There’s something uniquely fun about Amy LaVere, even when she’s breaking your heart.
She is well known among songwriters and critics alike. NPR’s Robert Siegel says she “specializes in lyrics that are more barbed than her sweet soprano prepares you for.” Her growing catalogue of material and steady critical acclaim suggest a first-tier presence on the Americana and indie-folk/punk circuits. Her latest album Painting Blue comes out Aug. 16 on Nine Mile Records (Glorietta, David Wax Museum, Carson McHone, Patrick Sweany, Greyhounds).
Amy’s live performances are anything but predictable. She might appear on stage with a full band, sporting a mask and pink wig, or simply be a natural in blue jeans and sandals, but her upright bass and clever song delivery are constants. Her voice is at once the bully and the victim. She’s performed in venues as wide-ranging as St. Andrew’s Hall in London and Memphis’ famed dive bar Earnestine and Hazel’s. There’s no room she can’t find an audience in and charm it to pieces.
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, this future bard moved continuously throughout childhood due to her father’s job. She spent notable parts of her life in Canada, Texas, Maryland, Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan. Outside of Detroit and only just entering high school, Amy formed her first band and began writing and performing. Music fans first discovered this “sweet soprano” on This World is Not My Home in 2005, but it was her Jim Dickinson-produced breakout album Anchors & Anvils two years later that put Amy LaVere on the map. Stranger Me, the 2011 release on Archer Records, was called “the break-up album of the year” by Spin. Paste said it was “among the year’s best,” and it earned a first-listen feature from NPR’s All Things Considered. She followed it in 2014 with another critical smash: Runaway’s Diary, a concept album based on her own experience as a teenage runaway, produced by Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars). American Songwriter called it “boundary-pushing… heartfelt, reflective, challenging and consistently compelling.” NPR Music’s Robert Christgau said it was her best yet. Of Hallelujah I’m A Dreamer (Archer Records, 2015) No Depression said simply: “pure bliss.”
In addition to her solo records and a tireless touring schedule, Amy enjoys working with other artists. In 2012 she joined an all-star collaboration called The Wandering, composed of Amy, Luther Dickinson, Shannon McNally, Sharde Thomas and Valerie June. They released Go On Now, You Can’t Stay Here (Songs Of The South, 2012) to critical acclaim and sold-out shows.
In the afterglow of The Wandering, Amy and Shannon McNally hit the road together and released an EP titled Chasing the Ghost, The Rehearsal Sessions (Archer Records, 2012), featuring songs from both artists recorded live during rehearsals for the tour. Amy next paired up with noted Memphis rocker John Paul Keith to create Motel Mirrors. Their styles clearly complemented one another, which made for magic on stage and in the recording studio. Their eponymous vinyl EP release was named one of the “10 Essential Albums of 2013” by No Depression. In 2017 Motel Mirrors released a full-length effort, In the Meantime; this record had the addition of some Will Sexton co-writes and his powerful guitar work throughout. Motel Mirrors later released a live recording, Gotta Lotta Rhythm, on the Italian label Wild Honey.
Painting Blue, produced by her husband Will Sexton, captures perfectly the moment that Amy is in. Will Sexton’s masterful production and Amy’s soft, clarinet-like vocal pour over you, pushing and pulling, stirring and calming. As we’ve come to expect, this record is honest, revealing, and sounds uniquely like no one else.
About Candlelight Concerts
You've seen shows with us in art deco elegance and modern sophistication, but now we invite you to a new experience with the Orpheum Theatre Group — music under the stars.
To welcome some of Memphis' best talent, we've transformed the Front Street side of our campus into a candlelight concert venue. Scan your tickets and discover a stage surrounded by hundreds of candles, socially distanced seating, food trucks, and bars. Think of it as your own Orpheum outdoor lounge.
Add a spark to your evenings this spring and enjoy the cool downtown air and even cooler Memphis music at the Orpheum's first-ever series of Candlelight Concerts.
Physically Distanced Seating Note
All tickets are sold in pairs as general admission. If a patron violates physical distancing requirements, they will be asked to leave.
COVID-19 Procedures and Precautions
The safety of our patrons, performers, staff, and volunteers is our top priority. Under the guidance of the Shelby County Health Department, we have put important procedures and practices in place at our venues that will be enforced at this event. Please review these carefully at orpheum-memphis.com/covid19 before purchasing your tickets and arriving at the venue. Thank you for supporting the Orpheum Theatre Group and for helping to keep each other healthy and safe.