Artist: Amanda Shires
Online: Artist website; official SXSW page
SXSW showcase: TBA; also playing Feb. 6 at Cactus Cafe
About the artist
Many roots-music fans have gotten to know Amanda Shires through her performances with her husband Jason Isbell, the Alabama songwriter who swept the Americana Music Association Awards last fall. But she’d already accomplished quite a bit before moving to Nashville and meeting him.
Raised in the Texas Panhandle, Shires was a child-prodigy violinist who played with surviving members of Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys in her teen years. She released her first record, “Being Brave,” in 2005, mixing singer-songwriter material with traditional fiddle insturmentals. “Down Fell the Doves,” which came out in 2013 on prominent Nashville indie Lightning Rod Records, is her fourth solo album.
Shires caught a big break when she was cast in a backing-musician role in the Gwyneth Paltrow movie “Country Strong,” which was released in 2011. She also met Isbell that year, and she soon began performing with him as part of his 400 Unit backing band. The couple shared billing on a dramatic cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” a highlight of last fall’s “Dead Man’s Town: A Tribute to Born in the U.S.A.” compilation.
Could share a bill with: Ben Sollee, Shovels & Rope, Emmylou Harris, Justin Townes Earle