Long Way Home
Amy Gallatin, born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, lived in several states before settling in the West, where she was raised. During her ten years in Idaho and Montana, she had had the good fortune of being able to work at two of her loves in life: horses and music; Amy helped to organize the horseback riding programs and was the featured entertainer at various guest ranches. Her performing background had been as a solo artist out West prior to her meeting some Connecticut musicians while wintering in New England in 1992. With that Connecticut connection came the opportunity to tour as a working unit, so Amy packed her guitar and moved east in the fall of 1993 to pursue her music. Four albums later (including a live album and a project recorded in Nashville with ace producer Rich Adler), Amy Gallatin and her band Stillwaters have taken the stage at some of the most prestigious venues in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. They were invited in 1996, '98, and 2003 to tour several European countries. Their most recent performances in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark drew extremely enthusiastic crowds at house concerts, music clubs, theaters, country & bluegrass festivals, and National Radio. Amy & Stillwaters represented the United States as the featured performers at the European World of Bluegrass convention in The Netherlands in May '98. Amy is at home singing various musical styles -- country, folk, bluegrass or western swing--branding each song with soulful sincerity. Her influences are diverse, ranging from old and contemporary cowboy tunes learned out West, to great country artists like Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, and the Everly Brothers, with even a dash of blues influence thrown in--Koko Taylor, Katie Wilson, BB King, and Shemekiah Copeland. She currently performs with renowned Dobroist Roger Williams, formerly with Southern Rail, Salamander Crossing, and White Mountain Bluegrass. The Long Way Home, recorded in Nashville, TN, is Amy's first solo effort. Grammy award-winning producer Rich Adler, who has worked with such noted musicians as Alison Krauss, Johnny Cash, Tom Paxton, David Mallett, Iris DeMent and Neil Young, assembled a cast of top-flight musicians for the project. In addition to fiddle wizard Randy Howard (who also plays mandolin on the project) the album features1998 IBMA Bass Player of the Year Missy Raines, and 1997 and 1998 IBMA Dobro Player of the Year Rob Ickes. Awards aside, it's the cohesiveness of the project as a whole--an Adler trademark--that makes this album a triumphant national debut for Amy Gallatin. 'I'd say the album has an acoustic country feel, only with a wider range of contemporary, varied material,' Amy says. 'l knew without a doubt the instrumentation had to be acoustic, as all my albums have been.' Jeff White, currently touring with Vince Gill, and a superb bluegrass musician in his own right, joins Amy for a lively duet on 'Wake Me When That Sun Goes Down' penned by South Dakota songwriter Hank Harris. Guitarist and session leader Steven Sheehan, a Nashville veteran, has chalked-up projects with David Mallett and Claire Lynch, among many others. Percussionist Pat McInerney, renowned for his studio work as well as his tours with folk artist Nanci Griffith, rounds out the cast along with Jim Hoke on harmonica and clarinet. The album is garnering airplay from coast to coast and has been featured on Prime Cuts of Bluegrass and Acoustic Rainbow compilations. The title cut was co-written by noted bluegrass singer/songwriter Claire Lynch and Steven Sheehan. Gallatin's fans have long awaited her recording of Guy Clark's 'Immigrant Eyes,' as well as the finale 'Rancher's Lullaby,' both of which she has been performing with her band Stillwaters for some time. 'I couldn't be happier with Rich's production and all the musicians on this album,' Amy says. 'It's a dream come true for me to be able to work with any one of them, much less all of them together.' Personnel & Songs Amy Gallatin -- Vocals Including special guests: Randy Howard--Fiddle and mandolin Steven Sheehan--Guitar Missy Raines--Upright bass Rob Ickes--Dobro and 'Ickesenborn' steel guitar Jeff White--Harmony and duet vocals Pat McInerney--percussion Jim Hoke--Harmonica and clarinet Review in DIRTY LINEN Magazine, August/September 1999: Missy Raines' bass on Guy Clark's 'Baton Rouge' raises the curtain on an eclectic collection of songs. From the Texas swing of 'Wake Me When That Sun Goes Down' to the gentle jazz of 'I Get Lonely For You,' Amy Gallatin turns in clean vocals. She's definitely enjoying herself, and who can blame her when her regular band is augmented by Rob Ickes on Dobro, and Randy Howard on mandolin and fiddle, both of whom turn in sterling performances? The title track, co-written by Claire Lynch, evokes an empty, almost haunting feeling. For those hardcore acoustic music buffs that are of the absolute conviction that real instruments should be plucked and not hit -- don't worry, Pat McInerney's percussion is very low key and fits right in. -- G.T. Review in BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED Magazine, March 1999 Amy Gallatin has toured extensively throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic states over the past few years backed by her band Stillwaters. However, 'The Long Way Home,' her latest recording project, uses a stellar cast of Nashville pros to augment thirteen fine, lesser-known songs which effectively feature Gallatin's voice in styles covering traditional country, swing, blues, folk, and contemporary Bluegrass. It's a pleasure to hear an entire album that consistently manages to avoid overworked material. Gallatin draws from the likes of Guy Clark, Tammy Fassaert, Dave Mallet, Peter Keane, Claire Lynch, and Steven Sheehan in an attractive selection of songs that showcase her versatility. She easily navigates the light country swing of 'I Get Lonely For You' and the gutsier tone of 'Pete's Lovesick Blues.' The wistful waltz, 'Immigrant Eyes' and 'On The Road,' prove her to be equally adept at delivering a gentle ballad. Some of her brightest moments on this album come on the gorgeously crafted pop gem 'Here We Go' and the upbeat swing number 'Wake Me When That Sun Goes Down.' Of course, it doesn't hurt that Jeff White adds some wonderfully complementary harmonies on these and several other tracks. The session players get plenty of room to stretch, particularly Randy Howard on fiddle and mandolin, and the rhythm section is more than ably anchored by bassist Missy Raines and Pat McInerney on tastefully light percussion. Rob Ickes is also a featured guest on resonator guitar. While the presence of percussion, harmonica, and a little clarinet, as well as the absence of banjo, might keep this CD away from the territory of some bluegrassers, it would be a shame if folks let that get in the way of hearing this nice collection of music. 'The Long Way Home' promises to be an effective vehicle for showcasing Amy Gallatin's talents to a much wider audience. -- H.K.