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Posted October 1, 2010
Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records fame once said that Louis Armstrong was the greatest mind of the 20th century. Indeed he had top ten hits in six decades and brought a whole new level of musical awareness to America and the world, revolutionizing what we considered music to be and how we listened to it. Amanda Shaw, another Louisiana native and musical genius, wreaks similar havoc with our thoughts of what to expect when we listen to music. Her first Album, "I'm Not a Bubblegum Pop Princess" was pretty amazing stuff in its own right for a thirteen year old. The title song reveals a profound level of self-awareness for a person of any age and in a whimsical way demands that the listener focus on what is truly important in life. Then her violin solo on "Lover's Waltz" is beyond enchanting. It displays a tenderness, vulnerability, poignancy, openness, and ultimately a trust in love that borders on the reverential. It reminded me of a walk I once took through the cathedral of Chartres on one Good Friday afternoon, with heavenly multi-colored light streaming in through the stained glass windows upon us, the unwashed masses below. Amanda Shaw's music is similar in that it diffracts sound into its most beautiful elements while mixing the purity of the divine with the raw grittiness and sensuality of the bayou. Really! Her next album moves the listener to an even higher level of consciousness and musical joy. With the first song, "Pretty Runs Out," it's as if she were channeling Eckhart Tolle's message about the nature and limitations of the ego through her lyrics and violin directly into the hearts of America's country music fans - and to wider audiences beyond. Then she has the audacity not just to make cajun music available to pop music fans but to compel her listeners to embrace and savor it like the New Orleans recipes she describes in "Charmolito." She's a master chef sure to delight anyone's musical palate. My favorite, a song to which I can't stop listening,is "And I Don't Want To Be Your Friend." What a voice, what a sense of rhythm, what a violin. What a pleasure.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.