Amy Andrews: 100% organic and fair trade music
By Landon Bubb, AFM Public Outreach Intern
I cried the first time I heard Amy Andrews. I unknowingly heard her this past summer listening to my friends,The Skipperdees, perform on the Knoxville Tennessee radio station WDVX Blue Plate Special. The sassy, sad twin sisters delivered perfection with the segment host providing inspiration and advice in the most lovely Tennessee accent as sweet as farmers market honey. After they performed Amy Andrews was introduced providing a rich contrast between my folksy friends. As just a girl and her guitar, she managed to incite the emotions and memories that I had tucked away behind the guise of adulthood, heartbreak, and change.
Her 9/14/13 performance at the Athens Farmers Market provided a refreshing and nostalgic atmosphere. Her powerful and soft voice matched perfectly with the early morning pre-autumn breeze. Whether it is bluegrass, folk, country, or rock, music has a profound impact at the Athens Farmers Market. During Amy’s 5 minute coffee break I noticed the stillness and stagnancy of the market sanz music. There was still the light chorus of children playing, farmer-patron dialogues, and little league baseball at the surrounding fields, and the gentle hum of community but it was as if someone erased all the lines out of a Piet Mondrian piece leaving detached blocks of color. The musical performers at the market supply a foundation for all the facets of community, sustainability, tradition, and good food to merge.
Inspired by her music, I picked the mind of the lovely Amy Andrews to find out more about her relationship with the market and her music:
What sets Athens apart from other farmers markets for you as a musician?
The number one reason I enjoy playing farmers markets is simply because I love the great sense of community and shared values - supporting local farmers, local business, local artists. Athens Farmers Market is certainly no exception. There is also definitely something to be said for playing a town with such rich musical history, identity. I’m so excited that y’all included me in this fall’s line-up of artists at the market.
What’s your favorite farmers market product?
Oh, no! I can’t choose just one! I love everything – vegetables, fruits, fresh-baked bread, sauces and spices, herbs, artisanal products.
Truth be told, though, every time I go to the Baltimore Farmers Market when I go home to visit family, my mom and I linger by the pints of strange-to-us mushrooms, the just ground coffee, the falafel stand, and the fresh cut flowers.
If you could write a song about a vegetable, which would you choose?
An eggplant, obviously. Look at how dramatic and attention seeking the eggplant is. It’s just asking for an opera.
Where is the strangest place you’ve performed?
Strangest. Hmm... I guess, I would have to say a boat on the Maumee River in Ohio.
I did a tour of feminist bookstores last year, where I played a benefit show for each of ten self-identifying indie, feminist bookstores in the US and Canada. One of the shops asked if I would perform their benefit show on a “leaf-peeping” tour along the Maumee River. It was a great experience, but what made it strange was the fact that I had a human mic stand for my entire performance. Bless that woman and her patience holding a mic for 60 minutes.
Favorite season and its seasonal food?
Fall, definitely! Hmm... Food. Brussel sprouts or pears, probably!
Favorite Disney character?
I don’t know if they would be my “favorites,” but I always saw myself as a hybrid of Ariel, from the Little Mermaid, and Gus Gus, from Cinderella.
Which musicians do you admire? Why?
I grew up as a huge fan, I still am, of Bette Midler. She is an incredible performer - a modern day vaudevillian with her storytelling, her jokes, her song and dance. Growing up, I wanted to be just like her.
As far as folks who are known primarily as musicians, I would say that there are a lot of artists that I look up to – Patty Griffin is no small inspiration to me.
What the first album you purchased?
Bette Midler’s Gypsy! No shame.
When touring, do you have a go to mixtape?
On the road, I listen to a lot of NPR, podcasts (about 20 episodes of How Was Your Week with Julie Klausner got me through a roundtrip journey between Atlanta to Chicago one long weekend).
I also have a few Gillian Welch, Patty Griffin, Rose Cousins, and Anais Mitchell albums that I’ve destroyed by overplaying.
Do you sing your own songs in the shower?
Ha! This is definitely the first time I’ve ever gotten this question.
No, I don’t sing my own songs in the shower. I sing Motown in the shower. I have a Motown radio station that I play nearly every time I take a shower.
If you want to see Amy Andrews, she’s playing a show at Hendershots (237 Prince Ave) Sunday, September 22 at 8:00 pm. Feel free to check her out on Facebook or Youtube. I’m sure she’d love to hear from some farmers market patrons.
At the next market, I challenge you to talk to the performers and stop and notice the richness that their talent brings to the market.