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Amanda Shires’ obsession with the fiddle started at the ripe age of ten when she coerced her father into buying her a lime green Chinese instrument from a pawn shop in dusty downtown Mineral Wells, Texas. One afternoon and four broken fiddle strings later, the Texas beauty was hooked. Five years later, Amanda was playing fiddle with the Texas Playboys, an auspicious start that testifies to her precocious talent. In her late teens she went on to found Lubbock’s Thrift Store Cowboys. The band released four albums independently and reached top ten status on many CMJ charts around the country. They were also the top-selling act in 2007 for the respected internet retailer Miles of Music. In 2008, one of Amanda’s compositions was featured on NPR`s All Songs Considered. An in-demand instrumentalist, Amanda has worked with Texas legends Billy Joe Shaver and Gary P. Nunn, as well as one of indie rock`s most buzzed-about acts, DeVotchKa.
Amanda’s second solo album, West Cross Timbers, was released in 2009. The CD received rave reviews and reached number 21 on the Americana Music Association chart. Amanda’s unique and compelling voice, brilliant songwriting, and mesmerizing onstage presence won praise in more than a few corners of the music business. The Gibson Guitar company featured Amanda on their website as one of 2009’s breakout artists, No Depression called West Cross Timbers one of the 50 best releases of the year, and Country Music People did a feature on her work. Amanda was also cast as the fiddle player in Gwyneth Paltrow`s band in the film Country Strong (it opens December 22, 2010). After finishing production on her third album, Carrying Lightning, Amanda hit the road for another tour. Amanda continues along her own beautifully lit path. As of April 2010 she was age 28.
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