Amissville

Amissville

 Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
BandPop

We're a performing singer-songwriter duo out of Charlotte, North Carolina, best known for our rich harmonies and original songs connected to real life. Think folk/acoustic/folk rock like Eastmountainsouth or Mindy Smith meets David Crosby.

Biography

Meredith Laney - sass and vocals
David Holtzclaw - backtalk, vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and djembe

Carl Jung said "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens." Meredith and David have thoughtful songs that look at both realms, with passion and clarity. Their music shows their folk roots, but they aren’t ashamed to take their rich harmonies and memorable songs into rock and blues territory. It’s like Mindy Smith met David Crosby and had a baby with … oh never mind, you get the idea.

They met at a Darrell Scott show in 2005. Each had their own music career, Dave on his own and with several bands (Brothers, Wooden Parts and others). He sold a Nolan Ryan rookie baseball card to buy his first serious acoustic guitar. It opened up a whole new world of songwriting for him. Meredith sang in ensembles and choirs, writing her own songs but describing herself as a sofa singer-songwriter. The first time she sang for Dave, “I lit a candle, turned out the lights and made him look anywhere but at me. Now, he would have you know, you can’t shut me up.”

Their influences include David Wilcox and Eva Cassidy and you can certainly hear that and more from their blues and folk-rock songs to the thoughtful folk ballads they write and perform. Their album, Take Me Back, is out now, made possible with a 2010 Regional Artist Project Grant from their local arts council (www.artsandscience.org). They were one of only twenty recipients out of sixty-seven applicants.

Meredith is also a published poet and photographer. She’s the mother of a witty 13-year-old daughter who is comfortably settled in the please-don’t-talk-to-me-in-public-where-my-friends-can-see stage. David also has a background in photography; when he’s not doing his day job in the audio-visual field, he’s searching for the perfect pint.

They’ve toured all over the Carolinas, opening for the John Cowan Band and Ellis Paul, as well as doing their own shows. They’ve performed twice at Festival in the Park in Charlotte and at a showcase sponsored by the Charlotte Folk Society. Before their career together, Dave shared the stage with Lucy Kaplansky, Tim O’Brien, Ralph Stanley and many more.

They’ll be touring more in the coming years as well as exploring licensing their music for film and TV. Meredith sums it up well: “We hope to touch more people with our music than we ever thought possible. We write for us, but we play for them.”

Lyrics

Feel the Lightning

Written By: Meredith Laney and David Holtzclaw

You come and go like a passing storm
Tearing me up on your way
You howl at my roof and rattle my walls
Waiting for me to cave

You just touch my door and now you're inside
I'm not sure I want you to leave
You love me a while till I feel more alone
Cause you won't hold onto me

CHORUS:
I've gotta learn to watch the weather
And know when the air smells like longing
To ignore the sound of you falling around me
And close my eyes, try not to feel the lightning

I wanted to know the rain on my face
How it penetrates skin to the bone
You rush through my hair, and steal every breath
Wanting to become my home

You murmur the thunder of clouds passing my sky
I never ask why you never stay
You love me as long as it suits you to do
Leaving pieces of me in your wake

CHORUS:
I've gotta learn to watch the weather
And know when the air smells like longing
To ignore the sound of you falling around me
And close my eyes, try not to feel, try not to feel

I'm gonna learn to watch the weather
And know when the air smells like longing
To ignore the sound of you falling around me
And close my eyes, try not to feel the lightning

You come and go falling around me
Waiting for me to cave
Waiting for you to leave

Waiting for me to cave
Waiting for you to leave

Waiting for me to cave
Waiting for you to leave
Waiting for you

Trying to Get Away

Written By: Meredith Laney and David Holtzclaw

Trying to Get Away

My heart is bursting up against its cage
Fighting so hard, trying to get away
Trying to get away
Trying to get away

I don’t want to live in fear
I don’t want to hide myself
I want to feel alive
More than the doll on the shelf

My heart is bursting up against its cage
Fighting so hard, trying to get away
Trying to get away
Trying to get away

I don’t want to lose who I am
I don’t want to do what’s expected
I want to love who I love
Pull my string and I’ll say it.

My heart is bursting up against its cage
Fighting so hard, trying to get away
Trying to get away
Trying to get away

I can’t wear a painted on smile
I just can’t pretend anymore
I need to find my voice
Sweep that doll to the floor

My heart is bursting up against its cage
Fighting so hard, trying to get away
Trying to get away
Trying to get away

My heart is bursting up against its cage
Fighting so hard, trying to get away
Trying to get away
Trying to get away

© 2009 Meredith Laney and David Holtzclaw

Discography

First CD, Take Me Back, released January 2011.

Set List

A typical set list consists of primarily original songs, such as:
Less Alone
Feel the Lightning
Cardboard Heroes
These Hands
Half a Century
A Better Man
Souvenirs
Come On & Try
Take Me Back
It's Not Easy
No Tears for Janis
Just Another Ghost
Leave the World
Stay
300 Girls
Sydney Cove
Ordinary Wine
The Only Thing Worth Saving
Come On Home

We often perform 2-3 60-minute sets (with a very short break)

Covers (among others):
The End of the Innocence
Fields of Gold
If I Had a Boat
Wooden Ships
Sweet Baby James
Forever Young
Friend of the Devil
Can't Do That
Lady Madonna