a Girl & her Fiddle – Amanda Shires

I love to read. If you take into consideration that I LOVE words – the previous statement may seem a little obvious. Words to paper is one of my favorite past-times. It saddens me that it’s so much easier and quicker to type. I used to refuse to use the computer for story telling or poetry. It felt like cheating, a betrayal to my beloved pen and paper. I also used to have beautiful handwriting. I took great pride in filling my notebooks with lovingly penned words. Page upon page filled with letters never sent and poetic attempts at realizing half-formed thoughts – each alphabetical stroke done with care.

But, I grew up. Time sped up. Using the computer became necessary and I honestly think my mind started working faster. I can no longer sit down and write. It makes me crazy to try. My mind runs away on me before I get down even a fraction of what I had intended. I still hand write letters to friends and to my 92 year old grandmother. I make myself do it. I don’t have the same love affair with handwriting, but I do love paper. I love the way it feels, the way it smells, the sound it makes when shuffled around. There is something so cleansing about filling a blank page. Top to bottom. Words, words, words. I love words so much I’ve been known to read the dictionary. (If you are waiting for the ba-dum-dum-tshhhh [drum sound], it’s not coming. There’s no punch line. That’s not a poorly told joke – just me admitting what a complete nerd I am.)

I read to unwind, to take my mind off life. I read to gain knowledge. I read to entertain myself. I read to find perspective. Reading rarely inspires me to write, as weird as that may sound. Music inspires me to write. Sunsets inspire me to write. I’ve already penned a little bit about it for you [here], but a good breeze… mmm, I could write countless poems about my appreciation for the seductive quality of a good breeze.

Tonight while reading Texas Music Magazine I came across an article on Amanda Shires written by Tom Buckley. First of all, the name Amanda Shires means nothing to me. Well, until approximately 25 minutes ago, it meant nothing to me. However, I was so immediately drawn into her story that I had to put my mad google skills to work and educate myself. Two pages into Tom’s piece and I felt this bizarre desire to know Amanda. I wasn’t just curious about her music – I wanted to know more about her as a person. I genuinely like people. I like unique people. I love creative people. And people who are insistent on staying true to themselves while openly marching to the beat of their own drum? Well, they are some of my very favorite kind of people. (Mini rant: Life is too short to be a replica of someone else. Find YOU and embrace that divine journey.)

I’ve been marveling over my whole reaction to this article and I find it especially peculiar because:

1)      After reading the article, I couldn’t wait to write about the experience I had while reading it. Odd – reading just inspired me to write.

2)       I can’t remember the last time I was so instantly fascinated by someone. Urgency isn’t really my thing. My life is kind of defined by a thoughtful easy pace. So even if someone or something DOES intrigue me, I’ll usually sleep on it and reevaluate in the morning without giving it much thought – no need to work myself into a frenzy.

3)      I have a LONG list of music recommendations that I need to check out. I’ve got lists upon lists. I don’t usually give priority to something I happened across in a magazine. In fact, it often takes more than one recommendation for me to check it out. And songstresses almost always get the back-burner. Yes, yes – I know. I’m a music snob.

I am innately drawn to storytellers and I knew that Amanda Shires was one before I had heard a single song of hers. The article spelled out the romance she felt towards her fiddle – this irresistible kinship. She was 10 years old when she begged her daddy for her first fiddle. “I need it”, she told him. I’m not a musician, but I can relate to that sentiment. I’ve always thought of words as my instrument. I NEED them. I can’t NOT play. My words are my serenade [to you] and it is my hope that they make pretty sounds when floating around the inner walls of your mind. I’m sure they have served as a lullaby once or twice. 🙂

I love kismet. When the stars align just so – and you find yourself in the right place, at the right time, in the right frame of mind … magic can happen. I think I will sleep an exhausted, fulfilled sleep tonight. My heart is happy. Thank you Tom Buckley and Amanda Shires – that really was a lovely little journey. I feel blessed to have been privy to it.

Here’s a link to purchase the magazine that contains the article that lit the fire in me tonight.



6 comments on “a Girl & her Fiddle – Amanda Shires

  1. Love this girl and her fiddle picking, even the whistling is sweet. Your words soothe Amber, thanks for the serenade and the lullaby <3<3<3

  2. I first met Amanda at a music festival in central Texas, where we were going to sharing the stage…I’m an old fart was in my early 50’s then and she might have been 19 or 20. That was somewhere around 2003 or so, I think…at my age can’t be too sure about those kinda things. She was performing with the Thrift Store Cowboys and was mesmerizing then and she has only honed her craft to the “N(th)” degree. I am so honored to be a friend and colleague. Almost like a ‘father’, I am so proud of her success, but believe me, it has been earned, through years of hard work and never-ending time on the road, sharing her craft. AMANDA ROCKS!!!

  3. Had A similar experiance. While purusing American Songwriter Magazine”s TOP 50 FOR 2011, I came upon Amanda Shires. I to was immediately drawn to her story. After viewing her video of “When You Need A Train” I was hooked. As it happens I was starting a new venture , promoting concerts in my home of Monterey Ca. I immediately shot off an email to the contact on her web page http://www.amandashires.net I waited for a response from an agent or manager. When I got the reply it was from Amanda herself’ “Hey Lenny, I would love to come play for y’all” That was it. Amanda Shires is playing The Turf Club Music Series in Monterey http://www.facebook.com/turfclub2012

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