Chattanooga Now Amanda Shires is finding her voice and you can hear it at Songbirds

Chattanooga Now Amanda Shires is finding her voice and you can hear it at Songbirds

November 7th, 2018 by Barry Courter in Chattnow Music

Amanda Shires / Photo by Elizaveta Porodina

If you go

› Where: Songbirds Guitar Museum, 35 Station St. (North), 41 Station St. (South)
› For more information: 423-531-2473

MARCUS KING BAND WITH IDA MAE
› When: 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8 (South)
› Admission: $22

RANDALL BRAMBLETT
› When: 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 (North)
› Admission: $25

JERRY JOSEPH & THE JACKMORMONS WITH THE AFTERNOONERS
› When: 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 (South)
› Admission: $12

LARKIN POE

› When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 (North)

› Admission: $25-$75

NIRVANNA: TRIBUTE TO NIRVANA WITH STONED COLD FOX
› When: 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 (South)
› Admission: $12 in advance, $15 day of show

AMANDA SHIRES WITH CORY BRANAN
› When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13 (South)
› Admission: $18 in advance, $20 general admission, $85 VIP Meet-and-Greet

JACKOPIERCE
› When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13 (North)
› Admission: $20 in advance, $23 day of show

Amanda Shires / Photo by Elizaveta Porodina

Amanda Shires / Photo by Elizaveta Porodina

There are as many ways and places to write songs as there are songwriters.

Some clock in at an office and toil away in a cubicle from 9 to 5; others wait for the words to fall from the sky like manna from heaven, or they wait for some muse to whisper the lyrics into their ears.

Amanda Shires, who just released her latest album, "To The Sunset," found her muse in the only quiet place she could find in the house she shares with husband Jason Isbell and their 3-year-old daughter, Mercy.

"I was just writing songs in my closet in that time of isolation and quiet."

Wait, is that a literal closet or a euphemism?

"A literal closet. After I had Mercy, it was the only place I could work. Jason and I decided to move my things into a closet, and it's not a Kardashian closet. It's a regular closet."

What she found in her quiet place was a collection of songs that reveal a confident woman, getting more and more comfortable with herself and her songwriting. The record is being hailed by many as one of the best releases of the year. It is a mix of pop, country and Americana.

Even though this is her sixth solo album, Shires says she is still learning to look within herself for her songs.

"It's what came out, combined with a better sense of myself," she says. "I've gained a little more confidence. I'm OK with putting my work up on the wall for everybody to see and comment on. I'm more OK with my feelings and the way my process works."

The evolution has come about for several reasons.

"When I started writing and moved to Nashville and pursued this, I didn't have a lot of life experience. I wrote other people's stories or I made up stories, but as I've grown and lived a while, I have a better sense of where I stand."

She also finished work on her master's degree in poetry. So for the first time in a long time, she was able to focus on songwriting, albeit in a closet.

"My focus was just on writing these songs," she says.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.