Touring has forced Amanda Shires out of the closet, but not in a Pride Month sense. Shires and her husband, fellow singer-songwriter Jason Isbell
, have made some unexpected tweaks to their creative process since their daughter Mercy entered the stage where she wants to help with everything.
“We’ve had to do all of our writing in a closet in our house because she’s 2-and-a-half, our daughter,” says Shires. “That’s been an adjustment for sure, just having to be in a tiny small spot amongst all of your words and instruments and shoes. It’s not as glamorous as you’d think.”
After only a few moments chatting with the Lubbock-born fiddler, 36, one gets the sense she can adapt to any situation. When her iPhone stopped working moments before our interview, she popped into a gas station in Tennessee and borrowed a phone from a store attendant (“Technology, bringing people together!”). And when Nashville superproducer Dave Cobb suggested running Shires’ violin through a pedal while tracking her seventh album To the Sunset, out on August 3, she obliged.
“I was like, ‘That’s crazy, man, what’s that going to sound like?’” she recalls. “But it worked. I don’t know why I didn’t start doing that sooner.”
The Lone Star siren, who spent time in Western swing stalwarts the Texas Playboys, suddenly found previously untapped possibilities in the instrument that she’s played since she was 2.
“When you change the sonic landscape like that, it has a way of blending to modern sounds,” she explains. “To have such an old instrument brought into modern rock & roll is really fun. It’s just fun to be able to fit it into a new landscape.” – Abby Johnston
Sat., June 30, 8pm