Sunday, August 29, 2010

Rod Picott and Amanda Shires - Photos and Review

Rod Picott an Amanda Shires met at the North American Folk Alliance meeting in Austin Texas in 2006. They arrived at the European Street listening room in Jacksonville Florida last night, and a small, but enthusiastic audience was sure glad they did...

With five albums to his credit and co-writing several songs with Slaid Cleves -- including a tune recently picked up for a movie soundtrack -- Rod is an earthy, almost soulful singer with a cross-over Americana / Rock and Roll sensibility to his composition. His guitar playing is strait forward strumming and picking -- nothing fancy -- but nothing that distracts from the vocals and thoughtful lyrics. Anyone who can get a '65 Rambler into one song and Chet Baker's coat into another is all right with me.

Amanda Shires started her fiddle career at the age of 16 with the Texas Playboys. Her recent solo recording "West Cross Timbers" hit the Americana charts, with one song landing on NPR's All Songs Considered. Amanda's vocal style is teasingly vulnerable, with a bit of Emmy Lou red dirt, and a portion of Dolly's quavering vibrato-yodel melodic slide. Her softness is transformed to powerful, clear force in stunning instantaneous dynamic changes. She even whistles while masterfully strumming her tenor uke.

The two talented player compliment each other with near perfection. Rugged and vulnerable, sweet and pithy. Southwest and northeast...

Amanda's fiddle playing supports Rod's strait-forward guitar in tasteful undertones and complex, strongly played solo breaks. Their rapport with the audience is exceptional. Their stage presence was excellent, casual, comfortable, neighborly. We all felt right at home.

Jacksonville really has a precious resource in the European Street listening room music series, produced by the tireless Ray Lewis. Those who don't show up are missing something special and unique. If you are in the area, please make the effort to come out for the acoustic music performances on Thursday evenings at the San Marco location and Saturday evenings at the Beach Boulevard location, just easy of University. Good food, great friends, and exceptional talent... right here in River City.

1 comment:

I am a lover of children's literature said...

I can't hear em, but from your description this all sounds great. the first photograph by the way is fabulous... it really shines! Great composition and lightning... I'm almost jealous!