“Amanda Pearcy’s songs are a bit unusual, which I like.”
— Steve Young (“Seven Bridges Road”, “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean”)
Amanda Pearcy’s bluesy country-leaning Americana sound is served up by way of her hardscrabble history, authentically grounded in a raw and earthy, soulful voice. Testifying to her southeast Texas upbringing, with the region’s multicultural mix, its Gulf of Mexico coastline, and its shared border with Louisiana’s Acadiana, the songs on Pearcy’s second CD, Royal Street, carry a sense, and the sensuality, of the South, weaving themes of home, and its loss; love, both surrendered to, and longed for; the casting of spells; the ties that bind old friends; and our human experience’s collective memory. Pearcy’s version of Jagger’s & Richards’ “No Expectations”, and a bonus track of the spiritual “Wish I’s in Heaven Settin’ Down” (often attributed to Mississippi Fred McDowell) are right at home with Pearcy’s 12 original compositions. Royal Street is a true album, a collection of songs that settle in for the ride through Texas to New Orleans and back again; the journey being a testament of life’s tougher lessons learned too young, and the insight that comes with getting to the other side of them. The recording of Royal Street began in Nov., 2010. The project was put on hold several times due to Pearcy’s bouts of unemployment, lack of any kind of financial net, and several moves within Austin. While couch surfing after the loss of her last temp job, Amanda Pearcy made the hard decision to ask for help with the completion of the record, its mixing and mastering, artwork, and duplication. Her fan funding effort was truly successful, the goal amount being exceeded with the fans’ donations.
Produced by Tim Lorsch, Royal Street is given eloquent treatment by George Bradfute’s guitars, Ron de la Vega’s bass, Mickey Grimm’s drums, and Tim Lorsch’s strings. Additional contributing musicians are Steve Conn on accordion; Anthony Crawford and Mike Daly, both on pedal steel; Dave Francis on guitar and bass; Gene Rabbai on B3 organ; Dennis Wage on mellotron; and background vocals by Jon Byrd, Vickie Carrico, Dan Eubanks, and Britt Savage. A sampling of other artists these talented musicians have worked with include Sam Baker, Hayes Carll, Elizabeth Cook, Rodney Crowell, Mary Gauthier, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Mickey Newbury, Ray Price, John Prine, Bonnie Raitt, Billy Joe Shaver, Townes Van Zandt, Kevin Welch, Hank Williams Jr., Lucinda Williams, and Neil Young.
The band was recorded by Bradley Hartman at Trace Sound in Franklin, TN, with additional recording by George Bradfute at Tone Chaparral in Nashville, TN. Vocals and additional instruments recorded by Tim Lorsch in Nashville, TN. A few of Pearcy’s vocals were recorded by Hartman in the cabin at the San Gabriel River in central Texas.
The bonus track, with Chris Gage on dobro, was recorded at Bazzirk Inc. in Austin, TX, under the production of Donna Johnson for the trailer for her New York Times reviewed book, Holy Ghost Girl: A Memoir. Along with Grammy nominated Ruthie Foster, Amanda Pearcy will be in a book due out later in 2014 about Texas women artists. It will include the back stories for some of these Royal Street gems.