I have been listening to LA-based country singer Amy Loftus for over a year now. She appeared on my radio show last May to announce the release of her most recent album, That Whole Entire Time. She completely charmed the audience – and me – with her glowing voice and welcoming manner. She was the girl next door who happened to sing brilliantly, play the guitar and front a kick-ass country rock band.
Well, it turns out she is the girl next door – or just a mile or so away from our studio — so I decided to make the short trip to the legendary Molly Malone’s in Hollywood to see her live. Was I ever happy I did! Amy’s seven-song set, delivered in her sweet, easy way, put my mind in pillows and carried me away to many, many nice places.
Perched on a dark stage, her gold-silver hair shinning in a single spotlight, Amy welcomed us, appropriately with “Hello”, a new song that took full advantage of her angelic voice and beauty. From there, she picked up the pace with the hook-laden “Freeway”, one of my favorites from her Better album. She moved on to “That Whole Time” from the new album, but delivering it with the singular purity of just her voice and guitar.
As the applause died down after “That Whole Time”, she gave us one of her brilliant, mischievous smiles and delivered a Christmas stocking of new songs: “Fix”, “Wrong and Right”, “Natural Order” and “Follow the Sunshine”. Her sophistication as a songwriter and downy-smooth voice kept us enthralled. Paired with her easy connection to the audience and welcoming grace that embraces you even through speakers or earbuds, each song became a lovingly crafted gift, generously given and gratefully received.
We were especially grateful because she is writing now and opportunities to see her live onstage are rare and precious, even in her adopted home town of LA. Raised in Chicago, Amy trained as an actress and a dancer with Second City, part of the same class that graduated Tina Fey. In her career she has worked as a voice-over, commercial, stage and screen actress and earned a Degree in Art History and Painting. But singing and songwriting were always her true passion. That passion took her to Nashville where she honed her songwriting and performance skills, opening for bands like Christopher Cross and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s John McEuen.
Now living in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons, Amy is a prolific producer who has released five albums and recorded soundtracks for films like One for the Money and television shows like Sons of Anarchy. And she writes a mean blog about step-motherhood.
A sixth album is bubbling away, possibly with the new songs we heard at Molly Malone’s. I am keeping my eye out for the announcement of a new album or perhaps another live show and will jump on it faster than a Porsche on the Pacific Coast Highway at 3 am. In the meantime Amy has released one of the new songs, “Follow the Sunshine”, on her website and it is going on my replay list. She should be on yours.