Amy Steinberg
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Amy Steinberg

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Dec
24
Amy Steinberg @ Private Show

All dates listed on www.myspace.com/amysteinberg, Florida, USA

All dates listed on www.myspace.com/amysteinberg, Florida, USA

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


This world, you may have noticed, isn't getting any easier to live in. The social fabric is unraveling like a cheap sweater. Our leaders are showing feet of clay that go all the way up to their necks. And every summer brings new evidence that the very elements themselves are stacked against us. Why, it's enough to make a grown man or woman cry out for mama.

Relax, bubbelah. She's here.

Amy Steinberg - the self-described "Renaissance chick" who far more people would describe as Orlando's aesthetic earth mother - blows back onto the radar this month with a semiperfect storm of activity. She has a new CD, Must Be the Moon (with an attendant record-release party at Will's), and The Parliament House is hosting an encore of her most recent one-woman performance piece, Oh My God, Don't Stop. It's all good news indeed to fans who don't just consider Steinberg a talented singer/songwriter/actress, but a paragon of wise caring whose artistic endeavors connote the empowering comfort of home and family.

"These are the times when we really need to embrace art in a joyful way," says Steinberg, a former music teacher with an ingrained nurturing instinct. "It's really sad what's going on in our country right now, and I really think that this president might make it bad enough for us" - she chuckles - "that we shift back into caring about each other and caring about living, and having some sort of passion for life."

The new disc, Steinberg's first since 2001, captures beautifully the living-room rapture of her live shows. Recording at home with producer/collaborator Justin Beckler, she's assembled a deceptively lush instrumental foundation on which to stand as she delivers the self-help sermons she seems to emanate as easily as breathing. "Confidence is your best defense/ when the devil wanna act like he's your friend" runs one particularly encouraging refrain nestled among Beckler's rustic guitar and the faux-gospel cooing of the background vocals. (They're all Amy, by the way - at least the feminine-sounding ones.)

The motivational sugar can get pretty thick, but it's saved from triteness by Steinberg's almost supernaturally authoritative performance. Wrapping her honeyed voice around her self-written syllables, she sounds like an Alanis with infinitely superior note control. That professionalism is of paramount importance when she gets personal, as on the sinuous, indignant "Stare": "I'm so tired and I'm sick of feeling lonely/ like I'm the only one who feels so numb," she laments. Sometimes, even mama has to put down the mixing bowl and worry about herself.

For the record's catchiness and consistency, Steinberg credits Beckler's old-fashioned edict that they should treat every track like a potential single. "There were a few songs that I wanted to do that Justin said, 'NO. We're not doing those, because they're not hits,'" she remembers.

Sense and sensibility seem to be defining concepts in Steinberg's career these days. She's become a self-supporting artist by eschewing a regular backup band, conscripting outside musicians for special occasions but performing solo for "80 or 90 percent" of the dates she performs here and across the country.

"Of course you dream to be on the cover of Rolling Stone," she laughs, "but really what happens when you stick around long enough is you just want to pay your bills."

Steinberg has been canny as well in using her theatrical and spoken-word pursuits (she's a slam winner several times over) as insurance against the musical sector's changing tastes. It's a horizontal career trajectory that often becomes necessary to artists who have been plying their trade in this town the better part of a decade: Look at Michael Andrew, whose alliances with Mad Cow Theatre Company. and Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival have kept him in touch with an audience that may not place the value on clubgoing it once did.

Though Steinberg's crowd is younger and not in any imminent danger of eighty-sixing its bar budget, she says she and Andrew lead "very similar lives," down to the detail that their jet�ing into theater is more a continuation of unfinished business. She majored in drama and once toured Europe in Hair, and her ultimate goal is to favor Broadway with her "Bette Midler meets Janis Joplin" style. She says she's talking to a New York producer about doing just that, but for now there is Oh My God, Don't Stop, a top seller at last May's Orlando International Fringe Festival that's returning for one night only at The Parliament House. The show's themes of God and sex are "not only appropriate for me, but appropriate for Florida, because we're such a repressed state," Steinberg feels. In the play, she performs 10 monologues distributed among five characters - three Jews and two Christians, one of them the closeted-lesbian wife of a preacher man. She even appears as the Lord himself, albeit in the form of a lounge singer.

Steinberg's November sweep is an aggressive - Orlando Weekly


The Players: Amy Steinberg, vocals, guitar, keyboards; Jo-Jo Moceri, drums.

Material: Traversing raw folk, blues and spoken-word poetry, Amy Steinberg is an independent musician who has evolved beyond the confines of the coffeehouse club scene. Though Ani DiFranco's influence is prevalent, Steinberg's bedazzling voice rings with the undeniable depth of a soulful Janis Joplin. Pairing this unique style with poetically potent lyrics, this artist constructs melodies that are consistently memorable.

Musicianship: It is very infrequent that an artist can turn every head in the venue with one or two lines from a sound check; but that is precisely what Amy Steinberg can do. Her emphatic vocal tone also delivers her passionate message in a way that rivets the listener to a song's lyric. Alternating between an acoustic guitar and a keyboard, Steinberg plays the instruments with the nonchalance of an artist who's been doing this for a while. Meanwhile, Moceri's simple snare beats do little more than keep the time for Steinberg's songs.

Performance: Exhibiting complete control, this Orlando-based musician had a sizeable Los Angeles crowd wildly screaming and clapping at the end of every number. Joking between songs and locking eyes with every person in the audience, she appeared to be performing for a group of her closest friends. Further demonstrating charisma, in a final number, Steinberg easily engaged everyone in a hearty sing-a-long.

Summary: Amy Steinberg is not to be overlooked by labels searching for another righteous babe. Her standout vocal skills (combined with her uncanny ability to not only keep her audience interested, but actually prompt them to participate) puts Steinberg in a league of her own. Considering the widespread popularity of Ani DiFranco and the lack of artists able to successfully follow her footsteps, Amy Steinberg could prove to be a hot commodity in today's shifting music market.

By Scott Perham

© 2003 Music Connection Magazine - Music Connection


I felt her energy from down the street. It was a low vibration waiting for its time to live fully. Slowly, while that energy hummed, the small barn of a building filled and the chattering quieted until there was just her, Amy Steinberg on stage and just her, Amy Steinberg doing the speaking. At once, an angry angst, inviting sexuality and a spiritual connection flew from her eyes, her mouth and her body. Immediately, her unrestrained spirit drew us to her as one, wanting only to hear her sing, wanting only to experience her quirky thinking and wanting only to open ourselves to the presence before us. Her intelligence challenged each person in the audience to listen closely. But intelligence is rarely enough to maintain an audience's attention unless it is combined with talent.

And it was combined so beautifully that each of us sat watching a woman who made us laugh, made us remember why we are human and why we cry. To miss one of her intense philosophies or her ideas or her lamentations would be too much of a loss. From a head-tilted-back belting posture and a wide legged stance, she sang the blues. From a lowered head and straight forward stare, she confronted the world in its harshness. Her only restraint was the reigning in of her rage that heaved just below the surface of her eyes. She had been wronged, we have been wronged and on this hot Florida night, it was going to be felt and talked about.

Amy Steinberg wants to heal the world. She wants to bind the wounds of her audience. She suffers from this need to heal and to soothe the pain of others. Her pain, ironically, supplies so much of the energy that makes us laugh until our eyes water and we nod with smiles as she reminds us that we are all connected to her, to each other. But Amy's songwriting told at least one member of her audience that she desires to heal herself and will heal her angst, in time, through the same words she offers to the faces lifted up toward the stage where she stands. She will find that faithful place within her and sit within its quiet knowledge one of these days and find just a little bit of peace. But, the artist within her will not rest until she has said all she needs to say and sung all she needs to sing and everyone in that room hopes that day is never visited upon us.

By Vickie L. Spray

© 2004 Branching Out - Branching Out


Discography

"Must Be the Moon" 2005
"Raw Material from the Ethereal" 2001
"Live: Emphatic at the Attic" 2001
"360 Hibiscus" 2000
"Sky High" 1999

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Classically trained on the piano since age 4, with a degree in theater (from studies at Boston Conservatory, American Musical and Dramatic Academy and Marymount Manhattan),and self-taught on the guitar, Amy’s shows display wildly innovative musicality combined with extraordinary performance skills to create an arousing environment like none other.

Amy has written and performed in three one woman shows which all included original monologues, poetry, comedy and songs: "Me Me Me Me", "Oh My God Don't Stop", and "Ever Expanding" - all have toured around and many nights were SOLD OUT. For more info on those shows go to www.amysteinberg.net - to the SHOWS page.

Been touring nationally for five years. Played countless coffeehouses, colleges, living room concerts, and festivals! www.myspace.com/amysteinberg has ALL CURRENT SHOWS and also past appearances as well.

In addition, Amy has been on three national poetry slam teams and features all over the country doing spoken word in combination with her music.

Festivals:

Michigan Womyn's Music Festival
WomenFolk Productions Festival
Sawmill Withlacoochie Festival
Singer Songwriters of America Festival
San Diego Sister's Singers
Calliope Festival
EarthDance Festival
Orlando Fringe Festival

Colleges:

New York University
University of Florida
University of Central Florida
University of South Florida
University of Washington
University of Charleston
New College
Ringling College of Art
Eckerd College

Shared stages:

Ani Difranco
Margie Adams
Rhiannon
Melanie DeMore
Alix Olson
Hammell on Trial
Melissa Ferrick
Vonda Shepard
Meredith Brooks
Lisa Loeb
Michelle Malone

Poetry Slam Feature Cities:

Los Angeles
Chicago
Minneapolis
Ft. Lauderdale
Del Ray Beach
Richmond
Balitmore
Washington DC
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