Singer-songwriter Amy McCarley will be the featured artist in a performance on Acoustic Night on Feb. 14, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bama Theatre. Presented by The Arts Council of Tuscaloosa, the project features both solo and ensemble performances of a wide range of acoustic music throughout the calendar year in the intimate setting of the theatre’s Greensboro Room. Cover charge is $10 with a full service bar available.
Growing up in rural Alabama, Amy McCarley began playing guitar, sounding out chords to the 70s and 80s rock and country her young parents kept on heavy rotation at home. While in the 5th grade, she formed her first rock band with classmates and spent hours rehearsing in the attic of her grandparents’ barn. McCarley says “Music is just something that’s always been on my mind. Ever since I can remember I’ve admired the ability to conduct emotion in that way; to communicate something meaningful through that medium.”
It wasn’t until her junior year at Rice University that she answered an ad for “guitarist wanted” in the Houston Chronicle and played her first show weeks later at the Mausoleum, a wine bar in the trendy Montrose district. While pursuing a BA in Economics, McCarley also studied classical guitar and music theory at Rice’s prestigious Shepherd School of Music. During this time she continued to write lyrically, a compulsion that started in early childhood, and bought a four track to record her original tunes.
Upon graduation, she returned to Alabama where she gained full-time employment with a NASA contractor in Huntsville. After nearly a decade of performing locally with the occasional regional outburst, she went on hiatus from the Huntsville area stages to dedicate herself more fully to writing, recording, mixing and playing all the instruments on the tracks she put down in her home. The debut record of her work —a collection of gorgeous ballads interspersed with a smattering of up-tempo emotional rockers— has an intimate, lived in quality not often matched within the conventional parameters of a professional studio environment.
The anticipated follow-up, “Jet Engines” (2014), has garnered positive reviews and made its way onto various “Best Of” lists including the Top Americana Albums list in “LoneStar Music Magazine”. Her song, “Everybody Wants To”, earned her an honorable mention in American Songwriter’s Lyric-Only Contest (Nov. 2014).
In support of “Jet Engines”, McCarley has appeared at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas, the Folk Alliance, SXSW as well as first-time appearances at Alabama’s famed W.C. Handy Festival in Muscle Shoals, The Space Camp Alumni Festival in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa’s Summer Shindig at The Bama Theatre.
Heavy influences for the artist include Lucinda Williams, Chrissie Hynde, Gillian Welch, Bob Dylan and Steve Forbert, but what echoes most prominently in her music is the distinctly southern inflected ache to communicate hard fought conclusions drawn to an audience.
For more information about the artist, visit
The Bama Theatre is located at 600 Greensboro Ave. in downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information about The Arts Council, CAC or Bama Theatre, patrons should LIKE the Facebook page “The Arts Council – Bama Theatre – Cultural Arts Center” and follow tuscarts on Twitter. Call 205-758-5195 or visit for further information.

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