James K. Diedrick
Hauling along a folky acoustic aura, Amy Andrews’ smooth, warm vocals are set to come to Vue Rooftop today at 8 p.m.
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Andrews grew up in a class community and family that has always been intertwined with the arts. She said her mother has been one of her biggest supporters since taking the path of becoming a performer.
“It’s something special to grow up in a community where most everyone is working a blue collar job, and to have a parent believe so strongly in your dream to be on stage,” Andrews said.
As a performer, Andrews said she hopes to entice her audience into forming, as she called it, a “symbiotic relationship.” Bringing a warm, yet relaxed spirit to the cold Iowa world, Lauren Foss, Director of Special Events for Vue Rooftop, said their venue will be a great chance to form this kind of relationship with Iowa City residents.
“Anytime someone reaches out to us to perform us, we do some research,” Foss said. “We decide if they’re going to be a good fit and if they have a decent following. As some claim, Amy has a sound inspired by Sinatra, and that works for our crowd.”
Foss went on to say how Vue Rooftop tries to feature solo artists like Andrews on Thursdays. As the recently promoted Director of Special Events, Foss said the restaurant is constantly looking to share unexposed and new talent.
“We really appreciate everyone that reaches out to us,” Foss said. “We’re always looking to try new people and give everyone an equal chance of performing.”
Andrews, while less exposed to the Midwestern scene, said she is no stranger to Iowa City. Having friends in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and other loved ones in neighboring towns, other people have described Iowa City to Andrews as a “must-see and must-stop.”
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Andrews said she is currently on the road right now, reaching a mileage count tipping into the thousands in the past few days. Inspired by Bette Midler as an artist, Andrews said she remembers hearing “Wind Beneath My Wings” as a 3-year-old for the first time. Ever since, she’s been following a similar path of a “modern day troubadour,” according to the artist.
This journey has taken her across the country, particularly to a couple house concerts recently. According to the singer, she said both of them were incredibly satisfying as a performer.
“It’s a beautiful thing to be invited into someone’s home, into their sphere of loved ones and community members, and to have all of those people be invested in what you have to sing and say,” Andrews said.
While her concert space will not naturally be inclined toward such an intimate style of performance, Andrews said she wants the audience to feel as if she and them are “old friends.” The artist went on to say how a performance is sharing a bit of time of space together, and developing that relationship is her favorite part of the show — no matter the style of performance.
“I love the feel of the room when I’m onstage, trying to suss out where everyone is figuratively, and reach everyone where they are,” Andrews said.
In regards to the energy she expects for Thursday, Andrews said, “Iowa City hasn’t failed me yet.”