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    Amanda Shires is one of the most compelling songwriters making their way over and under the highways and byways of America.

    She is a creative force that is hard to find in the modern music industry, as a singer, a song writer, and violinist.  Born and raised in Texas, coming a broken home (a common theme among a lot of wonderfully creative people), and picking up the violin at the age of 10 years old.  By 15, Shires would join the legendary Texas swing band known as the Texas Playboys.

    In 2005, she released her first solo album, Being Brave, which was a mostly instrumental meditation on the music she grew up knowing and loving.  As years went on she established herself as a master collaborator and began recording with some of the best musicians in the country, including Todd Snider, Justin Townes Earle, and Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit.  In 2013, she married Isbell after two years of dating.

    Even though she was busy collaborating she continued to write and record her own solo albums, with more emphasis on sensitive, though provoking lyrics, and less on instrumental compositions.  Among her albums West Cross Timbers, Carrying Lightning, and Down Fell the Doves; she also found time to record the enigmatic collaboration with singer and songwriter Rod Picott called Sew Your Heart With Wires.  Her song “When You Need a Train It Never Comes” was chosen in the Top 5 songs of 2011 by American Songwriter magazine.  She also plays Ukulele and appeared in the Gwyneth Paltrow film Country Strong, as a member of Kelly Canter’s back-up band.

    Shires is a road warrior like many of her peers, and has been on the road constantly since the 2013 release of her last album, Down Fall the Doves, and she will be performing tonight at Zanzabar.  Singer and songwriter Andrew Combs will be opening the show, which begins at 9:00 PM and tickets are $10.

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    About Brent Owen

    Born and raised in Louisville, I have lived here most of my life (except during a short furlough, when I, lovelorn and naive, followed a girl to Baton Rouge). My roots are here, my family, my friends, and my life are all here. I work primarily as a free-lance writer for a few local and regional publications. I have also written two books (one a memoir, the other a novel) that barring some divine intervention, will probably never see the light of day. I find myself deeply ingrained in the local bar scene, or perhaps better said, I often indulge in the local drinking culture. I love music, movies, comedy, and really just about any other live performance art.

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