Making A Scene: Review Rhythm Of The Rain

January 20, 2019

Poets reach in and give voice to our greatest joys and darkest demons. Amelia White is one of Americana’s most gifted poets and songwriters and the album, Rhythm Of The Rain speaks to darkest of personal and political loss. The thirteen songs on this her seventh album, written while Amelia was on tour in the U.K. In 2016, reflects a sense of helplessness at watching the unfolding of America. These songs are a glimpse of what those caught in the crosshairs are living day in and day out. These are beautiful songs that are masterfully crafted. You may just gain respect for your neighbor. This is an album that softens the divide and warms the heart.

As one of the most respected artists in East Nashville, Amelia calls some of the best songwriters and musicians her friends and gathered them for this album. Produced and mixed by Dave Coleman and Mastered by Alex McCollough, Rhythm Of The Rain is a treat for the senses. Guests on the album include Justin Amaral on drums, Eamon McLoughlin on violin, Fats Kaplan on violin and pedal steel, Will Kimbrough on guitar, dobro, and VOX, Julie Christensen on VOX, Ingrid Graudins on VOX, and the “Anti-Bigotry Choir” (a who’s who of heroes). Go to AMELIAWHITE.COM for specific track credits and choir members.

The Blue Souvenirs are Amelia’s core band and are: Amelia White on guitars and VOX, Dave Coleman on guitars, VOX and organs, Sergio Webb on guitars and banjo, Dave Jacques on bass, Parker Hawkins on bass, and Megan Jane on drums and percussion. If you’re paying attention you’ve heard all these names listed above before. These artists gathered are some of my personal favorites and are highly respected in their own right. It’s no wonder Rhythm Of The Rain is one of the most anticipated albums of 2019.

The songs of Rhythm Of The Rain can be interpreted figuratively or literally. They are the truths captured from the aether. The title song was written in an attic flat in the U.K. as a political storm was brewing at home. The “Rhythm Of The Rain” on the tin roof has a calming effect that breaks up the rhythm of those bad dreams and calms the fight. “Little Cloud over Little Rock” is an instagram photo taken from the road, a moment in time. It’s also a snapshot of middle America working, joking drinking hoping for a better day. “Sinking Sun”, co-written with Anne McCue and Rich McCulley, speaks to feeling like you’re a sinking sun, just hang on till tomorrow. You’re not the only one. “Sugar Baby” speaks to addiction and the prison bars real or imagined.

“Let the wind blow” is written with the Worry Dolls, and contains a beautiful violin solo. Is it a relationship or a vote that you put good money that you’re defending. You don’t like being wrong after all right? Perhaps it’s time to let it all go-let the wind blow. “True Or Not”, written with John Hadley, is perhaps a commentary on the current breakdown of reality. The guitar plays out like an old western and evokes a showdown between the good, the bad, and the ugly.

A society on the brink of breaking down exposes its underbelly. You either accept it or say enough is enough. “Said It Like A King”, written with Lorne Entress and Lori McKenna, exposes bullying for the sleight of hand it hides behind. “…They’re just child’s words you say it don’t mean a thing…but he said it like a king…”. Sexist remarks, and those who wield them are no longer tolerated “Free Advice”, written with John Hadley, addresses the double standard in the music industry. Amelia’s songs rock! They are great songs with powerful lyrics and kickass guitar licks, they’re not good for a girl or because she’s a girl, they’re good because Amelia White is badass. “How It Feels” provides insight into being on the receiving end of sexism, genderism, racism, and uglyism.

The emotionally charged aura during the recording process is evident in the songs “Yuma”, written with Ben Glover for a friend who left too soon, and “Mother Of Mine”. Rhythm Of The Rain recorded in four days between the death of her mother and the marriage to her partner. What started out as a farewell letter to her mother, ended as a song. Growing up is hard and Amelia confronts the pain of not meeting the standards set. This song doesn’t hide behind strong instrumentation, it is clear in it soft vocals and complimenting violin. One of the most honest lyrically, this will be a song that heals. The following will hopefully bring it home before another family runs outta time, “By and by I will be fine but I’ll pass along this message, Get right in your soul so you can take your loved ones in strong arms before they break”.

“Pink Cloud”, written with Gwil Owens and the only duet on the album, Will Kimbrough’s vocals and guitar stand as proof of his mastery of craft. Arrange vocals for two masters on one song and trust me, the needle will wear a groove. The song begins with that instantly recognizable Kimbrough slide on steel and like a pink cloud rolling through a dark, dark sky, it offers hope for better days. This song is the perfect ending to a beautiful compilation of songs. Or is it? There is a hidden song on the album. Let the album play out after this track, a few seconds in and “Supernova”, written with Tony Kerr, plays. Like its name, it’s beautiful and fleeting. If you lose your focus you’ll miss it.

Don’t miss this album. Amelia White is cool and her songs speak truth and serve a purpose. The lyrics speak to the poet, the music speaks to the rocker. Amelia places the human in humanity and you feel good listening to her music. I know I do.

By Viola Krouse


Glide Magazine
January 24, 2019

Amelia White is one of those Americana artists revered in her home town of East Nashville and certainly in the UK, where a previous version of this album, Rhythm of the Rain, was released last year. This one has four different songs, and a few different session players. Her songs are not for the feint of heart. There are few songwriters who are more honest and direct, but Amelia White is careful too. Her lyrics try to find a balance between bitterness and grace in their provocation.

This is White’s seventh album, a collection of thoughts and stories written mostly while on tour in the U.K. in 2016. She watched the U.S. election from a distance, realizing that her values, political and sexual, would be severely undermined. She had the material, then hunkered down with East Nashville producer and guitarist Dave Coleman (The Coal Men) and laid down these tracks in an emotionally wrought four day between losing her mother and marrying her partner. It may simply be expressed as love and loss, but there are so many angles and perspectives  here that it’s difficult to digest it in one listen. Nonetheless, the songcraft is top notch, whether writing alone or with talented co-writers like Lori McKenna, Ben Glover, Gwil Owens, John Hadley, and Anne McCue. You can access most of these lyrics when visiting although some of the titles belong to the U.K. version, not this one.

White has long favored a guitar-driven, electric, rather classic American sound and has some its best players behind this effort, listed as the Blue Souvenirs. in addition to Coleman on guitars and keys, , Sergio Webb joins on guitars and banjo. Dave Jacques and Parker Hawkins share bass duties and Megan  Jane (Carchman) drums. Guests include Justin Amaral (drums), Eamon McLoughlin (violin), Fats Kaplan (violin, pedal steel), Will Kimbrough (guitar, dobro), with Julie Christensen, Ingrid Graudins and the Anti-Bigotry Choir adding vocals.

She opens with the self-penned “Little Cloud Over Little Rock,” wherein she essentially drops into a conversation in a bar in Middle America stirring up emotions that run from resignation to perseverance. The title track is unmistakably set in London, as White uses the rain as metaphor for white noise to shield her from the U.S Election result and its ramifications. She quickly addresses a pet peeve, sexism, in “Free Advice” (written with John Hadley). The song was prompted by DJs repeatedly asking her about her age, with the key lyric, “Would you ask Bob Dylan that?” She stays in this vein, exposing religious and political bullies in “Said It Like a King” (written with Lori McKenna). Here’s an excerpt – : “I heard my little boy talking about the war the other day/He said, ‘if I had a gun I’d blow ‘em all away’/Just child’s words, you say it don’t mean a thing/But he said it like a king.” In “True or Not” (also with Hadley), she summons up a peaceful battle cry, stimulated by the Women’s March on Washington.

The centerpiece of sorts, and one that had to be especially difficult to write is the ode to her late mother in “Mother of Mine.” She’ll openly discuss her emotions as she sets up this son gin live performance with words like these, “She wanted me to be a classic little girl’ and that’s not what she got. I could never say these words to her face, and now she’ll hate me from the grave.”

Personal triumph and a celebratory mood imbues “How It Feels,” about her marriage and accented by the many voices of the Anti-Bigotry Choir. This celebration of marriage quickly turns to a celebration of life as she and co-writer Ben Glover pay tribute in “Yuma.” These brief uplifting moments fade into the resignation of “Sinking Sun” (written with Anne McCue), carried in part by Webb’s pulsating banjo and “Let the Wind Blow” (written with Worry Dolls) that’s colored by McLoughlin’s haunting violin.

”Pink Cloud” presents a more countrified sound, a duet with Will Kimbrough as his dobro blends with Kaplan’s pedal steel in another offering of some hopeful thoughts, silver linings. She’s not done. There’s a hidden track “Supernova” (written with Tony Kerr) that’s a blissful affirmation of love – “Hold tight the blinding of the afterglow/sweet dreams baby take me there wherever you go…/Sun shine coming thru my window/I’ve found something that I wanted…. You”

We have weaved through a myriad of Amelia White’s emotions, and she then throws us a nice surprise.  That’s the beauty of White’s songwriting, expertly crafted

The Rocking Magpie Review

January 19, 2019

Amelia White
White Wolf Records

Mmmmmm, Smokey and Sultry Songs of Love, Life and Grief.

Sometimes it’s difficult to put into words why you like a particular singer or band; but with Amelia White her voice tugged at my very heartstrings the first time I heard it 5 or 6 years ago; and the stories she tells and the way she sings them makes me go weak at the knees every time they come out of the office Hi-Fi.
RHYTHM OF THE RAIN is Amelia’s 8th album in nearly twenty years and ( #SpoilerAlert ) is by far her most mature and probably the best I’ve heard.
The intro to opening track Little Cloud Over Little Rock sounds like a cool Indie Alt. Country band is about to kick in; them Amelia’s haunting and slightly smokey voice filters out of the speakers and a whole new aura envelopes the proceedings.
The story is full of intimate detail you’d normally associate with writers like Dylan and Joni or maybe Springsteen; not someone you’ve probably never heard of before. The character in the song has ‘dyed black hair and ear feather rings/she’s gotta put three kids through school/she’s sipping on the sly/to keep her cool’…..see what I mean? And it’s got a cool melody too.
Songs like Sinking Sun and Yuma probably sum up my feelings about Amelia White best; not quite Southern Gothic, but pretty damn close and with a swampy Country feel to them too; sort of as if Bobbie Gentry was singing her saddest songs with Creedence backing her.
There are Love Songs here aplenty; but not the ‘Moon in June’ type; these are dark and mysterious; the type you find later in life……listen to Sugar Baby and Supernova without getting a shiver down your back, and you are a stronger person than I am.
If this is your type of music; and I presume it is if you are still reading this far; you will absolutely love the title track Rhythm of the Rain; and my personal ‘favourite’ song here…….Let The Wind Blow, which closes the proceedings. In theory a simple enough song until you listen a second time, and even more intently the third and fourth times as a gorgeous story unfolds and unravels like a magical fairytale.
While these songs were written long before Amelia went into the studio; but when you realise that this album was written in the four short days between her Mother’s funeral and her own wedding; you will find an extra special spirituality in the way she delivers these beautiful songs.

This is finally being released in the US of A with a brand new cover and the the addition of one new song, Pink Clouds a charming duet with RMHQ favourite Will Kimbrough which, if you’re patient runs out into a rather special treat for Amelia White fans…….

Released UK October 27th 2017
Released US January 25th 2019