Rarely a voice comes along that finds balance between the ethereal and tangible, landing in the sweet aural intersection of tranquility and urgency, of crisp mountain air and songwriter-trodden asphalt. Amanda Fields’ voice does just that with a sincerity that reflects her mountain folk lineage and the Virginia and East Tennessee home she knew as a child.
Born in Blue Ridge, Virginia, Amanda was youngest child of a postal worker/coast guard father and school teacher mother who infused their close family with music from the beginning, as with the first song she learned, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”
“I’d sing that song for what seemed like hours with my mother, especially the hours spent in the car traveling different places. We’d sing ‘he’s got so-and-so in his hands’ and I’d insert every single person and pet I knew.”
The discovery of a Conway Twitty greatest hits album would give Amanda her earliest tastes of country music and performing. Her first concerts—complete with a hairbrush microphone, flashlight spotlight, and a penny for family members who attended—lasted until her older brothers hid the Twitty cassette.
Amanda started writing songs in the second grade and it wasn’t long until she graduated from the hairbrush to piano, then to banjo. She embraced the instrument so identified with the music of her home, learning the bluegrass staples "Shuckin' the Corn" and "Boil them Cabbage Down," but realized that she was drawn to the guitar. So, she picked up her father’s and started teaching herself. A gift of three chords from her Aunt Euritha had her playing “Amazing Grace” within hours and with her aunt and uncle at their Pentecostal church by that summer. These church performances along with Amanda’s reverence for country legends Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton and the influence of newer bluegrass artists like the Stevens Sisters became the foundation for her musical style.
At 15, Amanda joined her first band, a group of musicians from her church that included a mentor who told her that if she wanted to play bluegrass, she would have to get a Martin guitar and learn the quintessential bluegrass guitar G-run. She did both that same year.
After high school, Amanda moved to Nashville to study at Belmont University. During this time, she honed her craft with the rich musical resources of the city, learned the mandolin, and continued writing, blending all of her early musical experiences and influences into a sound that conjures images of an Emmylou Harris/Carter Sisters guitar pull.
Amanda would circle back to her musical roots after a few years of traveling and living in North Carolina and California. In 2009, a cousin introduced her to Ralph Stanley II, who liked her songwriting and invited her to open a show in Virginia. This led to a time of reconnection with her home and its music, but it wouldn’t be the final creative destination for Amanda.
Amanda returned to Nashville where she writes and performs Bluegrass and traditional Country music. She released her first professional recording compilation in Fall of 2016, a self-titled EP, co-created with legendary Bluegrass songwriter, John Pennell and a cast of expert musicians. A full length recording project is currently in the works.
Copyright Amanda Fields 2018. All rights reserved.