Amy Speace originally set out to become a playwright/actor. She was well on her way to accomplishing that goal when, after graduating from Amherst College, she toured with the well-known National Shakespeare Company. Roles on Broadway soon followed, plus she obtained some acting credits by appearing in a number of independent films.
Everything was going according to plan until she decided to set some of her poetry to music and a new career path opened. She recorded her first album, Fable, during 2002. She quickly signed with Judy Collins’ Wildflower label. Collins would cover her song, “Weight Of The World,” on her 2010 album, Paradise.
Speace has now returned with her fourth studio album, Land Like A Bird. The album signals change for Speace, both personally and professionally. She has ended a longtime relationship and moved from Manhattan to Nashville, Tennessee. She has also left the Wildflower label and struck out on her own. The music reflects these changes.
She met Nelson Hubbard seven years ago in Arizona but they quickly drifted apart. They recently became reacquainted in Nashville and have combined their talents to create this album. Hubbard produced the release, played the bass and keyboards, plus helped with the songwriting.
This is an album of goodbyes and transitions. People, places, and situations are receiving farewells through her lyrics. What has emerged is a gentle, yet emotional, release that takes the listener on a personal journey through her changing world.
Her music is basically a fusion of folk and pop, although it includes several other styles at times. The songs are well constructed and the lyrics convey her messages and stories well. My only complaint is at times the percussion overwhelms the rest of the instruments. Her music is at its best when it is stripped to basics.
There are a number of excellent tracks. The title song is a love letter of reflection and moving on. “Drive All Night” opens the album and sets the tone for what is to follow, as it points in new directions. “Real Love Song,” which as the title implies, is a love song that sums up the album as the final track. “It’s Too Late To Call It A Night" is a track that goes in a different direction as it contains a jazzy vocal and piano.
The albums best song is “Ghost.” It is a beautiful song of longing and loss that reminds me of one of Judy Collins’ best composition, “Secret Gardens.”
Amy Speace has created an album of warmth and beauty that reflects a transition point on her life’s journey. Hopefully it will attract the attention it deserves.