“Amelia is so cool in her green jacket….Great guitar playing and tone, poetic tunes and melodies straight from the heart “ Rosie Flores Dec. 2016 (commenting on Amelia's live show)
The Road is a harsh mistress, and East Nashville's Amelia White knows that all too well. "Sleeplessness and miles pile on the soul. It can bring you down, or it can bring you 'round." she sings on "Rainbow Over the East Side", a standout track from her dark, moody new record, HOME SWEET HOTEL.
Like most all singer-songwriters, Amelia Travels to scratch out a living. The endless Parade of coffee houses, bars and house concerts can overshadow any attempts to have a life at home with somebody you love. That tension is at the heart of her new record, produced by Marco Giovino (Band of Joy, Buddy Miller), with appearances from a wealth of stellar players backing Amelia, including multi instrumentalists Sergio Webb (David Olney) on guitar, Sutart Mathis (Lucinda Williams) on guitar, Ron Eoff (The Band) on bass, Paul Gordon (the B52's) on keys and Julie Christensen (Leonard Cohen) adding some guest vocals.
HOME SWEET HOTEL comes on the heels of a string of well-regarded releases and song placements in television shows like Justified and Summerland. Journalist and Music City Roots host Craig Havighurst says Amelia comes from "that classic place between singer/songwriter, jangle pop and country that comes for the beating heart of the Americana format. Her voice is plaintive and real, and her songs each have some fascinating crystalline shape that invites close attention and touch."
"I started writing 'Home Sweet Hotel' in a Days Inn in Allentown, PA." she says, "I was thinking about how many people who don't do music are intrigued with the touring lifestyle of a musician. The road holds temptation and adventure and heartache all in one suitcase. It can be glamorous one day and down-right humiliating the next."
Seductive and smokey, dark and woody like a road stop in the midwest somewhere, HOME SWEET HOTEL bounces acoustic and electric guitars against backdrops by turns delicate or rocking, framing Amelia's voice and its quiet urgency, bearing traces of Amy Ray and early career Lucinda Williams. "Dangerous Angel" is taut with a subtle but undeniable sensual tension, while "dogs Bark" is a bluesy sardonic punch at people who talk too much about other people. "Rainbow Over the East Side" is a defiantly optimistic salute to her adopted home town of East Nashville.
"This new record," she says, "in a lot of ways is about love. It's almost equally split between aspects of how hard, weird, and sometimes beautiful the road is and how good it is to come home to your family feeling like you've accomplished something."
Amelia's previous album OLD POSTCARD was met with a slew of praise from outlets like USA Today, American Songwriter, the Bluegrass Situation and more. No Depression said, "if Lucinda ever fronted Fleetwood Mac, this might be the outcome," with the Bluegrass Situation adding that "I think we're entering a great new era of alternative country music. If you need an example, look no further than Amelia White."
Born in Virginia to two Virginians bred in Boston, Amelia graduated from staging plays in her back yard to writing songs as soon as she acquired an acoustic guitar. The writing came quickly and hasn't stopped since. ("I like to think of myself as a writer-song singer instead of singer-songwriter." she says.) She came up through the ranks of Boston's highly competitive coffeehouse scene and discovered how busking in the subway meant making just enough money to get by. Things reached a point as they usually do - when she sought a more conventional job and life, so she moved to Seattle, one of the worst possible destinations if one wants to quit music. A few gigs later, she had a production deal to make a record, and a couple of years after that, she made the move to Nashville, comfortable with the fact that she was a lifer now, and there was no going back. Amelia also recently signed a publishing/TV/Film Sync deal with the upstart Nashville company American Echo Records.
Writing all the time, Amelia has had nearly a dozen cuts and placements in television shows. And HOME SWEET HOTEL looks to be the release that puts things over the top. As she sings in "Leaving In My Blood", "I'm like a riddle riding in the wind, singing my songs for strangers every town I'm in."
- Tommy Womack
Gritty like Lucinda Williams and expressive like Amy Rigby, Amelia White is a true storyteller/songwriter. Her new record Home Sweet Hotel is a dark, unglamorous slice of Americana. White’s voice is smoky and soulful, warm and deep, and her songs listen like entries from her diary on the road. There’s a bluesy, almost Cajun feel to some of White’s instrumental arrangements, but many of her melodies and choruses are true ear candy pop-rock. No Depression March 2016
“Despite the consistent quality of her work—2006’s Black Doves remains a high water mark — it’s hard to imagine Amelia White topping Home Sweet Hotel, an album that, if it connects with a wider audience, should provide a respite from the love/hate relationship she has with the road that has been her second home.” American Songwriter March 2016
“Amelia White comes from that classic place between singer/songwriter, jangle pop and country that comes for the beating heart of the Americana format. I’ve been a fan for years. Her voice is plaintive and real, and her songs each have some fascinating crystalline shape that invites close attention and touch.” Craig Havighurst, Music City Roots June 2015
“White puts her heart out for all to experience and loves to connect with her audience” Live review from Extended Play- No Depression Sept. 2015
“With a voice that sonically sounds like a mixture of Chrissie Hynde, and Emmylou Harris, and a band that fuses musicianship with swagger.” Blues Matters UK June 2016
“Elevated Melodic Sensibility” The Tennessean Sept. 2015
“Old Postcard features "haunting" melodies, something White, often compared to Lucinda Williams, embraces. "There's definitely some ghosts floating around in this album," she says.” USA Today
“Home Sweet Hotel,” “An Individual Album of depth” named UK Telegraph’s Top Country Albums of 2016 - along with Bonnie Raitt,
John Moreland, Buddy Miller, Rod Picott, and Applewood Road. Nov. 2016
“Amelia White’s voice has the craggy, jagged grit and pain of Lucinda Williams at her best but it also has a sweetness that Ms Williams doesn’t possess. Allied to White’s gift for melody, some mighty fine playing from her musicians and songs that can go toe to toe with anyone and you have an album that, even this early, is going to be one of the best of the year.”
Top Five albums Maverick Feb. 2016