Amanda Birdsall
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Amanda Birdsall

Vero Beach, Florida, United States

Vero Beach, Florida, United States
Band Folk Americana


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"The Strange Fan Club of Amanda Birdsall"

What do a professional golfer, a Trinidadian spiritual guru, an avant-garde architect, a Peruvian web-designer, a massage therapist and a gallery owner all have in common? Especially on a Friday or Saturday night on the Treasure Coast? Answer: they all flock to listen to Amanda Birdsall, a singer-songwriter who performs almost every weekend, sometimes two or three times a weekend, in Stuart, Fort Pierce and Port Salerno.

"She's fantastic," says Don Komara, a prizewinning architect and twenty year resident of Stuart. "I've got to bring my daughter to hear this. I'm sure she'd be inspired. We need more music like this in Stuart."

As Don settles back into his chair at Merrotika's, a riverside café attached to the Fish House Art Center in Port Salerno, Birdsall pulls a harmonica headpiece from her guitar stand, loops it over her sandy blonde hair, and begins singing "Always Home," one of her 20 original songs.

Artists, it seems, are always traveling, and Birdsall wrote "Always Home" during a year in which she roamed through Canada, Ireland and the U.S., working on organic farms, writing songs all the way.

"In my travels," Birdsall says. "I learned that I carried my home with me, like a turtle, in the form of my art, in the songs I sing. No matter where I roamed, my art, and the Earth, were with me. I wrote 'Always Home' in an attempt to capture this feeling."

Birdsall first picked up a violin at age six, but today her music is channeled through guitar, harmonica and vocals reminiscent of Joni Mitchell infused with the dusky punch of Rory Block. Amanda performs regularly at cafes, restaurants, house concerts, and music festivals throughout the South. Highlights include performances at the Minnesota Folk Festival's 2002 New Folk Songwriting Contest and sharing the stage with Sloan Wainwright, Kate McDonnell, and Edie Carey.

Just like Birdsall's fan base, her art is hard to pigeon-hole. With a voice like stone-washed silk, she drops into a stunning version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," then, at the request of a young woman in a hooded sweatshirt, she rolls into "Lonesome Kitchen Blues," another of her originals, which thumps along with a sound that makes crowds think she might have studied with Muddy Waters. A few songs later, you'll be convinced that she's the secret niece of Bob Dylan.

When Trinidadian guru Vasudeva heard Birdsall sing, he was mesmerized. He invited her to lead a private 'satsang' or devotional singing session, for his Blue Star peace organization ( The event took place at the home of Willie Gary's law partner, Maria Sperando, and Birdsall wowed the Blue Star group with her "Meditation Song" as well as a cover of "Imagine" by John Lennon. By the end of the night, no one could stop smiling.

Back at Merrotika's, Birdsall's tip jar is overflowing and no sooner is her last song sung than her fans descend. Some to chat about upcoming folk music events. Some to buy one of Amanda's three CD's, the most popular of which was recorded live at the legendary Main Street Café. Some to thank her, profusely, for playing. And most everyone gathered around, from stock analysts to psychotherapists, wants to know when they can hear her again. Most of her fans know that her schedule is posted on her website:, but for those just discovering her music, Birdsall replies:

"I'll be playing at Merrotika's again on March 17 th and 23 rd and at Osceola Street Café in Downtown Stuart on April 20 th. Both shows should run from 7 to 10 p.m."

- Wolff Bowden

"Pack picnic basket for Amanda Birdsall concert"

The Indian River County Main Library celebrates the new year with a returning performer in our monthly music series on Friday, at 6 p.m. Songwriter Amanda Birdsall delights audiences with her enchanting mix of lyric-driven folk and knock-your-socks-off blues. With a style like Joni Mitchell, Birdsall commands attention, displaying depth of tone and expression beyond her years.
- Marla Goodman

"Review of April 3, 2005 Glades Edge House Concert, Amanda Birdsall opening for Sloan Wainwright"

I heard Amanda Birdsall, a young singer/songwriter, at a local song swap in January and was impressed enough to invite her to open for Sloan. Well, a better match could not have been made. Amanda had been playing and singing for years at various events and open mics around Ft. Pierce FL but this was her first time experiencing the heart of the folk community. After gaining her voice in her first song, Amanda grabbed the ears of everyone there including Sloan’s. We asked her to do 2 more songs in the second set which she happily obliged. At the end of the night Sloan invited flautist The Silver Nightingale (Laura Sue Walansky) and Amanda to join her in her final song. Sloan handed Amanda a lyric sheet and they were off. Laura Sue played a solo beautifully as usual and after the chorus Sloan pointed to Amanda’s lyric sheet and Amanda took a verse. At first she sang soft as she was unsure singing the song for the first time, but Sloan would have none of this. Sloan motioned her hands to coax Amanda’s beautiful voice out and she let go with a wonderfully powerful verse. THIS is what really makes it all worth the work.

Sloan’s show was one of the most amazing so far and Amanda’s introduction made it that much more special.

- Dave Cambest


On the Night You Were Born (2008)
Live at the Main Street Cafe (2005)
Offering (2002)
Birth Trauma (2001)



2009 - 3rd place winner - Susquehanna Music & Arts Festival
2002 - Finalist - Minnesota Folk Festival

In the middle of working on a doctorate in psychology, halfway through an Adult Psychopathology class, Amanda Birdsall looked down at her notebook. Instead of listening to the lecture, she had completely filled the margins with songs.

“When I saw those songs crowded into the margins like little orphans shoved into a hallway and forgotten, I stood up and walked out of class. I stopped by my dorm room and grabbed my guitar. I abandoned everything else.”

Then Amanda drove. She made it all the way to Canada where she wrote songs and worked on organic farms in exchange for a cot and all the vegetables she could eat.

“It was a mystical time for me,” Amanda says. “I was moving the earth with my hands all day and writing songs by candle-light. I actually started writing about people I might have helped as a psychologist: a little girl lost in the Child Welfare System; a young bride who chooses her wedding day to run away from her life; an old woman coping with the death of her last living friend. It was a miracle of a time."

Amanda has recorded two solo studio albums and a live CD, has interviewed and performed live on multiple TV and radio programs, and has shared the stage with Sloan Wainwright, Edie Carey, Danny Schmidt, and Kate McDonnell.

Amanda also performs and records her music as half of the duo The Orphan Trains, in which she also plays violin, piano, and banjo. Their album "On The Night You Were Born" debuted in August 2008.

"One of the most talented singer-songwriters not only in this area, but among all folk-rock performers! Keep your eyes on this one!" - Doreen Poreba, former SunFest coordinator

"One of the best of the next generation of singer-songwriters." - Laurie Oudin, Main Street Cafe owner