Amy Speace
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Amy Speace

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE | AFM

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | INDIE | AFM
Band Americana Folk


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"her achy voice recalls an early Lucinda Williams"

At first glance, Amy Speace doesn't look like she has it in her. A perky blonde with a bubbly smile and a background as an actress in the National Shakespeare Company, Speace looks more like a Saturday Night Live cast member than a singer-songwriter battling (and expertly chronicling) heartache. But that's just what she does on her new album, The Killer in Me.

The disc's title track sounds like fodder for wallowing late at night in some bar in Austin, Texas. "The Killer in Me" sounds twangy and tragic — one of many songs Speace wrote after breaking up with her husband of 10 years — and her velvety, achy voice recalls an early Lucinda Williams. Sounding grounded but wounded, Speace exudes the vulnerability of someone who's loved and lost. Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople joins her for haunting harmonies on lines like, "When you cut my heart like you got no shame / hurts so good, I want to share the blame." It's not quite iambic pentameter, but Speace has a flair for tragedy well-suited to someone with a background in Shakespeare. - NPR


"Ulimately, the marriage of sharp production and clever songwriting are what makes Speace's Land Like A Bird a winning third record. - Blurt

"...among the finest songwriters of her generation"

"Land Like A Bird" marks the moment when Amy Speace should be regarded among the finest songwriters of her generation, one who can make of her personal trials and triumphs a universal kind of poetry addressing truths beyond her singular experience and accessible to anyone who's been out there trying to understand the games people play. - The Bluegrass Special

"An Impressive Piece of Work..."

Speace's new one, "Land LIke A Bird," is hot off the presses, and it's an impressive piece of work. (Jon Weisberger) - The Nashville Scene

"**** Jersey Journal Tris McCall Review"

...Here [on Land Like A Bird], Speace writes and sings like an echo of "In My Life" - era Judy Collins: wistful, wide-eyed and half-swallowed by the awful calm of solitude. - Jersey Journal

""An unflagging sense of 21st Century hipness...""

Speace brings an unflagging sense of 21st century hipness to all her songs...
- Vintage Guitar

""Amy Speace has one of those fetching voices...""

Amy Speace has one of those fetching voices, the kind that taps you on the shoulder and motions seductively for you to follow it around corner after dark corner. You don't know where you're going to end up or how you'll ever find your way back, but that doesn't matter right now: you're enjoying the trip. - No Depression Magazine (Scott Brodeur)

""Well worth checking out""

The talented Ms. Speace is lately taking her Americana away from twangy contemplation toward tangy confrontation. Seems likely that she'll be test-driving the material slated to appear on her next CD this spring, and the songs'll sound better with her full band (great name, btw) in tow. Paste magazine has discovered her, and you should too: She's well worth checking out. - The Village Voice (Barry Mazor)

""...women who rock""

Lilith Fair might be a thing of the past, but we’re please to report that the spirit of women who rock lives on...[Amy Speace has] music that is undeniably earnest and commercially accessible. - Billboard Magazine (Larry Flick)

""...a fine blend of styles...""

Signed to the label owned by Judy Collins, singer/songwriter Amy Speace isn't quite folk, country, roots, or pop. Rather, she is a fine blend of all four styles, and she showcases this blend on the breezy, summery "Step Out of the Shade" and the equally adult contemporary folk-pop of "Water Landing," which has Speace coming up roses with her sweet but pure delivery. She also shows a bit more moxie or swagger in the vein of Sheryl Crow or Lucinda Williams during the ragged, rockier, and bluesy "The Heartless Kind." A gentler track along similar lines is the Southern-tinged soul oozing out of the heartfelt "Shed This Skin." In terms of genres, she excels basically all over the place, with a Celtic-tinged "Two" being very gorgeous and resembling something that Kate Rusby or Alison Krauss might conjure up. She outdoes herself, though, with perhaps the album's crowning achievement, a waltz-like ditty entitled "Make Me Lonely Again," which resembles Cowboy Junkies. Another highlight is a honky tonk barroom cover of Blondie's "Dreamin'," which glides across the dusty hardwood dance floor with terrible ease. She hits pay dirt with a punchier arrangement for the toe-tapping, hell-raising "Double Wide Trailer," which could have fallen out of Gretchen Wilson's set list. A much better effort comes with the slow country track "Can't Find a Reason to Cry," which resembles Neko Case covering Patsy Cline. While the singer has talent, she shows that best on the slower relaxing old-school country material. - All Music Guide


"Rarely do I receive a CD that is complete in its brilliance...songwriting, music, production. Amy Speace's most recent release is one of those rare CDs. Like a relieving wind on a hot day, Amy reminds me that there is always someone out there who has The Goods" - Michael Jaworek, Booker for The Birchmere Theater, VA

"Top 10 for 2006"

In Make Me Lonely Again, the ballad which marks the mid-point of her new album, Amy Speace sings about skipping her high school prom: "While the whole world was dancing and falling in love/I stayed home in my slippers watching Harold and Maude." It's an arresting line, self-pity balanced by self-deprecation, the possibility of romance or even just fun blunted by a proclivity for frumpy Saturday nights. In fact, the whole album is memorable and distinctive, so far a sure bet on this reviewer's top ten list for 2006.

Country is its backbone if anything is, but it's country via the downtown smarts and grit of New York where the Baltimore-born Speace lives. Speace also dips heavily into folk and rock for her sophomore solo effort (she debuted in 2002 with the fan-financed Fable, preceded by Tattooed Queen from her now-defunct acoustic duo Edith O.) and does a little diva-worthy belting as well. Her band the Tearjerks handles backup, showing just how fresh New Country can be on the opening track Step Out of the Shade, flirting with soul on Shed This Skin, and re-imagining Blondie's Dreaming, the only cover tune, as a classic Nashville number that engages by being at once coolly self-conscious and wholly committed. Speace, whose delivery occasionally recalls Lucinda Williams', excels at this sort of thing nailing a mood, a personality, a situation with a robust back story in a fast verbal sketch, a vocal gesture.

- The Ottawa Citizen


It takes chutzpah, or just plain toughness, for a female Yankee singer-songwriter to call herself an "Americana roots-rocker with a folk streak," as Amy Speace does when forced to say it in seven words. But when your music simultaneously befits the funkiest little coffeehouse in New Hampshire as it would the dustiest honky-tonk in Texas, the description rings with the authenticity of an artist who transcends the easy classification of marketing.

Speace's third album, Songs for Bright Street, is a panoramic journey through her musical psyche. In the end, Songs for Bright Street, like Amy herself, is deeply rewarding, regardless of any one stance it takes — high praise for an album that starts with a banjo, ends with a Mellotron, and still leaves you feeling distinctly, completely American. - Taylor Guitars "Wood & Steel" Review

""Must have album...""

It is true that Amy Speace may not be a household name just yet, but if her latest record "Songs For Bright Street" has anything to say about that you will be hearing her name very soon. Speace has already been able to build a loyal, grassroots, fan base in her hometown of New York, but she is about to take over the rest of the country. From the album opener, "Step Out of the Shade," you quickly take note of the fact that while she and her band, The Tearjerks can lay down a country rhythm with the best of them, she also has a lot of pop influence that shines through. As the album dives forward you see the singer/songwriter side of Speace appear on slower tracks, like "Water Landing" and "Right Through To Me" but it is when she shows the country/pop influence that I was drawn into this album. Overall this album has the ability to hit big for a few reasons; 1) She will be able to attract listeners from a few genres. Fans of country/pop artists like Faith Hill or Martina McBride will love the upbeat country side of Speace, while fans of someone like Sarah McLachlan will like the slower driven singer/songwriter side. 2) The other main reason I see this album getting attention is that the DIY ethic is finally paying off. Speace has been able to hone in on her craft and perfect it. This is a must watch artist and a must have album for any fan of the country/pop or singer/songwriter genres. - Gone Country Magazine

""Amy Speace is larger than life. In a good way.""

Amy Speace is larger than life. In a good way. When she steps into the room, you know it. She's loud and she's beautiful, she'll drink the guys under the table, and hang till the party is done. And this party is just getting started.

She's from the NYC scene, but flirts with Nashville. She spins an urban folk country from the skeins of her gypsy lifestyle that's very radio friendly. Judy Collins heard that, or her people did -- this "label" debut of Amy Speace promises to be one of the key releases of Ms. Collins' company, Wildflower Records.

Speace is funny, too, the kind of woman who makes the jokes, not just who gets the jokes. Her band is called The Tearjerks. She's great with a crowd, and she's a killer one on one. Like her song says, she is the real thing. In that song, she demands to be taken as she is. She goes on to say: I'll take you right here/right now/on the ground/with a little James Brown...

The record stars out with a banjo lick walking you into "Step Into the Shade," but it's only two tunes later that she's rapping over the full drum set on "Not the Heartless Kind." But when she shows you her hurt side in "Make Me Lonely Again," that's where the hook goes in for this writer. To put a value on attitude, it's got to have a threshold where it falls apart. There's also a fabulous country cover of the Debbie Harry/Chris Stein classic "Dreaming," it's a knockout.

We believe that AAA is going to pick this record up and put Amy Speace on the road to being as big as she should be. People like Gary Louris of The Jayhawks, folk star Cliff Eberhart and E-Streeter Soozie Tyrell are on to her, and each appears on the record. There's something about her, she's just the kind of woman you really want to see do well. She's a groove, she's genuine, she's the salt of the earth. We dig her big time. Highly recommended. - Puremusic (Frank Goodman)


Land Like A Bird (Thirty Tigers/Sony(Red) 2011)
The Killer In Me (2009, Wildflower/ADA)
Songs For Bright Street (Wildflower Records/ADA, 2006)



USA Today deems her “…a rising star.” Rock critic Dave Marsh champions her and calls her "the art end of Americana". And The Houston Press dubbed her the "perfect torchbearer for the unconscious cool of true Americana." With the release of her third album, Land Like A Bird (Thirty Tigers/Sony Red), in March 2011, Amy Speace has emerged as one of the best young songwriters working in folk and americana today.

Amy Speace's path to songwriting may not have been a straight line, but like many journeys, has been better for the winding way. Born in Baltimore, Amy grew up the oldest of 4, moving homes and states every few years, learning early about comings and goings, and finding solace in music very early. After graduating from Amherst College, she moved to Manhattan to study acting, toured with The National Shakespeare Company for a few years until a bad breakup and a $50 pawn shop guitar sparked a late-blooming songwriting burst. An appearance at an open mic led to a regular gig at The Bitter End, which led to an independent release of her first songs and in 2005, a chance encounter with Judy Collins' manager changed her life. Judy Collins signed Amy to her own Wildflower Records label in 2006, releasing "Songs for Bright Street" to critical raves both in the States and in the UK. "The Killer In Me" followed in 2009, with a rare duo appearance by Ian “Mott the Hoople” Hunter, who brought her as his support to the UK for her first tour outside the US. NPR named the title track from Killer “Song of the Day” and wrote “her velvety, achy voice recalls an early Lucinda Williams.” In 2010, John Platt of NYC's premiere AAA radio station WFUV named Amy's song “The Weight of the World” as #4 in Top 10 list of the “Best Folk Songs of the Decade,” a song that Judy Collins herself would record and call “one of the best political folk songs I've ever heard”.

In late 2009, Amy shifted landscapes, moved south to Nashville and immediately began writing and recording with producer/songwriter Neilson Hubbard (Kim Richey, Matthew Ryan, Matthew Perryman Jones). Cinematic in scope, "Land Like a Bird" is a meditation on change, intimate and epic, passionate and sobering and has been embraced by critics from Dave Marsh in the US to Bob Harris in the UK. After a tireless 18 months of touring the US and the UK, Amy is now back in Neilson Hubbard’s studio, working on her follow up, "How To Sleep In A Stormy Boa"t, a more expansive collection of songs all centered around a theme that ties lamentations and theater and art together in the most collaborative and epic project of her career. It will be released in April 2013 by Thirty Tigers.