Amanda Marshall

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“It takes years to learn how to play like yourself”. I don’t know who said that. I think it was Miles Davis, but I could be wrong. It’s true, though. It takes years to fully develop any kind of creative voice. Painters, writers, musicians — all kinds of “creators” take the same journey. Basically, whether you’re making stuff or just making stuff up, it takes awhile to find a groove and figure out what “your thing” is.

I was six years old the first time I walked into a recording studio. A classmate’s mother sang commercial jingles, and she took a bunch of us kids along to watch. I instantly felt at home. Growing up in Toronto, a diverse, multicultural city, in a family that was itself diverse, I was exposed to all kinds of music, regardless of genre. In our house, it was common to hear Barbra Streisand followed by the Rolling Stones. Motown played alongside AC/DC. Charles Aznavour and The Pointer Sisters lived next door to Carole King on the shelf. (Later, I moved Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, Prince, and RUN- D.M.C., among many others, into that neighbourhood). As a second-grader, I thought that John Lennon was the mayor. One of my relatives bore a passing resemblance to Dionne Warwick; my five-year-old brain conflated them. In my mind, music was the foundation of everything that was important

Like a lot of singers, I’m a cliche. I sang before I could walk, blah blah blah — I never wanted to do much else. The summer I turned sixteen, I met Canadian guitar legend Jeff Healey. That meeting changed my life. Aside from introducing me to a whole slew of new musical influences that I immediately became obsessed with — Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Chris Whitley, on and on — I started playing music professionally after that. I got a record deal that my parents had to co-sign because I wasn’t old enough. I had no idea what kind of record I wanted to make, but I was on my way. I just had to find “my thing”. (It turned out that would take some more time. I decided to hold off on the album).

Cut to 1995. My self-titled debut album was released (Epic/Sony). It went on to become one of only eighteen albums in Canadian history to achieve Diamond status, and achieved Gold or Platinum status in fifteen countries. That album turned twenty-five in 2020, and like the parent of any successful twenty-something, I’m proud and more than a little amazed by the passage of time. The next two albums, Tuesday’s Child (1999) and Everybody’s Got A Story (2001), both multi-platinum, were no slouches, either. Music has taken me around the world. I wound up meeting, recording and performing with many of the folks whose work lived on those shelves in my parents’ living room during my formative years. It was humbling and exciting; I picked their brains and tried to learn as much as I could during each collaboration. 

“Making music” and “being in the music business” are two very different endeavours. The latter is a chronic distraction from the former. For the better part of the next decade, I spent time doing what a lot of musicians find themselves doing — trying to get on with actually making music while dealing with the business of making music. But all that worked out just fine, and most importantly, it brought me to new ideas, new friends, and a new musical chapter that I’m incredibly excited about and cannot wait to share.

It takes years to learn how to play like yourself”. I’m getting there.


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Date And Time

July 06, 2023 @ 09:00 PM


Victoria Park (Ticketed)

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