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Local Band: Amanda Richards

Weekend!Music: Relationships may not work, but songs do
by: ©2006 JOHN Q. PORTER, Amanda Richards recorded her latest album 
live at North Portland’s Mississippi Studios last spring.

It's hard to believe that Amanda Richards is only 23 years old. This rising local songwriter has a voice that commands instant attention - alternately clear, cutting, gritty, sultry and full of longing.

But Richards isn't just an impressive voice. Her songwriting - which mostly revolves around relationships that didn't work, aren't working or aren't going to work - is remarkably diverse and complex, and she brings a sense of warmth and humor to the material, as well as her perfomance.

On her new CD, 'Live at Mississippi Studios,' songs like 'I Love You More (When I'm All Alone)' and 'Cookies and Whiskey' add a wink and a bite to the standard relationship-gone-wrong equations and prove to be crowd pleasers.

Richards is equally at home with more forlorn material, and her emotive vocals add a genuine resonance to the material.

She's spellbinding across the spectrum, and a standout whose star is on the rise.

- Barbara Mitchell

8 p.m. SATURDAY, Oct. 21, Aladdin Theater, 3017 S.E. Milwaukie Ave., 503-233-1994, $15, all ages