One More Full-fledged Louisville Talent

Half Empty (Independent)
Amanda Lucas

By Kevin Gibson

Take one look at the artwork for local songwriter Amanda Lucas's new album Half Empty , and chances are your brain will scream, "Folk! It's an acoustic singer-songwriter album!"

Then you spin it, and shortly thereafter your head starts to spin along with the CD in your player. This Lucas girl? Yeah, she's a rocker. We're talking rocker as in somewhere between Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow someone with a pop aesthetic but with some "oomph," if you know what I mean. Balls. But without actual balls . Bear with me.

On Half Empty , you get a number of guitar-driven tunes to start off the album, and it sets a decidedly non-folk groove. In fact, you're hit by rock arrangements and guitar solos, and it blows your mind. By the time you get to the sweetly acoustic "I'm Sorry," you've forgotten any previous misconceptions in fact, it's a nice change of pace at that point.

Thing is, Lucas is a solid songwriter and arranger, and she has a really good voice for the material. The songs are all potential hit singles in terms of the hooks -- truly, if "Hooked" isn't a radio hit somewhere, then there is just no justice in the world. Just listen to it. I mean, seriously.

Truly, this is good stuff. It's mainstream and yet it has … well, balls . (Hide your children's eyes!) Lucas is one of those artists who has potential for pop radio and country radio at the same time, both in voice and in artistic direction. Some people are just pop, others are just country and some can cross genres … Lucas is one of the latter. And yet she isn't pandering; these songs seem honest.

Once again: Louisville has so much hidden treasure. Here is just one more example. This girl has a future in the music business.

Amanda Lucas plays Dec. 5 at Third Avenue Cafe (6 p.m.) and Incredible Dave's (10 p.m.) Hear the skinny at www.myspace.com/amandalucasmusic. (It's worth it.)