If you want to experience storytelling through song, acclaimed songstress Amy Speace will be playing at The Cooperage Sunday, April 14.
The performance is held to celebrate the release of her new album, How to Sleep in a Stormy Boat, which hits stores April 16 from Wind Bone Records.
Speace began her career in the arts as a stage actress and director. She worked mostly with the plays of Shakespeare, and "actually thought about putting some of his words to music to express what I was going through, but these other songs kept coming, and I gave way to my own words," Speace said.
In 2011, Speace was challenged emotionally and physically by becoming struck with acute laryngitis. To regain her voice, she enrolled in a Vipassana meditation course, which required a commitment to 10 days of verbal and non-verbal silence. After completing the course, her voice and artistic inspiration had returned. With that flood of creativity came the inspiration for the upcoming album.
The title track was chosen with purpose, Speace said. "It's the vessel that is stormy here, not the sky, not the storm, not the water." While writing How to Sleep in a Stormy Boat, she was thinking about King Lear, the king who descends swiftly into madness and despair after dividing his estate between two of his three daughters based on flattery.
"His storms were internal-his most beloved (his daughters) were turning against him, and he was going mad, and he ends up desperately raging against a literal storm. There were times in the past year I could totally relate."
The album features collaborations with John Fulbright, Ben Solee, and Mary Gauthier and serves as Amy's answer to the metaphorical storm of her life.
Speace will also be featured on NPR's upcoming Weekend Edition and the NY Times' Music Match, where she will be paired with her mentor Judy Collins.
MSN called her a spring artist to watch, praising her "subtle take on the folk-Americana style of music made so popular by Lucinda Williams."
Renowned critic Dave Marsh calls the new album "the most daring, confident, ambitious and beautiful album Amy Speace has made."
The performance will be held at The Cooperage at 5 p.m., with doors opening at 4 p.m. A suggested donation is $15 advance and $18 at the door. To reserve your seat, call Jill at 845-252-6783. This event is BYOB.