This album has been kicking around my “to review” folder for a damned coon’s age. I’ve decided I wasn’t gonna write about the album countless times, only to listen to it again and add it back to the list. Lots of people who like the album a whole lot more than I do have reviewed it, as well as a slew of folks who like it less, and yet I feel compelled to make sure it’s represented here on ninebullets.

I believe that some of my initial hesitation towards writing about this album is how well-polished it is. That’s a sad thing to admit, but I honestly believe it played a part. I sometimes believe that ninebullets has conditioned me to immediately gravitate towards a more raw, blood-on-the-strings sound, while turning an undeserved deaf ear (or silent fingers) to a more polished sound. Now as I sit here listening to the album I have a sense of aggravation washing over me. Amanda’s sound is decidedly accessible and as radio ready as any album getting played on FM country radio stations right now. Furthermore, it manages to be so while maintaining a sense of soul, passion and individuality. As a result, it’s largely ignored outside of the tiny circles that give a shit about this stuff. It’s the musical equivalent of grade school assimilation. Find the free spirits and individual thinkers, label them as ADHD and drug them into submission. I’m sure, if Amanda were willing, she could water down the soul of her music and make a million dollars. And while I don’t know that I’d blame her, I hope she holds course and fights the good fight.

Needless to say, Carrying Lightning is Essential Listening.

Amanda Shires – Swimmer…
Amanda Shires – When You Need A Train It Never Comes
Amanda Shires – Detroit or Buffalo

Amanda Shires Official Site, Amanda Shires on Facebook, Amanda Shires on Spotify, Buy Carrying Lightning


  1. I saw her when she was playing fiddle for Justin Townes Earle. She is unfairly hot.

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