Amy & Adams
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Amy & Adams

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1994 | INDIE

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1994
Band Folk Pop




"Sail Away Review"

Sail Away
Amy & Adams
Okay Today Records
12 tracks
At first, I wasn't sure what to make of Amy & Adams. The words and music are simple, perhaps deceptively so, but it's hard to define the precise character of these songs. I considered other songwriter couples. Some songs seem to suggest Terry and Susan Jacks, but the songs here have a softer centre, less folk-rock and more pop. Many songs have the sentimentality of Jon and Sondra Steele, but not the country flavour. At least one song, but not the others, reminded me of early Les Paul and Mary Ford. Some of the song titles and imagery caused me to seriously consider the possibility this is a very low-key Christian release. Although those elements are present, it is probably not. What, then, are Amy and Adams about?
Taken at first listen, the music on Sail Away has a certain folkish singer-songwriter ambience about it. At centre, though, the music here is much more pop than folk. The melodies, more than anything, are what at first brought to mind The Poppy Family and the subsequent hits of Susan Jacks and Terry Jacks. Rather than folk-rock with a social message, though, the lyrics here are sentimental love poems set to music, the very stuff of teenage pop music. With their sweet and sometimes lush arrangements and their even sweeter vocals, Amy & Adams come across as a contemporary Paul and Paula, singing sweet love songs to each other. What saves the songs from saccharine is that this Paul and Paula seem to have conspired with Jimmy Buffet, setting their sweet words and melodies to jumpy and often Caribbean-sounding rhythms.
"Whippoorwill" caught my attention because it stands out from the others. Simpler musically than other songs on this release, "Whippoorwill" is a traditional country waltz ornamented by bits of penny whistle, including a solo on the bridge. In its lyric, in it's melody and arangement, and in the general feel of this song, I was reminded of "Mockingbird Hill" as it was originally recorded by Les Paul and Mary Ford. This song has the same sort of inherent nostalgia and sentimentality.
Like some songs in the old rock-operas, most of the love songs here hold enough images from the Christian canon that they can be taken as sung either to God or to a human lover. Some songs clarify that the words are intended for a lover, but most tend to leave the listener to decide. "Surrender" seems clearly a song of human love, and "Oh Amy" clearly is. As just two examples, "Sail Away" and "Holy Boy" are not so clear in their intent. In fact, several songs on this release could be as easily hymns as love songs.
"Holy Boy" especially reminds me of the work of Susan Jacks some thirty years ago on her solo releases. Here Amy's voice has the same quiet confidence and fullness of expression which was so attractive in Jacks' recordings. The simple arrangement, carried by piano and bass, enhances the effect. This is one of the prettiest songs on this album of pretty songs.
The title song, "Sail Away" epitomizes the unique vocal harmonies that show up throughout this release. A dialogue between the two singers, the vocals slip from male or female solo into sweet harmonies. The structure of the song is quirky, ranging from soft love dialogue through edgy rock and roll and back to a gentle reprise, with several variations in between. Here, it's Adams who seems a bit like Terry Jacks, moving effortlessly from sweet pop lover to edgy rock and roller and back.
"Oh Amy" especially has that Paul and Paula sound. This is an unabashed pop love song of the sort that would have made the hit parade easily some forty years ago. Who can be objective? I'm still a sucker for those songs.
If they ever hear it, "Teddy Bear" should be picked up in a flash by Sharon, Lois, and Bram. While there may be something very adult between the lines, this is an ideal song for children's televison. It has a bright, bouncy rhythm that's sure to get the toes tapping and the kids dancing. With jumping bass and irresistable piano and clarinet parts, how can it lose? Even better, the song has a gleeful, playful vocal that can only add to the feeling established by the instrumental. And it's all about a teddy bear. I can already see it on The Elephant Show.
"Let Me Be" is another song that has a very Christian feel to it. Here, the lyric sounds as though [again, back to those rock-operas] it was written in the voice of Christ, inviting those in need to allow Him to be their support. Yet, again might it again be a song of a lover offering support to his beloved. An interesting tension is created that gives the song more apparent depth than it might otherwise have.
That there are certain Christian images built into the lyrics of these songs is clear. On a philosophical level, I think this is neither a positive or a negative thing. On an artistic level, the use of these symbols and metaphors adds substance and interest to lyrics which might have become maudlin in their sentimentality. Their inclusion adds a certain resonance to the words which will draw listeners in and hold them. Both Amy Adams-Westin and Mark Adams-Westin are talented lyricists, each with a story to tell.
Sail Away is a well, written, well produced effort that is certain to be well-received by what may be a niche audience. The music tends to fall between genres and so may not find a home among any specific audience category. However, this music is the stuff of middle-of-the-road radio and could potentially receive a lot of airplay there. It will be interesting to hear what Amy and Adams release next.
- Sound Bytes Musical Website Bob MacKenzie

"Must Be Dreamin' Review"

CD: Must Be Dreamin
Label: Okay Today Records
Rating: 5 STARS
Genre: Folk

If harmony performed outstandingly is any criteria for the making of a hit record. Then this CD is a hit. These four artists sing with perfect phrasing, pitch and excellent harmony parts. This album is as fresh and entertaining as folk music has ever been. Must Be Dreamin is delivered as smooth as silk.

Intelligent words and acoustic music presented on this release by Mark Adams - Westin and Amy Adams – Westin. A superior folk release performed by a superior group of musicians.

"Must Be Dreamin' Review"

CD Spotlight:

Amy and Adams (with Jim and Mary) - Must Be Dreamin'

You can't help but like Amy and Adams. These two make you smile. Their music and interaction with the audience engage the listener effectively with warmth and sincerity. On their latest release, "Must Be Dreamin' " the songs run the gamut of the human experience...disappointment ("Rejected Again"), optimism ("There's A Road") and gentle humor ("Spider In My Guitar"). Amy and Adams are joined on this CD by Jim Finders (bass, vocals) and Mary Adams (vocals, harmonica). Nice harmonies and lovely acoustic work throughout.

- Wendy Vickers LOCAL BLEND Web Music News Letter

"Sail Away Review"

Excerpts from Review in The Marshalltown Times Republican-Sunday, March 21, 1999, by Christopher Clair

"Those who enjoy folk music should appreciate the work of AMY & ADAMS. This is also true for fans of the blues. And rock n' roll. And just about any other form of music, as AMY & ADAMS draw their influences from many different artists. ''The Beatles are a big influence.'' Amy said. ''We love them. But we also like Nat 'King Cole, Frank Sinatra, John Denver''. The pairing of their influences along with their lyrical talents provide for a wonderful debut album, SAIL AWAY… The album runs along with driven acoustic music that provides the foundation for their lyrical work. The opening track, "SURRENDER" is captivating and really pulls you into the disc with good clean vocals. The songs can be serious ("OH AMY," "LET ME BE"), driving one to really focus on the emotion in the voices, then they can turn around and be rather playful, as Amy demonstrates on "TEDDY BEAR"- a song about how stuffed animals can be better than men. This was pre-Mark, of course as Amy pointed out. The Album took about eight months of hard work. It was well worth it."
- Marshalltown Times Republican

"Sail Away Review"

My first thought was Jimmy Buffett would be at home recording many of these songs. Most of the tunes on Sail Away have that breezy feel and would make good background music while swing- ing in a hammock as the shrimp begins to boil.
The husband and wife team, Amy & Adams, switch easily from folk that motors "Surrender," to bittersweet love songs "Oh, Amy," to whimsical almost childlike melodies like "Whippoorwill."
Many of their influences, Loggins & Messina, Sinatra and Cat Stevens are easy to recognize; others like The Beatles and Led Zep- pelin remain in the musical shadows.
Their harmonies intermingle gracefully. Their closeness becomes more evident with each spin. The 12 string guitars, acoustic piano, Hammond B3 organ and mandolin float under the love ballads. Yes, this is a CD made for those in love or for those who wish they could be in love. In others words, it's for anyone who can still appreciate music with genuine tunes and feelings.
For more or to purchase a CD, go to

By Jim Clark Publisher - The Lee County Courier, Tupelo, MS. Thursday, March 20, 2003

"Letter From Concert Promotor"

'' Mark and Amy conducted the arrangements and procedures, in collaboration with the CIAA, with the utmost flexibility, alacrity and respect. The concert itself was extremely successful and brought a lot of joy to people from all walks of life from the very young to the elderly.''
Tim Castle, Director of the Central Iowa Arts Association(CIAA)
- Central Iowa Arts Association

"Professional Recommendation"

My wife and I had the good fortune to catch an Amy and Adams performance earlier in the year. We enjoyed their enthusiasm, original tunes, and great mix of music so much that we hired them to perform at our company’s annual holiday party. Amy and Adams made this a very special evening for all. They provided quiet easy listening background music before dinner, but the real fun started after dinner when they put on their wonderful show. Our employee's range in age from recent college grads to old timers like me, and Amy and Adams kept everyone laughing and dancing all evening. I’d recommend Amy and Adams to any organization looking for great musical entertainment.

David Scheerer
Hydro Metering Technology
- Amy & Adams


SAIL AWAY 1998. Received limited national & international airplay. Songs played: SURRENDER, SAIL AWAY, I"M FLYING.

MUST BE DREAMIN' 2004 was played on over 80 stations nationwide. Songs played: THERE'S A ROAD, I'M IN LOVE WITH MY HONEY

LIVE: UNDER THE COVERS was just released in Jan 2008 and is getting some nationwide airplay too. As the name implies, these songs are some of the great tunes made famous first by other artists



Amy grew up in White Bear Lake, MN. Mark was raised in Marshalltown, Iowa. After following their own separate musical paths, AMY & ADAMS met at The Blue Guitar in 1993, a wonderful cozy live concert venue that Mark ran and Amy played at in Stillwater, MN. Our musical infatuation grew into love and then marriage.

Amy & Adams performs an engaging combination of original and cover tunes, with just the right stylistic mix of the new and the recognizable that they call Eclectic/FolkRock/TinPanAlley/CountryBluesgGrass. On stage or on their critically acclaimed CDs Amy & Mark weave a sumptuous tapestry of guitars, vocals, keyboards, mandolin, ukulele and flutes.

 For decades both Amy & Mark Adams-Westin composed and performed in their own separate worlds.  In 1993 Amy Westin walked into "The Blue Guitar" a live music venue Mark Adams ran in Stillwater, Minnesota to perform at an open-mic. Amy was the voice for his new song "I’M FLYING" It was love at first hear.

 Since then Amy & Adams has grown a life sustaining & ever growing career in Minnesota, Iowa, the Midwest and beyond, performing in churches, weddings, private and corporate parties, high school assemblies, elder care facilities, concerts for City Music in the Park series, as well as concerts for Arts Associations & Historical Societies.  Folks of all ages & tastes love Amy & Adams’ eclectic blend great songs from the 1920s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s ….        

Amy & Adams concerts have been featured on television in the Twin Cities and Iowa City, IA. They’ve performed live on radio and Television.  Their eight CDs have received national and international radio airplay as well as glowing critical reviews.  And now their original music is featured in the stunning new film from award winning Fourth Wall Films MOVIE STAR: The Secret Lives Of Jean Seberg. 

Amy & Adams’ song (as of 7/10/2020) sits at #8 on the CDX Southern Gospel & Positive Country chart all with the likes of Tim McGraw, Luke Combs, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban, and Blake Shelton

Audiences of all ages and tastes love Amy & Adams. Perhaps that’s why Roots Music Report declared  them, “as fresh and entertaining as folk music has ever been.”

Band Members