Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys

Just past her 20th birthday, Amanda Shaw is a wily music biz vet who has been a household name in Louisiana for a dozen years. She's a cultural ambassador of sorts, among other things, appearing in films on behalf of the state's beleaguered wetlands, and adorning the cover of the 2010 Official Louisiana Tour Guide wielding her claim to fame: her fiddle. A classically trained child prodigy, Shaw played with the Baton Rouge Symphony when she was eight years old. Shortly after, she discovered the rich heritage of Cajun fiddling while residing in southwest Louisiana and was hooked, following in the revered footsteps of Dennis McGee and Canray Fontenot, and appearing regularly at major events like New Orleans's JazzFest. Earlier protests aside (she titled one album I'm Not A Bubblegum Pop Princess), Shaw's fourth album, Good Southern Girl, marks her emergence as an adult artist, and is incidentally the first release on Irvin Mayfield's new Poorman Mayfield label. It is also characteristically eclectic, with convincing forays into country, pop, and rock, as well as a forgettable rap song. The title track could be a contemporary country hit, and she goes on to cover Skynyrd, Norah Jones, Janis Joplin, and Jefferson Starship (the latter Papa John Creach's fiddle workout "Git Fiddler"). All are distinguished by Shaw's lively fiddling and arrangements built around prominent Cajun roots, which are also honored with rousing covers of McGee and Clifton Chenier. As a vocalist, Shaw sometimes suggests Dolly Parton, sometimes Edie Brickell with a touch of Loretta Lynn, and she even muscles up a measure of grit on Janis's "One Night Stand." Her Cute Guys are veteran musicians Mike Barras (drums), Ronnie Falgout (bass), and guitarist Tim Robertson.
Wed., Oct. 27, 7 p.m., 2010

 
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