And as the muse was awakened the story begins... she begged her brother to teach her guitar, then played it so much and so naturally that he sold her his 1968 Martin D-18 for 20 bucks of allowance money - it's still her main guitar to this day. The writing of songs followed and it was a steady stream that led her to her first money making gigs in the subways of Boston, and into studios and venues around the country and world. "I've pretty much been writing songs and playing them for people ever since I can remember, it comes naturally to me, and I imagine I will do it until the day I die."
It's no surprise that the title track of Beautiful and Wild was written for another soul so driven by music, Duane Jarvis, as he lay dying in spring of 2009. Amelia met Duane, the spirited guitarist best known for "Still I Long For Your Kiss", his co-write with Lucinda Williams, when she first moved to East Nashville in 2001. "He became a mentor and good friend," says White, "we wrote together, he backed me up at times, and even when he was out on the road playing with everyone from Frank Black to John Prine, I could always call him if I felt down or discouraged about the business."
Alternate Root calls Amelia a "Nashville Treasure." She lives and writes with others in town, but is no "Nashville hat act." In a recent interview she describes herself as "Considerably more Neil Young than Taylor Swift." Maybe it is that left of centre quality that draws other writers such as Lori McKenna, Tony Furtado, Tom Kimmel, and Bill Lloyd to write with her. Anne McCue cut her song "Motorcycle Dream" on her recent album Broken Promise Land.
Amelia's discography begins in 1999 with Comes and Goes produced by Tucker Martine (Laura Veirs), followed by Blue Souvenirs (2001), recorded at the legendary Fort Apache Studio B and produced by Brian Brown (Juliana Hatfield). Both albums started a strong current, mostly by word of mouth. Blue Souvenirs found a spot on NPR's All Songs Considered, and Amelia began touring relentlessly, primarily through the States, but also playing occasional European dates. After moving to Nashville, she recorded Black Doves with Neilson Hubbard (Kim Richey), which exposed her further in the Americana/Roots and many critics loved the album, with "Black Doves" in particular being singled out for praise by No Depression's Peter Blackstock. Motorcycle Dream, also produced by Neilson Hubbard, followed and whilst the album had almost no promotional funding it didn't stop Amelia from touring behind it relentlessly, winning fans one by one.
Beautiful and Wild was produced by Marco Giovino, (Band Of Joy) in his newly minted Dagotown Recorders studio in East Nashville. Marco had drummed with White regionally for six years, and on his time off from touring and recording with Band of Joy, Norah Jones, and Rodney Crowell he offered to produce an album for her.
They hunkered down in the home studio in December 2010 when their favourite group of players were off the road and available to add their magic and enjoy Marco's infamous snack spread.
The album has influences of The Beatles and Stones, and Neil Young, (perhaps a nod back to Amelia's early musical discoveries), but it also has a sweet soft side reminiscent of early James Taylor with a hint of Virginia twang. The lyrics are more poetic than narrative, another nod back to her early influences. In the end it is distinctly Amelia White with her sinewy emotional voice and striking melodies that will stick with you, and make you come back again and again to the sounds of her East Nashville "Saxophone Trains".
"How Van Gogh used canvas and paint to make his timeless masterpieces, Amelia uses lyric and melody to create songs that will touch and leave a lasting impression on every mood you've ever felt." Marco Giovino
"'Beautiful and Wild' is a moving and honest album which stares dead ahead at our losses and recoveries. White's trajectory can only lead to more magical implosions." Pennyblack Music
"Ebullient choruses and complicated moods literate verse and ravaged guitars and a level of composition and craftsmanship that brings to mind Lucinda Williams, Tom Petty, and Ryan Adams." Boston Globe
It's no wonder that Amelia White is being touted as the next Lucinda Williams... but White has her own strong songs, and strong style." Washington Post
Catch her on her UK Tour in May on the following dates;
Tuesday the 8th at The 12 Bar, London (020 7240 2622)
Wednesday the 9th at What's Cookin' @ The Birkbeck Tavern, London (07904 210218)
Thursday the 10th at The Donkey, Leicester (0116 2705042)
Friday the 11th at The Royal Oak, Beckermet (01768 778533)
Saturday the 12th Backstage at The Green Hotel, Kinross (01577 863467)
Sunday the 13th at The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh (0131 556 7060)
Monday the 14th at The Black Swan, York (01904 679131)
Tuesday the 15th at the Waggon and Horses, York (01904 637478)
Friday the 18th Live on James Hoggarth on BBC Radio Humberside between 7-8pm
Saturday the 19th at The Ryedale Live @ Terrington Village Hall, Terrington (01653 648488)