Show: With Lilly Hiatt on Friday at Gypsy Sally’s. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. 202-333-7700. gypsysallys.com. $16 in advance, $18 at the door.
As a fiddle player, Amanda Shires has a deep résumé in the roots music world. She joined the Texas Playboys as a teenager and more recently has toured and recorded with John Prine and Justin Townes Earle. She also regularly collaborates with her husband, Jason Isbell. About a decade ago, a former employer, Texas tunesmith Billy Joe Shaver, encouraged Shires to give songwriting an earnest shot, and to date she’s released a handful of solo albums.
Her latest, the intimately reflective, Dave Cobb-produced “My Piece of Land,” was released in September. Largely written last year when Shires was at home, seven months pregnant and no longer able to tour, the album is filled with the anxious musings of a mother-to-be. She recalls her restless nesting routine in the playful folk tune “Nursery Rhyme,” and offers rich details of mundane observations during a period of loneliness in the Fleetwood Mac-style pop cruiser “When You’re Gone.”
Isbell lends a hand on some of the album’s best tracks. His gentle harmonies sound as if they’re offering Shires assurance from afar, as she wonders whether a lover is being faithful while away in the country ballad “Slippin’.” He also adds a fierce slide guitar solo to the slow-burning, poetic ballad “You Are My Home,” which is made even more intense by Shires’s sorrowful fiddle breaks.