WMKY

Amy Speace

Jun 17, 2021

Amy Speace
Credit Billboard

Muddy Bottom Blues

Program #248 (June 18 at 8:00pm and June 19 at 3:00pm)

Growing-up in Baltimore as the oldest child of four, Amy Speace discovered music, words and a love of language early on.

Her grandmother taught her to read at 3 years old by reading street signs. By 5 she was writing poetry, and by 8 she’d learned to play piano. Over the next decade, the family moved often, then Speace enrolled in Amherst College in Massachusetts. Not knowing what where to go after graduation, she took her professors’ advice and moved to New York City in 1991.

Writing her first song in her mid-twenties while living in Greenwich Village, she taught herself “sound shapes” on guitar, highly influenced by Joni Mitchell’s compositional music and poetically direct lyrics.

As she honed her talent as a songwriter, guitarist, and performer, she landed gigs at CBGB’s, The Living Room, and The Bitter End, and became entrenched in New York City’s nightlife. Although she’s now lived in Nashville since 2009, she frequently cites New York City as her hometown.

Speace established new friendships and creative partnerships in Music City by launching the East Nashville Song Salon in 2010, which is still thriving today (although she passed on the reins since her son was born), and her many champions from the folk world have included Judy Collins, Mary Gauthier, and Kathy Mattea, to name only a few.

She’s cultivated a significant audience in the UK and Europe as well. The title track of her prior album, Me and the Ghost of Charlemagne, was named International Song of the Year by the Americana Music Association UK in 2020.

(provided by Amy Speace)