CD Review: Amy LaVere – Stranger Me; Playing with Rich Robinson at Smith’s Olde Bar, March 2 and Red Palace on March 17

CD Review: Amy LaVere – Stranger Me; Playing with Rich Robinson at Smith’s Olde Bar, March 2 and Red Palace on March 17

Amy LaVere
Stranger Me
Archer Records

By Al Kaufman

Turbulent times often leads to great art. Such is the case with Amy LaVere. While preparing to make her third album three years ago, her producer and mentor, Jim Dickenson, died of complications from triple bypass surgery. Then her guitarist, Steve Selvidge, left to join The Hold Steady. But what really made things sticky was when she broke up with longtime boyfriend and drummer, Paul Taylor. She missed his studio presence and he ended up agreeing to drum on the album, creating that delicious tension that is evident in other groups with broken relationships, such as Fleetwood Mac and Eurythmics. LaVere also recruited Craig Silvey (who mixed Arcade Fire’s Suburbs) to produce, and multi-weird-instrumentalist Rick Steff (who plays the mellotron, theramin, Buddha box, Vibrachime, and various pianos), left of center guitarist David Cousar, and a slew of horn instrumentalists to create her most richly textured album to date. Read more about CD Review: Amy LaVere – Stranger Me; Playing with Rich Robinson at Smith’s Olde Bar, March 2 and Red Palace on March 17