Two days before joining husband Jason Isbell for a main stage performance at this month’s Bonnaroo Festival, Amanda Shires played her own set, tossing several new songs into a set-list filled with moody Americana and fiddle-heavy folk. The new material will be released later this year on Shires’ fifth solo album, My Piece of Land, which arrives September 16th.
Written during the final months of a pregnancy that kept her off the road, the album finds the songwriter taking a close look at the changes in her personal life, from marriage to motherhood. It’s her first solo project since 2013, the year Shires released Down Fell the Doves and appeared on Isbell’s career-catapulting Southeastern. Since then, a handful of semesters at the University of the South have whittled her lyrics to a sharper point, with Shires pursuing an M.F.A. in creative writing.
Producer Dave Cobb, who worked with Shires on Isbell’s Southeastern and Something More Than Free, returns to the family fold, recording My Piece of Land at his Low Country Sound home studio. Although she’ll continue touring as a member of Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Shires will balance those commitments with her own gigs, including an upcoming Atlanta performance with John Prine on June 25th.