Noted Nashville journalist, Craig Havighurst, wrote “If there were an East Nashville Music Hall of Fame, Amelia White would already be in it.” Who am I to disagree? Since 2000, Amelia has been a stalwart of the Americana music scene and one of Music City’s most beloved writers and performers.
Amelia’s lucky seventh LP, “Rhythm of the Rain,” comes our way on January 25th. Another Nashville artist who is adored overseas, this record was released in Europe back in October. It’s her first since 2016’s “Home Sweet Hotel” whose title track is an ode to life on the road:
“Home sweet hotel, pop the top off and chill, turn up the TV forget about the bill.”
Thanks to Amelia for playing my little 11 Questions game. You can see her and her band, the Blue Souvenirs do the early 6pm slot at The 5 Spot this coming Saturday, January 5th. After a few scattered US dates, she hits the road hard in April covering the UK and the Netherlands.
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I grew up in Virginia. My parents are both Virginians, and some of the counties in the Swamp area of the state bear my relatives’ names. I had a couple stints in Seattle due to my father getting a job promotion for the Navy, and later I returned to try to quit music and start fresh (something that obviously didn’t work). Other than that, I also lived many years in Boston. All my life, I wrote songs and played them live in one form or another, and finally I realized that a move to Music City was where I needed to go. It’s good to be amongst your tribe, so you don’t feel so strange for putting songs first in your life.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
My older brother had an excellent record collection, and I regularly sneaked into it in the basement and even at a young age knew to be careful with the needle. I was absolutely riveted by The Beatles. Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club and the White Album became my early food. I’d also throw in a dash of the Stones, and Muddy Waters. When I got old enough to buy an album, I think my first was Sweet Baby James by James Taylor. I bought Jim Lauderdale’s new album Time Flies on vinyl after opening a show for him in D.C. It’s great and has some really interesting songs. To my ear, it’s Jim really stretching his boundaries.
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
My very first concert was The Beach Boys, I remember thinking THIS is where it’s at. And, the last concert I saw was at my local fav hang, The Five Spot. I go regularly to their early shows, and last Thursday, the Scot Sax Philly Soul Review were cranking it up to ten. if you need a fix of “get down,” I recommend seeing them.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Will Kimbrough—a total triple threat here in Music City. Will has added his incredible gifts to so many projects and songs. I was very lucky to get to duet with him on a track on Rhythm of the Rain called “Pink Cloud.” Dude can sing.
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
My favorite coffee spot in town is probably Portland Brew on Eastland, although I love the coffee we make at our house, good old-fashioned drip cup by cup. For pizza I love Italia Pizza & Pasta. I’m gluten free and they have the best GF crust recipe not to mention THE best Greek salad in town.
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline. I guess I’m showing my true colors there. But it’s the songwriting, and how Dylan tries to use his “country singer” voice. I declare a tie with Emmylou Harris Wrecking Ball. That album was a musical game changer for me.
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
My house! I fry up a good egg with extra sharp cheddar, and there are usually some potatoes and veggies lying around as a side. Maybe a dollop of spicy beans on that plate as well.
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
That is a tough one but currently I’d pick Kevin Gordon, Megan Palmer, and Renee Wahl. (Megan, Renee and I do a very special in the Round we call East Nasty women. We have all these harmonies and parts worked out its’ really cool.) And Kevin, well he generally tops my list of local favorite songwriters. A close second alternative round would be Jon Byrd, Will Kimbrough, and Erin Rae McKaskle. I really could go on here… 🙂
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
The Five Spot especially with a band, and The Radio Cafe for more stripped-down affairs. (Although Mac Hill won’t call me back this week:)
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
I’d love to see my UK pal Hannah Rose Platt move to town! She’s a very distinctive and passionate songwriter, and I love working with her. I will always vote for the rare beauties of the music world.
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
I’ve had songs cut by amazing artists, and I’d love that to keep happening, and honestly happen with an artist selling a ton of music so that I can ease my money worries a bit. I’d love, love, love to have more of my music used in film and TV, and just keep carrying on with being able to record here in this amazing city and play shows all over the world.