Sunday, 28 December, 2008 2:22 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: Amber
by Jessica Farrell
2008 CMA Close Up News Service
In older times, ships
at sea found their way home by triangulation. In today's music industry,
artists can similarly chart their courses through the relationship
of three points.
For Amber Rhodes, the
first of these is Lexington, Ky., where she grew up with a love
of Country Music. Point two is New York City, an unlikely port for
those who follow the Country star. Still, while pursuing options
as an actress and dancer, Rhodes connected with Axel Neihaus and
Erik Steinert, co-owners of the Brooklyn-based production and artist
development company Stray Dog Music. Their meeting led to the studio,
where they produced her debut album, Goodbye Yesterday.
As sole writer on four
songs and co-writer on the remaining six, Rhodes exhibits a particular
way with hooks and words. The first single, "So Long Goodbye,"
which she penned with Hugh Colocott, builds momentum through a rush
of deftly rhymed lyrics through the second half of each verse and
into a classically crafted and catchy chorus. Her writing hand is
steady on the ballads too, as on "Goodbye Yesterday,"
where practically the same structural formula leads to an equally
rich but more poetic expression, all of which she enhances with
a vocal style that moves easily from sensitive to sassy.
The third point in Rhodes'
constellation? It's Nashville, of course, where her ongoing collaborations
with local writing talent and imminent second album confirm that
her career is on course.
IN HER OWN WORDS
"My grandfather. He was offered recording contracts but never
accepted the offers because of his commitment to his family. He
played music purely for the love of it. I'm sure that's why he was
so good at it."
DREAM DUET PARNER
SONG YOU'D SECRETLY
LOVE TO COVER
"'At Last.' It's my favorite song but I'll never do it. No
one could even come close to Etta James' version."
PHRASE YOU SAY
OVER AND OVER
"I'll start my diet tomorrow."
ON THE ROAD
"Sea salt and vinegar potato chips."
SONG YOU SING
IN THE SHOWER
"'I'm Walking on Sunshine.' I play the air horn and guitar
"People who are ALWAYS late and coffee that's too hot to drink
SONG YOU WISH
YOU HAD WRITTEN
"There's so many! Off the top of my head, Lee Ann Womack's
'Why They Call it Falling.'
MODE OF TRANSPORTATION YOU PREFER
"Tour bus. It's an apartment on wheels. You can't beat it."
ACTOR WHO WOULD
PORTRAY YOU IN YOUR BIOPIC
"Charlize Theron. She's been my favorite actress for years.
She could play just about anyone in my opinion. She's much, much
prettier than I, so she'd make me look GREAT on the big screen."
TITLE OF YOUR
"The Long Way Around."
WHEN THEY LOOK
BACK ON YOUR LIFE IN 50 YEARS, WHAT YOU HOPE PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU.
"Besides, 'She still looks like she's 28?' Hmm, that I was
a good person and that one of my concerts was one of the best they've
ever been to."
On the Web: www.amberrhodes.com
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