Vanilla Bean Presents: Daphne Lee Martin & Amy Black

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Amy Black ~
Amy Black is a Boston based singer/songwriter with storytelling and Southern tradition in her blood. She burst onto the Boston scene a few short years ago and in record time, she and her band have become one of the most sought after new acts in New England, sharing the stage with Chris Isaak,The Courtyard Hounds, Rodney Crowell and Joe Ely and playing to packed houses across the region. Black al

so recently made her mark down south as a featured artist on the live radio show “Music City Roots” hosted by Jim Lauderdale and as a headliner at The Basement in Nashville and Eddie’s Attic in Georgia at at the Americana Music Association’s annual event.
Black’s background is as refreshingly honest as her music. “My parents are from the Muscle Shoals area of Alabama,” Amy explains. “But my dad is a preacher so we moved around a lot when I was a kid. I grew up in Missouri and Alabama and at 16, my parents moved the family to Boston. Talk about culture shock!”
Several times a year Amy would return to her family’s Alabama hometown where her granddad, Thomas Reuben Jones, remained a core influence. “Man, did I love listening to him tell stories,” she remembers. “He grew up red-dirt poor in Waterloo, Alabama and put himself through college. He worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority for decades and then started his own business. His stories were so rich with detail and he loved telling them. He was a bit of a showman and I think he passed that on me.”
Amy sang publicly throughout her teens and fronted bands in college, but she did little with her music for nearly a decade. Her love for singing, however, would not be quelled. “About five years ago,” she says, “I told myself ‘it’s now or never.’”
Black and her band started performing fresh takes on classic covers by her influences, including Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris and her original influence, Bonnie Raitt. All she planned to do was sing, but Black quickly discovered she had songwriting skills of her own and began to add originals to her live show. In April of 2011, she released her sophomore album One Time, made up primarily of those originals.
Amy’s gift of conjuring flesh and blood characters and emotions leaves an indelible mark. “Real American Roots music is born from adversity,” she says. “Loving, lying, drinking, dying and going to heaven – not necessarily in that order.”