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'Live at Mississippi Studios'   

-  Label: 'www.amandarichards.net'
-  Genre: 'Folk' -  Release Date: '2006'

Our Rating:
Those who think that folk music, or the blues, lacks a sense of humor hasn't heard singer/songwriter Amanda Richards (http://www.amandarichards.net). On "Cookies & Whiskey," Richards describes the plight of a woman who has been dumped by her lover. Instead of simply writing words of despair, Richards describes how the ex-girlfriend drowns her sorrow in junk food and hard liquor: "Been living on memories/Cream pies and drink/Which might explain the tear drops/And chocolate smeared ink." It's funny stuff, but also deeply sad because it's a phase that probably all of us, male or female, have gone through.

Although lyrically speaking the tone of "Cookies & Whiskey" doesn't summarize the CD as a whole, I bring it to your attention because it's a can't-miss track. Whether or not folk music appeals to you, "Cookies & Whiskey" should strike a chord. In "Cookies & Whiskey," the protagonist has gotten fat and miserable, losing the beauty she once had: "I knew you liked tight jeans/But I took it too far/'Cause I can't fit in nothing/Including my car." Nevertheless, Richards manages to write a surprisingly happy twist at the tune's end.

Richards is a fine storyteller, narrating her tales of heartache with a brutally honest pen. "I Love You More (When I'm All Alone)" is a keen kiss-off: "I don't care, I won't fight/If you don't come home/Because I love you more/When I'm all alone." Ouch. Richards' characters are either proudly independent, as on "It's Already Over," or clinging to a dying relationship, like in "Here I Am." Although recorded before an audience, the record sounds warm and intimate.
  author: Adam Harrington

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RICHARDS, AMANDA - Live at Mississippi Studios