From intimate living rooms to backyard fire pits to dusty barrooms to, eventually, some of the most sought after stages on the East Coast, Amber Rae has always known how to hold an audience in her power. Sounding like she was born in the back of a speakeasy nestled in the Appalachian foothills, she immediately captivates listeners with a shapeshifting and sensual delivery that can range from the plaintive howl of Patsy Cline to the bluesy growl of Bonnie Raitt to the soulful introspection of Roberta Flack to the jazz pyrotechnics of Etta Jones or Anita O’Day, whatever the song and the moment requires.
Since 2008, she’s led her band The Swinging Foxes through signature interpretations of 1940s and 50s jazz and blues standards, becoming a crowd favorite at stages like the Berks Jazz Fest. In recent years, she’s turned her attention to the songwriter’s pen, seeking to put her voice to the stories that have long been whispering from her gypsy heart. Having worked with some of the most sought after session musicians in the Philadelphia region for the Rigby Mansion sessions (2019), she’s hunkered down in recent months with old friends Daniel Bower (drums), Phil D’Agostino (bass), and Chris Kasper (guitar & production) to hone a group sound that can capture the emotional depth and vagabond spirit of her latest tunes, some of which she penned with songwriter Grace Askew. These are songs honed from the road, conjuring the spirit of Memphis and New Orleans by way of the Pennsylvania mountains. These are songs meant to bring us all home to our deepest longings–and Amber Rae’s evocative voice is a surefire vehicle to get us there, transfixed and transformed.