D.C.-area nightlife, events and dining

CD Review: Amy Speace - 'The Killer in Me'

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Friday, June 12, 2009

AMY SPEACE

"The Killer in Me"

Kindred Spirits: Judy Collins, Sheryl Crow

Show: Sunday with James Mastro of the Tearjerks at the Church of the Resurrection, 2280 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria. Show starts at 7 p.m. 703-501-6061; http://www.focusmusic.org.

One of the best things about living in a major city are the sleeper shows that come our way. Amy Speace, a New York-based singer-songwriter is one of the latest. Her sophomore album, "The Killer in Me," a deep, dark album full of lush, emotive lyrics, masterful acoustic guitar work and just the right mix of percussion to make up-tempo numbers such as "Would I Lie?" rock just right.

What's arguably most striking about Speace's latest effort is how her writing makes her personal stories touch the core of anyone who has loved and lost. Listening to Speace's music is akin to sipping wine with a good friend and sharing secrets. In this case, the secrets are often about the end of her marriage. She also takes us on intimate journeys such as exploring past loves while analyzing a new one ("This Love") and coming to terms with oneself in "Dirty Little Secret."

But Speace smartly mixes her tempos so that fast-pace tunes such as "I Met My Love," with its old-country feel, bring the listener out of the blues.

If you bemoan the lack of solid singer-songwriters in the folk world who can bridge inner turmoil with universal experience, Speace is just what you need to hear.

-- Nancy Dunham


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