Flyinshoes Review

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http://amylashley.bandcamp.com/album/travels-of-a-homebody

Home-cured folk music from East Nashville resident Amy Lashley, Travels of a Homebody comes in a nice card cd case decorated with pictures from a generation or more ago.   Cover art like that hints that the music it introduces will have a reflective, nostalgic air and that is indeed the situation here.

         Amy Lashley recently relocated to Nashville from her native Indiana alongside her partner and fellow musician Otis Gibbs; they have both turned to Thomm Jutz to help them put together their most recent albums and he's been able to pull in some fine Nashville musicians to flesh out the songs.  On this album, he contributes lead guitar, dobro, bass, mandolin, organ and backing vocals and yet contrives to remain in the background, letting Amy's input as songwriter and singer take centre stage.  Her songs are quirky and personal, reflecting on stories that catch her attention but also on aspects of her own life that take time to puzzle out: the opening song is called Kiss Indiana Goodbye and casts a backward glance over the shoulder as a new phase of life opens up; reaching further back, Older Brother reflects on how the few years difference in age between siblings can create such different life experiences; Homebody Blues, on the other hand, is about the here and now, coming to terms with who you are. The travels of a homebody are best done in the mind; Homebody Blues is her confessional song about how stressful she finds going out into the world and how comfortable she finds it to be hanging around her own place. The problem is, she enjoys making music, it's what she does - and that normally involves a certain amount of taking it out into the world. Personally, I don't see why a reluctance to gig should get in the way of us enjoying her music; she has an individual voice - as a writer and as a singer - that's worth hearing, even if only on disc.

         The music here is roots music in a very broad sense; there are echoes of everything from blues to European folk, taking in a smooth, modern Americana style and a hair-down, barefoot Appalachian style along the way, not to mention a little '50s jazz. This is all done in a kind of low-key, un-showy sort of way and there's always space for Amy's warm, alto folk voice to hold your attention. As a way of making music, it's very fine and who knows? Folk  fans like to have their cult heroes and what could be more cult than the singer who was never heard to perform?

John Davy

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Year 2016

1
Levi Parham
90 pts.
These American Blues
Music Road Records
GC,JBO,TK
2
Martha Fields
86 pts.
Southern White Lies
Independent
BP,BH,FB,JAB,RW,SP
3
Carter Sampson
75 pts.
Wilder Side
Independent/CRS
AN,CRS,JB
4
Anna Elizabeth Laube
65 pts.
Tree
Ahh...Pockets! Records
DH,NC
5
Michael McDermott
60 pts.
Willow Springs
Pauper Sky Records
BK,MM
6
Shovels & Rope
54 pts.
Little Seeds
New West
 
7
Robert Ellis
53 pts.
Robert Ellis
New West Records
DHO
8
Sturgill Simpson
52 pts.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Atlantic Records
JJ,JF
9
Douglas Greer
50 pts.
Baja Louisiana
Zilker Park Records
HDB,ML
10
Lucinda Williams
46 pts.
The Ghosts Of Highway 20
Highway 20 Records
EM
11
Buddy Miller & Friends
44 pts.
Cayamo Sessions at Sea
New West Records
 
12
Wink Burcham
43 pts.
Cleveland Summer Nights
Continental Song City
 
13
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper
42 pts.
C&O Canal
Red Beet Records
BR
14
Brent Cobb
41 pts.
Shine On A Rainy Day
Elektra Records
HH
 
Daniel Romano
41 pts.
Mosey
New West
CVL
 
Leonard Cohen
41 pts.
You Want it Darker
Sony Music
HO
17
Christian Kjellvander
40 pts.
A Village: Natural Light
Tapete Records
BM
18
Drive-By Truckers
39 pts.
American Band
ATO Records
AR,EZ
19
Birds of Chicago
38 pts.
Real Midnight
Five Head Entertainment
LM,SZ
20
John Prine
37 pts.
For Better, or Worse
Oh Boy Records
FS,MB
21
The Cactus Blossoms
36 pts.
You’re Dreaming
Red House Records
GS,HD
22
Richmond Fontaine
35 pts.
You Can’t Go Back
Décor Records
FCE
23
Gillian Welch
34 pts.
Boots No.1: The Official Revival Bootleg
Acony Records
LK,PR,TJ
24
Sarah Jarosz
33 pts.
Undercurrent
Sugar Hill
RM
25
Joe Purdy
32 pts.
Who Will Be Next?
Mudtown Crier Records
AL
 
The Devil Makes Three
32 pts.
Redemption & Ruin
New West

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