By Alexandra Lane
“Down-home Female Vocalist”
A strong but sweet voice, powerful lyrics, and a mixture of melodies, Garrison Starr has done it again with her seventh full-length release Amateur. A strong female voice out of Memphis who has been in the industry for 15 years, Starr is no newbie to the music world, but her songs bring a fresh perspective on what it means to be folk.
Amateur, which is Starr’s first self-released, fan-funded work, is a 13-track journey through Starr’s own personal experiences with heartbreak and self-actualization. With lyrics that are clear, sentimental, and poignant, this album is full of classic Americana. The album has its ebb and flow, with a consistent, underlying importance. From the opener “Keep Your Head Down,” with it’s powerful lyrics over an un-expecting dance-y melody, to the more serious, ‘get-up-and-act’ “Slow Crawl,” all the way to the end with the slow tempo, questioning of “Other People’s Eyes.” Notable for its co-writers and guest artists, who include Mary Chapin Capenter, Josh Joplin, Glen Phillips and others, this album is a brilliant example of an artist who creates with passion. Though she is not an amateur in the traditional sense, Starr is a folksy, down-home artist who creates for the love of the music.
** A Version of this review was published in Performer Magazine in December 2012
** Image courtesy of Garrison Starr’s website: http://garrisonstarr.com/music/amateur/