Waking the Muse: Amy LaVere
In the latest artist blog for Propermusic.com, Amy LaVere talks about the impact of her childhood on her musical career.
“My earliest formative years were spent living in a trailer in the middle of the woods of a Texas/Louisiana border town. My mom played guitar and wrote country and folk songs to entertain me and my sister. When my dad was home from working out of town (mostly overseas for long stints) as an iron worker, they’d have parties and my mom would light up the night with her songs. I wanted to do that.
To me, the best thing in our house was the stereo system. It had a warm amber glow and a big cold silver knob that dialled in the radio stations and a smaller one for the volume. I’d play with it all day and sing and dance all over the green shag carpet and jump up and down on the orange velveteen couch and pretend to play a cardboard guitar. Music took a front seat in my life from the beginning. I wanted to be my mom, Dolly Parton, Olivia Newton John, Janis Joplin, Emmy Lou Harris, Patsy Cline or Joni Mitchell. I wanted to be a singer on that radio. These women (and many more) were my heroes. I sang in the choir in school. When I started to become an unruly teenager, I skipped school a lot but would often show up just for my last class of the day which was choir. There was a pretty good rock ‘n’ roll band in town. The bass player and drummer were brothers. Lots of kids went over to their house after school and would hang out and listen to them rehearse, smoke cigarettes, play video games. It was my home away from home through high school.
I was riding down the road with the drummer, Little John Piazza one afternoon and we were singing along to the Sugar Cubes on the cassette deck and he asked if I wanted to come sing with them. I started fronting that band around 14 years old and continued for most of the next six years. We went through a number of guitar players and a handful of band names. A couple of the worst were God’s Chew Toys and Three Janitors And Hall Monitor. Mostly we called ourselves Last Minute. The bass player married my sister and I’m family with the brothers now. Crazy. Neither of them continued to pursue music as a career but our family gatherings are sure fun and full of music. I have never been without a band since that band. I love playing music. It’s work and play. It’s challenging and rewarding. It’s a privilege. I’ve worked hard and been lucky too. I’m with a great label that is supportive and I travel with great people. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
Thanks to Amy LaVere for the latest in the Propermusic.com series of artist blogs; visit the site for more. Amy is currently touring the States in support of her latest album Stranger Meon Archer Records.
In a recent episode of ITV1′s The Mighty Mississippi, Amy LaVere shows veteran broadcaster Trevor McDonald round Sun Studios & performs her song Red Banks from her album Stranger Me. Amy starts around 1 minute 45 seconds in.