Amy LaVere + Jarrod Dickenson
In the nine years since she released her debut album, Amy LaVere’s music has been called many things: dark and sexy, witty, feisty, breezy, mysterious.
And she is all of that on Runaway’s Diary. But if 2011’sStranger Me was Spin Magazine’s “Break Up Album of the Year”, then its 2014 follow-up that solidifies LaVere’sposition as masterful storyteller.
LaVere’s new album “Runaway’s Diary” is based on her experience of leaving home aged 15, after the divorce of her parents. “I just needed something to inspire me and shake me up, I was restless and needed some adventure, the restless feeling has been the driving force of my entire life, I am constantly running- but towards something rather than away from it”.
The opening track “Rabbit”, recounts a tale of running away from home as an adolescent. Using friend and frequent collaborator Seasick Steve as the inspiration for the title character, Amy plots the course for the rest of the album.
Evocative themes naturally emerged: home, belonging, those who wander, those who are lost and the details of the journey that connects all of it. When it was time to make the album, LaVere sought out Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars) – friend, musical collaborator and the son of her late mentor and Anchors & Anvilsproducer Jim Dickinson –to produce the project.
“Luther has always been something of a sounding board for me, as far as music and my career – I was so close to his dad,” LaVere says.
Having already worked together on the Wandering (Valerie June, Sharde Thomas, Luther Dickinson, Amy LaVere and Shannon McNally) and his first solo album,Rock n’ Roll Blues (New West 2014), Luther immediately embraced the project.
“We bonded and began working together in a state of mutual longing to work with my father, Jim, after he passed,” Luther says. He claims that Runaway’s Diary is “a culmination” of LaVere’s collaborations with the Dickinson family and calls it “one of the best records I’ve ever been a part of – both as a musician and a producer.”
“Amy’s whole life went into this song cycle, from her childhood family dynamic and her own history of running away to growing up on the honkytonk highway and not ever being able to quit running, perpetually moving, giving her life to music and truly becoming the characters she sings about night after night,” he says. “She closes her eyes and moves so deeply into and through a song, and it moves me.”