving her life to music and truly becoming the characters she sings about night after night," he says. "She closes her eyes and moves so deeply into and through a song, and it moves me."
The musicians on the record--including Tim Regan (guitar, piano, organ), Steve Selvidge (guitar), Will Sexton (guitar, BG vocals) Shawn Zorn (drums), George Sluppick, Sam Shoup (Mellotron), Jim Spake (saxophone), Sharde Thomas (drums, BG vocals), Paul Taylor (drums) and Motel Mirrors collaborator John Paul Keith (guitar)--were no strangers to LaVere or Dickinson, and she credits that familiarity with fueling the collaboration.
'Runaway's Diary''will be released as a CD and Vinyl LP through Archer Records/Thirty Tigers on May 27.
1. Rabbit (LaVere)
2. Last Rock n' Roll Boy to Dance (LaVere)
3. Big Sister (LaVere, Regan)
4. Self Made Orphan (LaVere)
5. Where I Lead Me (Van Zandt)
6. Snowflake (LaVere)
7. How? (Lennon)
8. Don't Go Yet John (LaVere)
9. Lousy Pretender (McCarthy)
10. Dark Moon (Miller)
11. I'll Be Home Soon (LaVere, Regan)
12. Reprise (LaVere, Regan)