Amy Laber

Longtime New Paltz-based troubadour Amy Laber’s music is a potent reminder of the power of simplicity, the depth of country soul, and the magic of an open heart. In his review of her latest CD, Mountainside Wildflower, Seth Rogovoy of Chronogram says, “Amy Laber’s vision of country music digs deep beyond superficialities of form and twang to the bedrock of soul music with a lower-case “s”—which, if you think about it, is what powers great music of any kind. Laber displays plenty of soul here, in her haunting vocals, which connect Loretta Lynn to Patti Smith; in her reliance on modal drones—the essence of blues and the DNA common to so much global folk-roots music, from Ireland to India to China and back again; and in her resonant writing about life and love and nature and music itself.” Amy’s guitar, banjo, and sultry alto comprise the core of the album’s seven originals, gloriously fleshed out by a cast of Americana luminaries: Cindy Cashdollar (guitarist for Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Ryan Adams), Neil Flanz (Steel Guitar Hall of Famer, sideman with Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris), and Byron Isaacs (bassist for the Lumineers and Amy Helm). Written and recorded after years of gigs and traveling the countryside, Mountainside Wildflower is Amy’s testament to love, loss, and wonder, songs resonating from the back porch, to the club, to the theater.