Coming Up Roses

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

Spring is Amy LaVere’s season. The Memphis resident has made a name for herself in music circles with her second record, the Jim Dickinson-produced “Anchors and Anvils,” in 2007, and has dipped her toes in the movie world with small roles in films like “Black Snake Moan” and “Walk the Line.”
Now, in this season of renewal, the singer-songwriter/actress is celebrating new movies, a new band and a new album.
“We’re going to London in April, ahead of the record, and then we’ll be home after that until we go back out again in July. We’ll be getting in the van and staying in it. That’s what the rest of the year has for us,” she said. “I can’t wait to get on the road. It’s so much better than all this prep stuff.”

‘Stranger Me’
What LaVere is prepping for is the release of her third record, “Stranger Me,” out on Memphis label Archer Records in July.
“It was a lot of work, and it was a lot of fun,” LaVere said. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s definitely a weirder record for me, and I’m really proud of it.”
LaVere’s signature sound, an earthy mix of roots, blues, country and jazz, has been influenced by her new band members.
“It was so much so much more experimental and playful as opposed to knowing what we wanted to do with any given song. It was truly collaborative,” she said. “We just treated every song like we were having a blast with it. It’s a lot more bold and experimental.”

Big screen star
When LaVere isn’t creating music, she’s creating new characters on screen.
She’s been at work on a film called “Woman’s Picture,” an anthology film starring LaVere, Ann Magnuson and Calpernia Addams.
“It’s made up of three shorts,” LaVere said about the movie. “It’s really, really good. My character is really, really off. You’re really going to be uncomfortable watching. You want to kind of save her and slap her.”
LaVere’s also been at work on “A Fine Step,” in which she plays Luke Perry’s wife.
While she loves filmmaking, her true love is music.
“The acting is more fun for me, because it’s not me,” she said, “but the music is far more important to me. It’s what I’ve got the ultimate emotional investment in.”
A new album, new movies and a
host of new tour dates – which include dates at the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival and the South by Southwest conference – mean LaVere’s calendar is booked. She’s happiest that way.
“I am really busy. I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment,” she said, “but I love my life.”

LIVE SHOW
– Who: Amy LaVere, Cheyenne
Marie Mize

– When: 10 p.m. Saturday

– Where: Proud Larry’s, Oxford

– Cost: $8

– Info: proudlarrys.com

– Extra: 18 and older