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Music Review - `Amanda Cevallos` by Amanda Cevallos (lz)

Amanda Cevallos-- Amanda Cevallos   (click on image to watch video)

 21 April 2020



In many ways, Amanda Cevallos typifies the Americana ideal. She draws on various traditional templates — western swing, rockabilly and of course, the ever-reliable tears in your beers balladry — and injects them all with her own personal perspective. This, her eponymous sophomore set, solidifies that stance and affirms the fact that although she’s hardly an original, she’s well equipped to navigate the terrain.

Of course, not that it would matter if she didn’t maintain the proper bearings as well as an astute ability to credibly convey her material. In fact, she proves quite capable of doing both, starting with the jaunty sway of opening track, “All My Boyfriends” and continuing through the honky tonk shuffle of “Goodbye Truth” and “Freddy Ain’t Ready” through to the tender trappings of “Got Me Where You Want Me,” “Crazy” and “The Way I Go.” Cevallos is clearly earnest in her intents, and the emotion she invests in these songs of heartbreak and happenstance is both credible and convincing. Ample applications of pedal steel buttress the proceedings, making for a sound that mostly leans towards classic country while still maintaining contemporary credence. 

Although Cevallos can claim credit for writing all the songs save the final entry, “Ready for the Times to Get Better” (which she sings Spanish), she’s also chosen an excellent backing band —Eldridge Goins (drums, backing vocals), Jimmie Greaves (lead guitar, backing vocals) , Vance Hazen (bass) and Danny Hawk (pedal steel) — one that lends support with both the instrumentation and the arrangements. Producer James Hyland keeps things well balanced throughout, minding a rich tableau that still gives Cevallos’ expressive vocals ample opportunity to securely stake a claim at center stage. At the same time, Cevallos herself injects plenty of personality, coming across as both feisty and forlorn, depending on song and circumstance.

“Baby I’ve been smoking weed,” she says matter of factly on the aforementioned “The Way I Go.” That may be so, but even so she sounds totally clearheaded throughout.


In fact, confidence and authority are never in short supply. Cevallos is obviously ready to take control and assert her ability. The proof is evident in every song borne by this impressive effort, one that assumes an ascension to stardom is only a matter of time

 Lee Zimmerman


Lee Zimmerman

To Read All of Lee's Reviews, Click Here




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