Since she began recording, singer, songwriter, and bassist Amy LaVere has been adept at turning the stuff of her autobiography into fine songs. On 2011's Stranger Me, she detailed her own loss, grief, and heartbreak in one of the finest breakup albums in recent memory. With Runaway's Diary, she goes back to the well, but with a storyteller's twist. This is a road album.
Memphis singer Amy LaVere's longstanding penchant for storytelling songs is given free rein on Runaway's Diary, a concept album inspired by her own teenage flight from her family home. Producer Luther Dickinson gives it that spooked sound associated with Elvis Presley's Sun recordings – and with Dickinson's late father, Jim Dickinson, who produced Big Star and the Replacements as well as LaVere's 2011 album, Stranger Me. Cover versions, including songs by Townes Van Zandt (Where I Lead Me) and John Lennon (How?), are cleverly woven into LaVere's loose narrative.
The best singer/songwriters embrace conflict, preferring to bare their soul in an effort to produce timeless music with universal truths. Memphis based Amy LaVere accomplished that on her previous three releases, especially with 2011’s Stranger Me exploring the emotional depths of her own broken relationship through twisty originals and even a Captain Beefheart cover. Her breathy, some might say girlish, voice exudes organic innocence yet her lyrics are often cloaked in dark undertones.