Amanda Grace played a cozy set of new and old songs at the Warming House to release her new CD, Better Life. She started with a brand new song – first time played publicly I think. It was a slightly bluesy piano song with a hint of drumming. It’s a format and tone that sets nicely with her sultry voice. The drummer stayed with her as she played some covers and older songs. She was joined on stage with fellow singer Joyanne Parker to sing a Christmas song.
She saved the music from the new CD for the second half of the show. There were two songs that really stood out – Better Life and Los Angeles.
Better Life has a popular music feel, with a folksy twang that harks back to Jewell; maybe that’s combination the guitar and voice with range. And Los Angeles has a marching drive forward. She talks about the song pouring out of her when visiting a sick friend in California. It has touches of sweet keening but it’s the step by step rhythm that pushes the song forward.
Grace’s music is very personal. She writes, sings and talks about the death of a nephew, the death of a brother-in-law and a sickness with friends. There’s an undercurrent in spirituality seemingly born of life experience balanced with hints of the harder rock she noted enjoying as a student. She uses her talent as an opportunity to work with ChildFund, a nonprofit that strives to feed kids all over the world. During the performance she mentioned two children – Bui and Vilma – and asked us to think about them. After the performance, she is available to speak about the kids and ChildFund. Guests are offered a free CD as they learn more about ChildFund. It helps spread the word. ChildFund helps promote the artist and compensates them for the cost of the CDs. It’s a win-win.