Amy Lashley 'Travels Of A Homebody' Wanamaker

These songs are delivered with a quiet confidence and highlight Amy Lashley's observations and crystalline voice. Recorded with a simple quartet of players led by multi-instrumentalist Thomm Jutz and produced by singer/songwriter Otis Gibbs they give these songs all the space they need to tell their tales with a back-porch intimacy. As she says herself in Homebody Blues "all I want is simplicity". Her songs are observations of life and of events, as with Emmett Till which tells of the death, by lynching, of a 14 year old African American boy at the hands of white mob in 1955. An event that still resonates and also inspired a song on Emmylou Harris' new album. Amy Lashley apparently doesn't like to play live so we have this insight into her music instead and it serves her well. The songs are well written and tell their stories well from the aforementioned historical songs to the story of being from the wrong side of the street in Wrong Side Of Gallatin. There are elements of country blues and string bands in evidence here but it sounds very much from the here and now even of the constituent parts are timeless. Livin' On Beans On Cornbread has a kind of jauntiness and acceptance that makes it almost joyful. The album closes with Older Brother that again has the bedrock of Pat McInerney's unobtrusive but essential drumming underpinning it. All this makes this the album one that deserves repeated playing as you get to know its intimacy and heart. It brings you inside the hearth and heart of a homebody. Which in this case is a pretty good place to be.