Amy Speace,
Songs for Bright Street
(Wildflower, 2006)

When I first heard Amy Speace, I was attracted to her ability to combine country, folk and pop music into one smooth package. Her musical style reminds me of artists like Lucinda Williams, Kathleen Edwards, Ryan Adams and the Jayhawks. While her music is a little less gritty than some of those artists, she has an ability to tell thoughtful stories with her songs, combining them with good melodies and a very pleasing voice.

Based in New York City and Hoboken, N.J., Amy started out studying acting at the National Shakespeare Company before switching to music. Songs for Bright Street opens with "Step Out of the Shade," a song that sounds like it was written to encourage a friend. "Not the Heartless Kind" and "Shed This Skin" show Amy's stronger, grittier side.

One of my favorites, which shows her folkier side, is a beautiful love song called "Two." "Make Me Lonely Again" is an interesting introspective song about growing up and not fitting in. The only cover song is a great very traditional country sounding version of the Blondie song, "Dreaming." Had I not recognized the lyrics, I don't think I would have guessed it was the same song. "Row Row Row" is a traveling song with a more traditional folk sound. On the lighter side, "Double Wide Trailer" sounds almost like a fun parody of some of our more pop-country songs, like maybe something you might hear from Gretchen Wilson.

Songs for Bright Street is a great follow-up to Amy's debut CD, Fable. It features great, intelligent songwriting as well as a very talented backup band, the Tearjerks, which includes guest appearances by Gary Louris from the Jayhawks and Cliff Eberhardt. If you like Americana, folk or alternative country-style music, this is a CD where you will find lots of good music.

by Dave Townsend
30 December 2006

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