“I wish I would have done this years ago, I have been learning so much in this past two years“: Amy Walker, 48, guitarist, Amethyst, Akron, Ohio
Amy invites us to a friend’s house whose dog she is taking care of while they are on holiday. Born and raised in Cuyahoga Falls she had moved to Arizona and been there for 12 years. She came back to Ohio to live with her parents after losing her job and condo.
As a musician she plays rhythm guitar for Amethyst. She just started playing electric guitar within the last couple of years. It has been 20 years since she was in a band and even then, she played her acoustic. When Amy was 8 years old her baby sitter brought a guitar into the house and she was very intrigued that a ‘chic’ can play the guitar. By 12 years old she started to play for herself. At around 30 she had played in a band with her 2 brothers and other relatives playing benefits, parties, and family events. She used to sing too but “then I saw a video and said….”what was I thinking!” During her marriage she did not play very often. “The sad part is – it wasn’t him, it was me. He never prevented me from playing. I was just in a bad place, depressed and the guitar just sat in its case. I was 215 Pounds, and was a miserable person”. After her divorce the music came back into her life.
Approximately in 2009 Amy, Marti Jeffers and their bass player, Al Lytle started Amethyst. They are now playing with Marilyn Dirrig and the percussionist Frankie ‘Ricardo’ Kuta. They play old standards, blues and classic rock.
“Marilyn is teaching me a lot and I show her some things as well so we are learning from each other”. Music is an amazing gift and an awesome healer which I’m sure every female in these interviews can attest to.
Thinking of older musicians and family who inspired her she mentions Bonnie Raitt – (also one of Shannon Boshears role models). Amethyst covers one of Bonnie Raitt’s songs, Amy loves her blues style. A brother of hers plays keyboards so they shared the same love for music. “I can’t even say anyone inspired me to play, because I am the one who has pushed myself the most”. Thinking of her own aging she says: “I wished I would have done this years ago. I have learned so much in these past two years and continually learn every day. I sat around at camp fires and always played the same old songs. Now I am having so much fun and learning so much. I’m taking lessons from 2 different musicians –Mike Lenz and Jon Mosey. They have different styles of teaching so it’s cool to have different perspectives on the ‘same’ things. It’s very interesting – and tough as well”. She sits in occasionally with different people: Stephanie Serna of the Pirate Jenny Band, many other friends that play and has accompanied Marilyn Dirrig with some of her solo gigs.
Amy uses youtube as a learning tool and believes that ‘if you’re gonna play it, play it right. I am weird about that. I hear it and try to play it over & over until I get it right”. She loves the challenge of figuring songs out and to play by ear. She hopes to still be playing when she’s 80 and to be sharing her passion with someone special!
Akron: 29. 09.2011