Weekend Two Sunday ACL Fest Interview: Amanda Shires

Americana songstress doesn't need hubby Jason Isbell to constitute one-half of a power couple

Photo by Josh Wood

Growing up in Lubbock, Amanda Shires cut her teeth on fiddle. By 15, she was already pulling stints with the renowned Texas Playboys and Billy Joe Shaver, eventually joining the popular indie roots outfit Thrift Store Cowboys.

"I knew I wanted to write songs and tour, so the alternative for me was to move to Nashville and start over there," she says of her transition to solo artist. "When I decided to write songs, I couldn't really do that in Texas because I was just known as a side person."

Shires' sixth album, My Piece of Land, is one of her most personal. Written and recorded with Dave Cobb in the final weeks of her first pregnancy, the LP rings raw and confessional with both late-night worries and the wanderlust of a new emerging life.

"At about 33 weeks along in my pregnancy, the doctor suggested that I stay pretty close to home and not be touring and flying around," she says of last summer's sessions. "I was really left to face the kind of deep thinking that comes along with being a mother and bringing a child into the world. Some of it was probably hormone induced, and some of it was probably just growing up, but I think the album reflects a lot of the anxieties of home and your sense of home, and what your home becomes."

As for the notion that she and husband Jason Isbell now constitute the power couple of Americana as she hits the road behind her new album, Shires lightheartedly dismisses the idea.

"I thought that was reserved for pop music!" she laughs. "Every couple's a power couple. But it's fun. I have a job I love and a great family, so I'm pretty lucky."

Amanda Shires

6pm, BMI stage

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