LaVere Stays Busy in Preparation of New Album

By Jennifer Johnson Backer

Memphis-based musician Amy LaVere’s third solo album, “Runaway’s Diary,” won’t be released until early next year, but the songwriter, bassist and vocalist has a few summer projects that should keep anxious fans satisfied.

LaVere was recently in Memphis to shoot a music video for “This Bridge,” a single that was released this summer along with her cover of Melanie’s 1970s hit song, “Brand New Key.” LaVere’s long-time collaborator, Rick Steff at Memphis-based Archer Records’ Music-Arts Studio, produced the song.

Memphis-based musician Amy LaVere teamed up with Jonathan Pekar of Ardent Film in Memphis to create the music video for “This Bridge” earlier this summer. The video was shot by Ryan Parker, and is true to LaVere’s self-described “playful, agnsty and personal style.”

(Courtesy of Wade Archer)

“I wrote it about a year ago, and when we demoed it up – it came out really well,” LaVere said via a phone call from New York, where she was scheduled to play at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. “But it just didn’t really fit on ‘Runaway’s Diary,’ so we released it as a single.”

The song is true to LaVere’s self-described “playful, agnsty and personal style,” and is about forgiveness.

“Someone has wronged her and she’s offering her olive branch if he comes home,” she said. “I am not quite sure what inspired it.”

LaVere teamed up with Jonathan Pekar of Ardent Film in Memphis to create the music video, which was shot by Ryan Parker.

“It was pretty slash, dash – and thrown together pretty quickly,” LaVere said. “But it came together really well.”

LaVere has been busy performing songs from “Anchors &Anvils” and “Stranger Me” on tour all summer, but she’ll be back in Memphis Aug. 24 at the Young Avenue Deli for the release of “Motel Mirrors,” a Memphis-based side project of LaVere, John Paul Keith and drummer Shawn Zorn.

“It’s a totally different animal than my other albums,” LaVere said.

“It’s very timeless, classic-sounding rock and roll duets.”

LaVere said the duet project will allow both musicians to focus on other solo projects and to cut back on weekly residency gigs when not touring. She met Keith through Zorn, who occasionally played with Keith.

“It came about out of financial necessity, but it’s terribly inoffensive and fun,” she said.

The album features three covers – Mickey & Sylvia’s “Dearest,” “Your Tender Loving Care” by Buck Owens and Susan Raye, and Red Foley’s “As Far As I’m Concerned,” which are blended with originals by Keith and a co-writer for the pair, “That Makes Two of Us.”

Between now and the “Motel Mirrors” Memphis launch party, LaVere is playing in London, the Netherlands, Louisville, Nashville, Jackson, Miss., and Lafayette, Ind. She’ll continue touring in September, and then will take a break from touring in October and November in Austin, Texas.

LaVere’s projects don’t stop and start with music. She also plays the role of a disturbed hotel maid named Loretta in “Only Child,” a noir-inspired story about the complicated relationship between a mother and child.

The feature film by local writer-director Brian Pera is expected to be released this fall. The “Only Child” cast includes New York-based actress Angela Dee, and Southern native Grace Zabriski.

“Brian likes my music and said he wrote the character just for me,” LaVere said. “All of these projects are rich and unique – I enjoy being able to bounce around.”