Amy Cunningham
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Amy Cunningham


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"Gems to be found among new Canadian Releases"

Amy Cunningham - ³To The Stars We¹ll Return²

I thoroughly enjoyed this album. Amy Cunningham has a lightly country sound, with hints of bluegrass and folk, accompanied by fresh and crisp acoustic guitar and great vocals. Anyone who listens to Jewel¹s latest CDs will love this girl. Her lyrics are easy to relate to without being simple, the production quality of the album is very good, and there is enough variety from track to track to keep listeners interested.

I¹d recommend this CD for anyone who enjoys some easy listening. It¹s not depressing and it¹s not forced sunshine. It¹s real, and down to earth, which is becoming a very rare quality in the music industry.

I can¹t wait to hear more from this girl. - Ponoka News

"Amy Cunningham"

To the Stars We'll Return is an auspicious debut by Amy Cunningham.

The Ontario-raised, Vancouver Island-based singer/songwriter is a strong
lyricist in a county, folk and pop vein with a pleasant and pleasing voice.

Some of the songs get full band treatment, but the most effective cuts are
stripped-down acoustic affairs with Cunningham's voice front and centre. - The Record, Kitchener

"Amy Cunningham-CD-To The Stars We'll Return Contains 11 Well-Crafted Pop Songs"

Amy Cunningham, singer/songwriter based in Vancouver with roots in Brampton, Ontario, has released her debut CD entitled, To The Stars We'll Return. The CD has a cast of some of B.C.'s best instrumentalists and her co-producer Corwin Fox have carefully crafted a richly layered album utilizing a wide range of musical textures.
Notable musicians on the CD are, Doug Cox, Jake Jene and Christina Zaenker. There are strong social, philosophical and environmental messages in her songs, but they are always framed in musically interesting and welcoming settings.

Here are the song titles:

Real-Freedom-Similar Soul

Onelife-Don't Say A Word-Saving Grace

Take Me Away-We Are The Ones-Love

Shine-To The Starts We'll Return

Amy is now logging serious road miles in support of this album and she plans a cross-Canada tour in September. She is putting all her energy into the tour and hopes to find a way that will hopefully help people come together.

A very good album and Atlantic Seabreeze give this CD top ratings on its rating list. - John Gavin, Atlantic Seabreeze

"Amy Cunningham, "To the stars we'll return...""

Vancouver’s Amy Cunningham loves music; her commitment to the craft extends back to her childhood, singing with her guitar-wielding grandfather at family events eventually leading to her writing songs at a very young age. Come university, the muse was too strong for her to ignore, she immediately co-fronted a popular acoustic duo that regularly played in front of 300 people at the local campus bar and even opened for singer-songwriter Jeremy Fisher.

All these experiences have led to Cummingham’s satisfying debut, To The Stars We’ll Return. Produced by Corwin Fox (Scott Dunbar, Miss Emily Brown), his deft production style has given these simple folk treatments a dramatic flair that also gives weight to Cunningham’s wide-eyed poetry. But, without solid songs, Fox wouldn’t have anything to craft around and at the very heart of this project are Cunningham’s heart-to-heart writing style that is so easy to identify with.

Opening track, “Real” is a soul-pop number that celebrates artists and music that soothes the soul. This is followed up by the roots flavoured; “Freedom” which captures Cunningham’s current touring situation as she “travels up and down this road so wide” and third track “Similar Soul” features a beautiful string arrangement that really challenges Cunningham’s vocals – of course she hits every note pitch perfect, full of emotion.

Other highlights include the haunting “Saving Grace”, the folk-licking “We Are The Ones” which will be featured on the sustainability documentary Community Connections by Chris Carter and my personal favourite “Don’t Say A Word” an intimate portrait of uncertain lust. - Jason Gladu, Stage Door Reviews

"Move west a good decision"

The pull of the west lures many creative individuals and Vancouver Island
singer/songwriter Amy Cunningham heard the siren call from Ontario and
headed out.

Her music reflects this spirit, focussing on eco-centric themes and the
natural world. That doesn¹t mean that she does the hippie dance in flowing
robes, chanting the ³don¹t know where I¹m going/don¹t know where I¹ve been²
flower child tranquility mantra.

Cunningham¹s music is tranquil and soothing with a regional feeling for
folk/country forms (Freedom). Her voice has a calming effect reminiscent of
Jewel around the edges.

Acoustic guitars, banjo and mandolin feature in her songs and her musical
cohorts support the material with insight, giving much of the music a warm
undertone that recalls the best of the mid-Œ70s heyday of B.C. West Coast
folk rock.

The lilt in Cunningham¹s voice finds a mirror in the upbeat drone of
Onelife, a haunting track whose simplicity brings out an ethereal texture.
This sound works some mystery on other cuts like Saving Grace, a dark tinged
meditation on music¹s beckoning light.

The gentle moods on To the Stars We¹ll Return are enhanced by the
atmospheric character of Cunningham¹s melodic songs. Sincerity and depth
shine through her songs and bring obvious subject matter new believability

Dean Gordon-Smith is The Morning Star's music reviewer. His column,
Street Sounds, appears every Friday. - Vernon Morning Star


Full album (11 tracks)- "To the Stars We'll Return" released July, 2011.

radio play: Now being heard on 25+ Canadian campus and community stations and roots shows across Canada and debuting at #4 on the Top 200, CHMR 93.5 St. John's, NFLD. (see below for some of these stations).

US airplay:

~ The Billy Block Show (selected by SOCAN), Nashville TN- showcase, Nov. 22nd (live streaming @
aired on Nashville’s #1 Country station 103WKDF

~Steve Keys - "Songwriters at Play" KCBX FM, San Luis Obispo, CA-5 song clips and interview

Canadian airplay:

~CBC Radio (variety of cities across Canada)
~Jan Vanderhorst “Just Us Folk” - AM1380, single- "Freedom"
~CHMR 93.5 fm St. John's, NFLD
~CFOU Trois Rivieres, QB
~CFMU Hamilton, ON
~CHRV Toronto, ON
~CFCR Saskatoon, SK
~CRLC Lethbridge, AB
~CANOE FM Haliburton, ON
~CHES Erin,ON- "Real", "Freedom", "We are the ones"



To The Stars We'll Return

To say that Amy Cunningham's passionate love affair with music is life-long is in fact no exaggeration. "My mom says I was singing before I was talking” says the Vancouver Island-based singer/songwriter. My grandfather would play the guitar, and he said I started singing along in key when I was three years old. I don't remember consciously deciding to be a musician, it was just always there."

Amy has had a fascinating musical journey since then, one that now culminates in the release of a totally compelling debut album, To The Stars We'll Return. Cunningham most commonly performs solo or with just one accompanist, but To The Stars We'll Return is far from a sparse acoustic record. Armed with a cast of some of B.C.'s best instrumentalists, Amy and her co-producer Corwin Fox (Miss Emily Brown, Shane Koyczan) have carefully crafted a richly layered album utilizing a wide range of musical textures.

"The goal was to make a big album with a big message," Amy explains. "It’s a record I can stand strong in and I'm still able to play these songs on acoustic guitar and just sing my heart out. I think that passion can stand in place of a full band, although touring with other musicians is definitely on the horizon”.

Cunningham and Fox worked painstakingly on these songs in Corwin's Vancouver Island studio, TransOrbital Productions, bringing in guest players as their schedules permitted. Notable players featured on To The Stars include Doug Cox (dobro and weisenborn), Jake Jenne (saxophone and percussion) and Christina Zaenker (cello) among talented others, and the versatile Fox (himself a prolific singer/songwriter and one half of acclaimed folk-rock duo Morlove) also played banjo, electric guitar, bass, and organ.

Amy is full of praise for Fox's contributions and the studio setting he created. "It was an amazing learning environment, and exactly what I needed and had been dreaming about”. The pair first met at noted B.C. festival ArtsWells last summer, and quickly built a personal rapport. "Corwin agreed to work with me before he'd even heard my music," says Amy. “We laugh a lot, which to me is a sign of a great connection.”

Fox and the guest players add real atmosphere and drama to the sound of To The Stars, but the focus is always placed upon the potent combination of Cunningham's rich and powerful voice and emotionally eloquent songwriting. Amy's voice is more force of nature than instrument, possessing a natural intensity that immediately makes the listener take note.

The songs on To The Stars We'll Return traverse wide lyrical and sonic terrain. The upbeat and catchy "Freedom" is described by Amy as "a song about my own definition of freedom. I see it as something constant that comes from within." Opening with the line "travelling up and down this road so wide," it would make for a great road trip song.

The dramatic power of Amy's voice is fully showcased on "Saving Grace," achieving an emotional intensity evocative of Neko Case. The song utilizes metaphor to describe what Amy feels is the nature of the human journey; working through our stuff to get to a better place. "I feel I’m at a very healthy place in my life, but it was a struggle. I worked through a lot…that is an empowering song for me, and I hope it will be for others."

The sweetly melodic "We Are the Ones" features fluent guitar lines from Doug Cox, and lyrics ("we are our only hope") that urge us to accept social and environmental responsibility. Its message is already resonating, as the song will be featured in an upcoming sustainability themed documentary, Community Connections, by B.C. filmmaker Chris Carter.

For Amy, the medium and the message in her music are inextricably linked. Yes, there are strong social, philosophical and environmental messages in her songs, but they are always framed in musically interesting and welcoming settings. "I am aiming for something accessible in my songs," she stresses. "I don't want to alienate people. It's about taking pretty idealistic ideas and grounding them."

Coming up with a simple definition of Amy Cunningham's sound is quite an elusive feat. Amy cites folk as the primary ingredient, followed by soul and country, while To The Stars also confirms she has a knack for pop melodies. She cites James Taylor and Carole King as early inspirations and influences, while more contemporary favourites include Ray Lamontagne, Devon Sproule, and Amos Lee.

Born in Brampton, Ontario, Amy grew up in a family of musicians. Her grandfather is a skilled guitarist who sat in with such greats as Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis, and family gatherings always featured the clan playing guitars and singing. Amy began writing poetry and in journals at an early age, and started playing guitar at 14.

The muse followed her to Brock University in St. Catharine's. There, she co-fronted a band that became very popular on campus and through the Niagara region. Initially