Interview with Workshop Leader Amy Duckett Wagner - "Life, Music & Meditative Practice"
You travel down a crooked road to a good music spot or festival and you hear this singer/songwriter with an old guitar, engaging Americana tunes and stories to tell. Her friends call her Amy Dee and her music takes you places, painting colorful pictures. Her songs share a quest for interesting places, people and a musical life. With songs as varied as the people you meet, she jumps genres: from folk to swing, blues to gospel, bluegrass to old country.
Ever the collaborator, Amy Duckett Wagner has launched three original music CD projects: The Travel-inspired “Southern Routes,” recorded in Louisiana with members of The Revelers (Red Stick Ramblers), The Bluegrassy “Come With Me” made in Pennsylvania/New Jersey (with a tribute to Dr. Ralph), And the jazzy “Big Time,” laid down in New Orleans with the piano and horns of a hot French Quarter Jazz Trio. Sojourns to Texas' Kerrville Folk Festival’s Songwriters School, Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camps, bluegrass camps and Louisiana’s Black Pot Camp have influenced Amy’s musicianship.
Amy shares, "My songs visit many genres (Americana, swing, jazz, standards, blues, old country, folk, bluegrass),... weaving emotions, travel and musical experiences. I like to think they paint a picture of the way living a musical life can touch people and continually feed our inspiration.
"Back to the song,... back where you belong." (from Back to the Music)
A family of music-lovers and the power of song influenced me. Growing up, our parents were teachers with wanderlust, summers free, a Volkswagen bus and an insatiable appetite for live music, We were always on the go.
“Just like a skippin’ stone, just like a fallin’ star, it doesn’t matter where you are. As long as you’re movin’…” (from Skippin’ Stones)
As a songwriter, vocalist and guitar player, I revel in the way live music builds friendships and community. I am grateful to Ashokan Western & Swing week for the inspirations gained there. And, befriending The Revelers (when they were still the Red Stick Ramblers). Southern music and culture have drawn me in since those cross-country family drives listening to Old Country on the radio. I’ve found much inspiration in the music and dance culture of Louisiana and Texas, where every gathering has live homegrown music, and all ages are dancing together!
I write songs in many genres, but lately I'm really enjoying writing swing tunes and learning jazz and classical vocal pieces. The songs I'm recording now are bluegrass influenced.
“Let’s dance to swingin’ music. Let’s laugh a lot and sing. A few good friends, a few good songs, and we have everything…” (from Crooked Road Blues)
My favorite song could be the one I’m writing now, a jazz standard or a ditty from the 30’s dad taught me on those long cross-country drives!"
"So trust your life to your ear. Don’t wait for no one, you’ll have to go on, because this moment is the place where it happens…” (from Monk's Straight No Chaser)
"Connecting with people is most important to me. Music touched me at an early age and in my work I strive to improve the quality of Life through Music. This sounds kinda formal... When you meet me, ask me about that time when I almost kicked Bob Dylan out of his own concert or the night when Dr. Ralph Stanley fell for the dollar trick (I'm recording a song about it). I have scores of stories and songs to share. See the video link tab for some snippets...
I play solo alot, and for some events as a duo, or 4 pc band. I have 2 newer CDs of all-original Amy Dee tunes. My CD "Southern Routes," recorded with members of The Revelers and Red Stick Ramblers includes a taste of swing, blues, country and rockabilly. I'm working on another CD of my bluegrass tunes recorded at Colt's Neck Studios and produced by Jimmy Heffernan with help from Dave Ziler. Then there's a third project produced by Bill Malchow, with help from Aurora Nealand and Ted Long, a French Quarter Jazz Trio in New Orleans.
As a performer, musician, vocalist, songwriter with a music degree, I have many opportunities to share music at community events, from solo singer/songwriter work to americana and jazz ensembles, and church services. For my retirement community audiences, I play a variety of genres and many standards. In the folk circles, I am an active member of the International Folk Alliance, The Northeast Folk Alliance, the Philadelphia Folksong Society, WXPN, and the Philadelphia Folksong Society's Awesome Music Co-op.
My original songs paint a picture of the way living a musical life can touch people and continually feed our inspiration. I write alot and realized I wrote 12 Love Songs in 2017. When I finished the song "A Dozen Love Songs," it became a Baker's Dozen which I hope will be a title track of a future album.
For booking, Contact Amy Duckett Wagner
My travels in Louisiana, Texas and the southern U.S. have influenced the current CD projects. I returned from Louisiana where I recorded my original songs with a New Orleans French Quarter Jazz Trio after a week working at Blackpot Music Camp & Festival in Cajun Country.
See you at an event soon!"