The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - TONY CLAY­TON-LEA


North­ern Ir­ish singer and song­writer Amanda St John is one of those hardy stal­warts who plough their own fur­rows ir­re­spec­tive of re­ward. Her de­but al­bum Grow was un­will­ingly con­ceived out of a near-death ex­pe­ri­ence in 2011 (a car ac­ci­dent, fight­ing for her life 300ft down a moun­tain­side) and a frac­tious mar­riage sep­a­ra­tion. Time, reck­oned St John dur­ing re­cov­ery from both ex­pe­ri­ences, is precious, so she promptly set about chan­nelling her love of soul, gospel and blues into song­writ­ing. The re­sults shape Grow; as­sisted by Mobo-nom­i­nated jazz mu­si­cian David Lyt­tle, and Nashville writer/ pro­ducer Jon Tiven , the songs echo jazz/soul/gospel greats such as Etta Fitzger­ald, Odetta and Bil­lie Hol­i­day, while telling per­sonal sto­ries of heartache, sal­va­tion, and small but cru­cial vic­to­ries. face­­dastjohn­mu­sic

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