Amy LaVere “Painting Blue” (Archer Records, 2020)

‘No Battle Hymn’, the striking first single from ‘Painting Blue’, the fifth album by Memphis-based Amy LaVere, is a timely anthem for a world in crisis. “No one’s ready to admit we may be out of time,” she sings, over a slick, yet moody, blues-pop groove, with some chunky organ riffs and mean electric guitar licks, coming across like an edgier Sheryl Crow. Although its lyrics tackle defeatism, it’s ultimately a hopeful song, which calls for unification: “We need a victory march in our hearts.”

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Amy LaVere ft. Will Sexton + Between The Vines, The Rose and Monkey, Manchester, 11th February 2020

Amy LaVere and Will Sexton travelled down to Manchester from their previous night’s show in Glasgow, via Newcastle. The reason for this lengthy detour, they informed us, was to retrieve Will’s jacket which he had left behind following their gig in that city. This “what the hell – let’s do it” attitude was also symptomatic of their approach to the final night of their UK tour which had begun with an appearance at AmericanaFest UK in London. Drawing upon a wide repertoire of songs but with no formal set list, the pair delivered a hugely entertaining night of music and chat that captivated all that had turned out on an indubitably wet and windy Manchester evening. Continue reading “Amy LaVere ft. Will Sexton + Between The Vines, The Rose and Monkey, Manchester, 11th February 2020”