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Amy White - Didn't We Waltz

~ CD Review ~

Mar 31, 2016
Kimmy Sophia Brown

Amy White is half of the duo Al Petteway and Amy White, who have been in the music business for years and are talented to the bone. They are probably best known for providing music for Ken Burns' PBS documentary on the National Parks.

Amy's melodic voice has a subtle, honey-liquid emotional intonation with subtle vibrato. Her songs have the good fortune to land on the musical abilities of people who know what they're doing, including herself and husband Al on the guitar, banjo, piano, and her two Sally friends playing mysterious things like resophonic slide guitar and Haken Continuum Fingerboard. I don't even know what those are but they make an indescribable contribution.

“Didn't We Waltz” makes me think of the kind of song that Karen Carpenter would have recorded – a straight-forward love song sung without apology or sentimentality – a beautiful voice with a message of love.

“Love Among the Ruins” has a message of forbidden love never realized:

“The wall paper cries/and the curtains moan/the banister shakes on its own/and the dark corridors beckon/if you dare to venture in the door/the sorrow will follow you home.”

Anyone who has experienced or studied psychometry (“1 : divination of facts concerning an object or its owner through contact with or proximity to the object” – Merriam Webster Dictionary), would tell you that these lyrics depict truths about the impact of human occurrences on inanimate objects. This song has a haunting and heartbreaking atmosphere. The listener can only wonder about the circumstances of its meaning.

“King-sized Bed” was written to accommodate an undisputed king-sized love!

“Never Got to Say Goodbye” is a tribute to the loss of a loved one by dementia.

“Look Up” is a gentle little song of encouragement.

I think “More Like My Dog” is one of the stand-out songs on the album, because the lyrics are just so real and funny:

“I guess you may have brought me toys/played silly games like tug of war/and joined me for a good roll on the floor/with you always begging for more/I guess you may have licked me good/my face, my neck, my ankles too/a passionate liberal bathing of drool/that would make any good doggy proud.”


“I guess you may have misconstrued/you humped my leg right in plain view/but then you humped someone else's leg too/I guess I did not think this through.”

In the spirit of the best humorous songs, it is a lady-like tune accompanied by a lady-like piano part, with a Randy Newman or Cheryl Wheeler twist of irony.

“Back to You” is such a quiet little song you could almost overlook it. It reminds me of something Joni Mitchell might have penned in her early days. “Down in the soul is a lonely room/waiting for love to appear/Open the door and be ready soon/always believe I am near.”

“Sing to Me” delves into sheer poetry:

“See the tiny hummingbird/how he's here and gone/with that shimmer coat and fiery throat/he's the envy of the dawn.”

“Hear the sweet canary/how he sings to greet the day/throw him down a deep dark hole/and he'll sing out anyway.”

Just the title alone of the song “Tinderbox Heart” is enough to stop you in your tracks. This is another beautiful tribute of encouragement for the empathic person who suffers under the weight of the world and all its anguish.

“How can you feel joy inside/when hope was torn apart/you now see promise in the young/in the tender green of spring.”

Amy is a troubadour, a poet, a goddess of heart and song. Some people can sing, and some people can sing. Amy is blessed with a silver throat, she knows how to express the heart she is writing about. These songs are subtle, this is an album to listen to over and over. It gives new insights as well as beauty with each listen. If you are looking for music to cradle you into a place of safety and peacefulness you'll love this CD. The whole thing is a lullaby of love.

Photo by Al Petteway

Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.

She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.

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