The Rock Club calls Rhythm Of The Rain "gorgeous:"

I am new to Amelia White. A quick online search revealed that she is a 'lifer' and this is her eighth album. It always amazes me when I discover such a voluminous back catalogue. I dipped into the other albums (available on iTunes) and they all contain top notch songwriting. I have seen Amelia described as a writer-songsinger and that seems an apt description. Amelia is a fine singer, with a voice that can can sound like Gretchen Peters, Karen Carpenter or Lucinda Williams at times, however she is a songwriter first and foremost.

Amelia is from Virginia. She started out in Boston, spent time in Seattle and has now been based in, where else, Nashville for a long time. The inspiration for her songs clearly comes from travelling and observing. The beauty is in the details and I could fill this review with examples of her descriptions that can paint a picture in a few words ('It’s another round for the old man humming to George Jones, his friends are coming to drink their unemployment down on Friday night, American small town'). This is a great skill.

The tone is upbeat, but there are disturbances bubbling right underneath the surface. Amelia just describes, without accusing or complaining. This leaves the listener free to draw their own conclusions. The overall air is one of acceptance. Things are as they are.

The opening track, 'Little Cloud Over Little Rock' was inspired by a photograph. Amelia wrote about it on her Facebook page, and this really illustrates the entire album:

"The idea of the tune to me (because it's a song therefore, you can have your own idea of it) is that my life takes me all over smalltown America where I witness people.. all kinds of people. Red state people, blue state people... they may have their differences but in the end they laugh, they work, they drink, and they wish they had more money, or a better job. The song really is a reminder to me to not take what I see for granted. Life is short, beautiful, through the struggles we find some kind of mutual comfort, rubbing elbows at a bar, a show, or a church. The clouds blow by, and the sky gets blue again, it's the endless cycle.”

'Yuma' is about someone who is leaving, but again the power is in the images of the scene Yuma leaves behind: 'One last tune on the record player, something 'bout the truth from another soothsayer, something 'bout life being just a cruel joke, have another drink, light another smoke. And the band plays on all night long, what was that song? All the pretty women dance and sing along'. This track brought Ryan Bingham's 'Sunrise' to my mind; a song I absolutely love.

'Said It Like A King' is a re-recording of a track that appeared on a previous album ('Motorcycle Dreams'). It is a terrific song, that deserves to be heard widely. Where the previous version featured an Edge-style guitar, this time the song has a shuffled rhythm, slide guitar and violin. There is an air of suspense as the song deals with bullying and deceit.

The title track starts with the spoken words 'Don't think too much people'. Sound advice in today's world. Amelia wrote this song last year whilst staying in her promoter's attic in York during a UK tour. She was reading the news from back home and began to write, observing from a distance. Some of the songs are co-writes, with amongst others Grammy Award winner Lori McKenna, with Northern Ireland native Ben Glover (a UK Americana Award winner) and with England's own Worry Dolls.

The overall vibe is summer-y and lazy. And that brings me to the sound. If I drove this would be music to drive to. It sounds gorgeous. The album is produced by David Coleman. I do not recognize the names of the other musicians credited, but no doubt they are top class session folk. Amazingly the record was recorded in four days, in between the singer burying her mother and getting married herself.

Amelia is headed this way. After a previous tour she said, “UK has been a fantastic experience. I’ve met so many great people who actually have the attention span to listen to a whole night of original tunes...” (nodepression 2012). We sure do. Her UK tour starts at the Camden Green Note on 13 November.



Music-News says, "4 Stars"

Amelia White manages something special in the world of Americana. She takes the ordinary and commonplace and manages to illuminate the core, make you feel the sense of import in the littlest thing. She uses her words to clarify little droplets of information and so makes the listeners life a little more complex, a little more involved. And she does it without making huge, sweeping, emotional statements but with a sense of gentle humour as well as her needle sharp observations.

Her last album was ‘Home Sweet Home’, all about the travails of life on the road, and I would say that this is its equal even though it was recorded in only four days – emotionally an incredible time as it was between her mother’s funeral and her own wedding.

Her themes are vast – fate, death, politics, grief and loss of tradition – but she views it all with a wry smile and a sense of love.

Musically, the album ranges from rockers such as ‘True Or Not’ or heavy country numbers like opener ‘Little Cloud Over Little Rock’ while she is at her best on ballads such as the gorgeous ‘Supernova’ where her slightly nasal singing voice counterpoints some lovely guitar. The darkness around the album’s closer ‘Let The Wind Blow’ evokes a brilliantly moody atmosphere.

White is so much more than just a country singer and also so much more than just a songwriter. One of the best Americana albums I’ve heard recently.

27 October 2017 (released)

Andy Snipper


Brighton Magazine on "Rhythm Of The Rain"

Monday 23 October 2017

Rhythm of the Rain: Amelia White Uses Grief As A Palate To Colour New Songs

"Don't think too much, people" is the spoken word snippet that begins the title track of Amelia White's newest album, Rhythm of the Rain.  

It's a flippant warning, a half-joke, a sideways call-to-arms that announces a casual subversion threading through these nine songs from the opening explosion of summer sunshine, through the heat of lust and addiction, landing with a glance at politics and fate while the window is still wide open, warm breeze blowing in the late afternoon. 

Amelia White asks us to not take it all so seriously and, at the same time, shows us how critical it all is: love, fate, death, grief, politics, which isn't surprising considering White made this record in the four days between her Mother's funeral and her own wedding. 

Rhythm of the Rain digs deep. Her well worn smokey pipes deliver a rawness you"d expect from mining that liminal space between grief and joy. 

While touring, last year, White stayed in a promoter's attic in York, and reading the news from the US began to write the songs that would make up Rain. 

That ocean of separation gave her the necessary distance to comment on the shake-up back home without finger pointing, something that White has always done. 

What separates Amelia White from most other songwriters in the Americana genre is her details. 

Like a short story writer steeped in the gothic humidity of the backroads, White illuminates the ordinary: "…dyed black hair and ear ring feathers/she"s gotta put three kids through school - she's sipping on the sly to keep her cool" (Little Cloud Over Little Rock). 

"Boy sat on a bus in the only open seat, mittens in one hand and a backpack at his feet" (Said It Like a King).  

There's a catchy melodic laziness to her rock and roll, an afternoon drive in the country, the top down, bare legs up on the dash, singing along to your favorite song: 

"When you feel like a sinking sun, you're not the only one", she sings, on Sinking Sun and you can almost taste the freedom of summer adolescence.  

The light threads through these songs.  "Sunshine coming through my window/I found something that I wanted…you" she sings to a lover in "Supernova," and later the love turns dark in Sugar Baby

As the album winds to a close, White leaves us with the one-two political punch of True or Not? 

"There's talk in the street that the deal is changing, everybody's on edge, look around" and then gently releases us with the hopeful coda, Let The Wind Blow, written with UK darlings, Worry Dolls. 

It's a wistful dream: "Miles and miles I thought I"d found a place to call home and a hand to hold/I put good money on this one, I don"t like to be wrong, I don"t like to be wrong." 

Lifers. It's how we define musicians called to the stage, living life in hotels, and friend's spare rooms, playing small and large clubs with sticky-floor stages, and microphones that taste of cigarettes. 

White has had TV and film placements (most notably Justified), record deals, cuts by some of the finest artists in the Americana world, but for her the success is in the doing, and there is no choice in the matter. 

She is a rock and roll soothsayer, an East Nashville Cassandra with an Americana gospel shout thicker than the paper-thin illusion of fame and money.  

Rhythm of the Rain is a late afternoon storm, a sky on the verge of cracking as wide open as Amelia White's heart. 

Amelia White plays The Greys, Brighton, on Tuesday 14th November 2017. CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Mike Cobley