It is so hard to get heard over the din of an ever-expanding media maze of itunes, video games, facebook, twitter, radio, TV, commercials, movies, concerts and clouds - what's a girl to do? If you're Amanda Shires, you do it yourself . Although a veteran of tours and recording projects with such alt country luminaries like Jason Isbell, Justin Townes Earle, Billy Joe Shaver, Shires is just beginning to get noticed for her burgeoning, self-directed solo career. Her melancholy Texas twang recalls a less craggy Lucinda Williams with the emotional purity of prime Nanci Griffith.
Her fourth album, Carrying Lightning, is chock full of strong originals like the missed opportunity lament "When You Need A Train It Never Comes" and the whistling, banjo flecked lover's longing glaze of "Swimmer". It's also one of the best americana releases of the year - lyrically direct and emotionally potent.