Canadian singing star Amanda Rheaume will be performing at the Rockwater Bar & Grill on August 30 as part of a west coast tour.
Rheaume returned to her folk roots with the summer release of “Light of Another Day”, an acoustic-based LP, focused on positive energy and moving forward. The first full length release from Rheaume is filled with themes of hope, community and new beginnings are reflected in the lyrics of songs that are stripped-down in a way that she describes as coming full circle as she really finds her sound and writing style again.
The acoustic based album gives listeners the chance to hear Rheaume’s music in the way the artists feels best represents what she gives to an audience at a live show.
“The response has been really good. This is my first full length effort and everyone thinks it is funny that it is my debut album essentially. I have done many different things up until now. This album is the most concurrent with the live show and where I am at as an artist. I have had a lot of experiences both in the studio and in life which have brought me to this point so I feel like things have come to a point where it was the right time,” she said.
The experiences of life on the road and performing on major stages help craft the words on “Light of Another Day” but Amanda does not write on the road.
The title is a line from the song Push On, which is a story about the soldiers in Afghanistan and their families back home. She previously explained, “I remember feeling like I just wanted to purge all of these pent up repressed or lingering feelings/demons and then I also remember feeling like I wanted to write about hope and positivity because that is what I felt in my heart from touring and doing what I really love to do – playing music for a living. In my travels and own life experiences over the last two years I’ve witnessed such strength and resilience in the human spirit. Times are tough, there are bad things happening all over the world, things we can’t control yet no matter what we have to push on and stick together and find the light of another day. The whole record has themes of hope, community and new beginnings and I wanted to portray that in the title.”
Since the start of her music career Rheaume has tried a little bit of many genres of music.
“When I was 15 I was writing songs on acoustic guitar, doing a folk in before I moved away from it. I played in rock and pop bands. Last year I toured down to Austin, Texas to play South by Southwest. It was something I always wanted to do but could only afford to do it if I went on my own. I couldn’t bring a band or back up musicians. I was forced to be on my own again. Eventually getting there I met all sorts of folk, roots and alternative country performers. This catapulted me back into loving folk and roots music,” Rheaume said.
At the age of 16 Rheaume’s musical journey took her to Lilith Fair, alongside Sarah McLachlan, the Dixie Chicks, Indigo Girls and Sheryl Crow.
“That was an experience in Toronto where I got to go on stage with the performers. It threw me into an idea that this was all I wanted to do for life. Having that experience and seeing what it could be like while having something to reach for was a huge gift at that age for me.”
Amanda has been on a blistering pace for the past two years.
She’s toured Canada and the United States extensively. She’s performed for Canadian troops in Afghanistan, Dubai and Alert, Nunavut.
“I just love moving around and meeting different people. Playing for them and never knowing what you are going to get. One main goal for me is to put on a great show and try and connect with as many people as possible while on stage and after the show. It is just a neat lifestyle to keep moving forward on to the next things. You try and give the most while in the one town and you know the next day you are going to be doing it all over again,” she said.
Rheaume explained there have been many changes in the music industry over her time working within the system.
“It is a lot more niche. The awareness of more artists now is greater than what it was before. The internet has certainly helped put everything on the playing field. It was always important to tour but now it so important to tour. Anyone can have music on the internet or set up a myspace or facebook page. But you can not change being on the ground and meeting fans. This is what makes you different from any other performers on the internet. It is almost like there is no internet now . Artists do not need as much help getting things going,” Rheaume said.
Another benefit of the internet according to Rheaume is that it gives an artist the chance to scout out great venues while also letting people read and see what life is like on the road through tour blogging.
“I do a lot of tour blogging. It can be tour adventures and it gives people a sense of me and see where I am touring. It is really cool.”
On the road until October, this will be one of the longest tours that Rheaume has done in her career; but she is excited with the potential with being on the road that long.
“ I have never gone for ten weeks before but we are now three weeks in and it has been great. The last time I did Canada I went from Ottawa to Vancouver in just four weeks. So you end up skipping places and being exhausted. Having to get to Vancouver and just turn right around the next day. It is too much. I have been able to build in rest and rejuvenation time. I think it will be fine,” Rheaume said.
Highly regarded by her peers, Amanda Rheaume has dedicated herself as a key performer in Babes for Breasts since its inception and has helped raise thousands of dollars to help fight breast cancer across Canada.
Her acoustic Christmas album sold 6300 copies and raised more than $30,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.
If you’ve been to major music events like SXSW in Austin, Texas, CMW and NXNW or Ottawa Bluesfest, you’ve probably seen her.
If you’re fans of the Sadies, Doc Walker, or K’Naan, Jeff Beck and The Black Keys, you’re probably aware she has opened for them.
And in between all that she has managed to co-write music with Holly McNarland, Chantal Kreviazuk, Jeff Pearce, and Brian Byrne. A lot of this activity began just two years ago with the EP release, “Kiss Me Back” recorded by Jeff Dawson.