Amanda Jane
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Amanda Jane

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Discography

The Runaway (Album)

American Pride (A Soldier's Tribute) (Single)

Me Anonymous-the upcoming album is due out Fall of 2008

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Bio

There’s a lot that makes me, well, me. But I also possess the same traits that all serious musicians have. We’re not just determined, we’re tenacious. We have to be.

Tell me another profession – OK, besides acting – where you expose so much of your heart and soul to public critique every day.

It’s a tough business – even before it’s a business – and everybody’s a critic. One day you’re on top and the next day, well, you’re not. That’s why you have to love music for what happens inside you. For instance, when I was a sixth grader in Johnston, Iowa, I was positive I was on a non-stop ride to stardom when I was selected for the state honor choir. But by the time I was in high school, the teacher told me I didn’t have the chops to make it.

That’s where that tenacious comes in. I sang as much as I could wherever I could and ended up earning a music scholarship to Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. So, what did I do? I immediately auditioned for an elite college choir that toured nationally and internationally, made the cut as a freshman and spent the next four years traveling the United States, Europe and South Africa. I was even the lead soloist on some of those tours.

So, some people are going to love you. Some people aren’t. That’s just the way it is. And, to be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s because I write my own songs and pack my sound with substance. I write about everyday people and experiences – and try to shed some light on the truth that there’s always more going on outside your own world. That was especially true with my single, “American Pride (A Soldier’s Tribute). The world looks different when you take the time to see it through someone’s eyes.

Heartbreak beyond imagine
Face it, life isn’t easy. In fact, it can be downright cruel. It’s the lows that make us appreciate the highs – and the highs that let us know the lows don’t last forever. Sometimes, though, the heartbreak is devastating you wonder how you’ll ever pick yourself up and go on.

That’s where I was in January 2005 when my brother, Ryan, was murdered. He was just 24 and the best brother anyone could ever hope for. He had supported my music, laughed when I laughed and comforted me when I cried. He was a shoulder to lean on and an ear who always listened when I needed him. My world collapsed. I may have managed to complete an international tour and my senior year of college, but I was at absolute rock bottom.

His death, senseless as it is, was a stark lesson that life can end so abruptly that we owe it to ourselves and others to focus on what we love most and feel most passionate about. Singing at his funeral made it clear to me that I’m on this planet to create music that creates an emotional connection with – and for – others.

I’m influenced by an incredibly diverse range of artists from Buckcherry, Green Day and Evanescence to Wynonna Judd, Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks, from AC/DC, Aerosmith, Slash and Guns N’ Roses to Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, The Doobie Brothers, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles and beyond. (I wasn’t kidding when I said diverse, was I?) But one thing inside of me will never change. I’ve grown tired of hearing performers sing about shallow issues and situations – so I’ve chosen to write with a cause. That’s why almost all of my music will be from a different perspective.

She’s from Iowa?
The first word that pops into your mind when you think of musicians who really rock isn’t usually “Iowa.” Sure, there are some drawbacks living in a place where John Deere is king and Clive Davis isn’t exactly a household name. But, you’d be wrong to think my home state has nothing to offer.

It’s true, Andy Williams, the guy who crooned “Moon River”, is from Iowa. So was big band leader Glenn Miller. And there was Meredith Willson, who wrote “the Music Man.” You know, “Seventy-six trombones led the big parade, with a hundred and ten cornets close at hand...”

But, most people are surprised to learn that head-bangin’, mask-wearing, platinum-certified band “Slipknot” started in Des Moines – and the guys still call it home. Dave Keuning, the fantastic guitarist with the Grammy-nominated “The Killers” is from Pella, Iowa – just 50 miles down the road from my front door. Anyone who co-wrote “Mr. Brightside” knows a thing or two about rock music.

And, here’s a weird bit of rock trivia for you: when the immortal Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off that bat in 1982 during a live “Black Sabbath” concert and had to have rabies shots, he did it at Veterans Auditorium Des Moines, Iowa. Incidentally, he thought the bat was made of rubber, but it was real. Legend has it the bat was alive, but the people who brought it to the concert and tossed it onstage said it was dead.

So, don’t underestimate Iowa. It’s a rocking place. A lot of great music has come from here. And if I have anything to say about it, the best is yet to come.

See you at the show,

Amanda Jane