Amanda Wicks

Amanda Wicks is a culture writer whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, Vulture, Pitchfork, The Bluegrass Situation, Paste, and elsewhere. She currently lives in North Carolina.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Mikaela Finne's 'What If I'

By Amanda Wicks, July 6, 2021

Finne's Scandinavian approach to Americana offers a fresh take on the genre.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Laurel Premo's 'Hop High'

By Amanda Wicks, September 1, 2021

Michigan guitarist Laurel Premo has a way of wending the electric guitar. She's premiering her new single 'Hop High' exclusively at Holler.

Watchhouse
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INTERVIEWIn Conversation: Watchhouse

By Amanda Wicks, August 11, 2021

Andrew Marlin and Emily Frantz sit down to discuss their evolution into Watchhouse, how a lakeside scene inflected their standout instrumental song ‘Coming Down from Green Mountain’ and the hope their daughter Ruby brought with her when she arrived.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: The Wild Feathers' 'Side Street Shakedown'

By Amanda Wicks, September 7, 2021

Joel King discusses the inspiration for the rock 'n' roll track.

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Sara Watkins Announces New Album Under the Pepper Tree

By Amanda Wicks, January 27, 2021

The children's album will be released March 26 via New West Records.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Tim Easton - 'You Don't Really Know Me'

By Amanda Wicks, June 23, 2021

The roots-infused title track appears on his forthcoming tenth album, You Don't Really Know Me.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Sean Rowe's 'To Make It Real'

By Amanda Wicks, July 22, 2021

The song appears on Rowe's forthcoming album The Darkness Dressed in Colored Lights.

Americana duo the War and Treaty
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INTERVIEWOne Hot Minute: The War and Treaty

By Amanda Wicks, January 20, 2021

Americana, gospel or soul - The War and Treaty have it covered. Holler spoke to the duo about their latest album, fusing genres and holding on to hope in difficult times.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Kelsey Lamb - 'Let It Break'

By Amanda Wicks, June 3, 2021

What if you just want to wallow in heartbreak?

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Erik Shicotte

By Amanda Wicks, July 7, 2021

Ironworker by day, songwriter by night, Wisconsin native Shicotte loves penning songs about open roads and rails.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Ava Earl

By Amanda Wicks, July 20, 2021

The Alaska-born singer/songwriter Ava Earl just graduated from high school but she's already preparing to release her fourth album. That's right, fourth.

Clearing space for sober stories in country music
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OPINIONClearing Space for Sober Stories in Country Music

By Amanda Wicks, January 20, 2021

As country reckons with its need for greater diversity - across gender, race, and sexuality - the same goes for its storytelling. It’s time for new tales about alcohol and its aftermath.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Matthew James Adkins

By Amanda Wicks, August 12, 2021

Adkins' forthcoming debut album Stoned On My Own examines substance abuse, depression and other darker matters, but with a country-soul approach that exudes resiliency.

Merlefest 2021 by Amanda Wicks
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LIVE REVIEWReview: Merlefest 2021

By Amanda Wicks, September 21, 2021

The beloved festival — which boasts attendees who show up not just year after year, but decade after decade - underlines what it has grown to encompass since its earlier bluegrass days; you might even venture to call it “traditional plus plus”.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Dallas Burrow - 'Born Down in Texas'

By Amanda Wicks, May 19, 2021

Burrow's new single crackles with Texas heat.

Jake Hoot
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Jake Hoot shares new song 'Somethin' We Can Slow Dance To'

By Amanda Wicks, January 27, 2021

Rising country star Jake Hoot has shared a new song, 'Somethin' We Can Slow Dance To', from his debut EP Love Out of Time.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: F. Scott & the Nighthawks - 'Stevie Girl'

By Amanda Wicks, June 15, 2021

Toronto’s rollicking country-rock band F. Scott & the Nighthawks take a more sentimental note on their new single.

Bridget Caldwell
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Bridget Caldwell

By Amanda Wicks, June 9, 2021

Caldwell's songwriting examines life’s darker moments and translates that pain in moving – and cathartic – ways.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Matthew Fowler

By Amanda Wicks, June 16, 2021

Fowler's new single 'I'm Still Trying' details how one failure tends to highlight them all.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGVideo Premiere: The Brothers Comatose's 'Gone Gone Gone'

By Amanda Wicks, July 29, 2021

The jaunty song shows off the band's warm harmonies and playful spirit.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Lauren Davidson - 'Silver Linings'

By Amanda Wicks, June 29, 2021

Even with the chaos of life swirling around Davidson “like a carousel”, she doesn’t let it get her down.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Alyssa Bonagura's 'New Wings'

By Amanda Wicks, August 3, 2021

Bonagura has shared an effervescent live version of her new single, performed from Liverpool's The Studio at Adlib.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Summer Dean

By Amanda Wicks, August 4, 2021

At 40 years old, the Texas singer/songwriter is preparing to release her debut album Bad Romantic on August 27.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Jet Jurgensmeyer's 'Compassion'

By Amanda Wicks, August 26, 2021

The 16-year-old rising country singer questions why some people act unkindly to others when "in the end it all comes back around".

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGVideo Premiere: Miko Marks' 'Whiskey River'

By Amanda Wicks, September 2, 2021

The country singer has released a new video for her version of Willie Nelson's classic song 'Whiskey River'.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Joe Bourdet - 'Lost Along the Way'

By Amanda Wicks, June 8, 2021

Bourdet's newest single has 60s folk-inspired sound.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGVideo Premiere: Joe Troop's 'The Rise of Dreama Caldwell'

By Amanda Wicks, September 9, 2021

The powerful video from the multi-instrumentalist tells the story of North Carolina activist Dreama Caldwell and the need for cash bail reform.

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INTERVIEWCuts The Deepest: Sara Watkins

By Amanda Wicks, March 25, 2021

Watkins spoke with Amanda Wicks about the songs she connected to most as a child, why it was important for her to record a family-friendly album and takes us deeper into Under the Pepper Tree.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs - 'Feed the Beast'

By Amanda Wicks, July 28, 2021

The Montana-based folk band has shared an emotionally charged new single.

Watchhouse
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INTRODUCINGVideo Premiere: Watchhouse - 'Upside Down'

By Amanda Wicks, July 21, 2021

The duo are premiering the video for their new single exclusively at Holler.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Joshua Ray Walker's 'Flash Paper'

By Amanda Wicks, September 21, 2021

As he gets closer to the release of his new album See You Next Time, Joshua Ray Walker has shared 'Flash Paper' - a personal, powerful song about his father, who died in November after battling cancer - premiering exclusively with Holler.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGVideo Premiere: Wesley Dean - ‘Gypsy’

By Amanda Wicks, May 26, 2021

Dean sheds his earlier polished sound for a more raw - and honest - approach to songwriting.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: RC & the Ambers

By Amanda Wicks, August 31, 2021

The side project from Turnpike Troubadours' bassist RC Edwards and singer Amber Watson takes a psychedelic approach to honky tonk.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGAlbum Premiere: Anna Vaus' Wild Honey

By Amanda Wicks, July 15, 2021

The project showcases the striking harmony Vaus has found between her sunny California past and her Nashville country-pop present. Listen below.

Jason Eady
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Jason Eady - 'French Summer Sun'

By Amanda Wicks, June 22, 2021

More than any other music genre, country loves to tell a story. Eady’s new single 'French Summer Sun' elevates that form.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Sierra Ferrell - 'The Sea'

By Amanda Wicks, June 1, 2021

The singer/songwriter's debut weaves together multiple influences into country and folk.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGVideo Premiere: Rachel Baiman's 'Rust Belt Fields'

By Amanda Wicks, July 14, 2021

The cover appears on Baiman's new album Cycles and features Watchhouse's Andrew Marlin and Josh Oliver.

Holler Country Music
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INTERVIEWIn Conversation: Rhiannon Giddens

By Amanda Wicks, April 7, 2021

Rhiannon Giddens searched for a salve in the one place she knew where to find it: music. But it wasn't enough to write her way through her feelings of longing and loss. She needed the community that collaboration offered — the way that it, too, could be a home.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Noah Hicks

By Amanda Wicks, May 25, 2021

The Georgia-born singer-songwriter has turned his early passion for music into a career penning honest songs.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Kylie Morgan

By Amanda Wicks, June 30, 2021

Morgan's debut EP 'Love, Kylie' is stacked full of bright, pop-country tracks that showcase her clever lyricism and crackling voice.

Artist - Kris Kristofferson
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Kris Kristofferson Officially Retires From Music

By Amanda Wicks, January 29, 2021

The 84-year-old's last performance was at Outlaw Country Cruise in 2020.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Ross Cooper

By Amanda Wicks, May 21, 2021

Ross Cooper's Western country is heavily influenced by his time in the rodeo riding broncs.

Holler Country Music
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ALBUM REVIEWCourtney Marie Andrews - Old Flowers

By Amanda Wicks, December 18, 2020

Breakup albums are well-worn folk territory, but Andrews brings fresh perspective to the larger picture of loss and sorrow on her beautiful album Old Flowers.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGVideo Premiere: Misty River's 'Walk Me to the River'

By Amanda Wicks, July 1, 2021

In her new music video, River sings about the strength necessary to break away from what everyone else is doing.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Sara Trunzo

By Amanda Wicks, September 7, 2021

The Maine-based singer/songwriter is preparing to release her new EP Cabin Fever Dreams, which collects stories and scenes from the rural, working-class north.

Ruston Kelly
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Ruston Kelly announces livestream show Stream & Destroy

By Amanda Wicks, January 29, 2021

The show will stream live from Nashville on February 19

Sturgill Simpson
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GUIDE10 Artists to See at MerleFest

By Amanda Wicks, September 15, 2021

Let that fluttery festival feeling build and look over the 10 artists we’re most excited to see when MerleFest returns to North Carolina on September 16th 2021.

Holler Country Music
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INTERVIEWIn Conversation: Amanda Shires

By Amanda Wicks, December 18, 2020

If one person raising their voice starts the conversation, then more raised voices start the movement.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Jeremy Garrett's 'Mule Skinner Blues'

By Amanda Wicks, August 11, 2021

The Infamous Stringdusters' fiddler covers the famous country song by Jimmie Rodgers on his forthcoming solo album.

Hush Kids
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Hush Kids' 'Spend My Time'

By Amanda Wicks, August 19, 2021

The Americana duo's new harmony-soaked single quietly details the importance of being present with the person you love.

Hiss Golden Messenger
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INTERVIEWCuts The Deepest: Hiss Golden Messenger

By Amanda Wicks, June 10, 2021

M.C Taylor is crafting an ongoing investigation into existential matters: of identity and self, of family and fatherhood, of faith, of art and what happens when it has to “pay the rent”. The result is one of the most profound and insightful catalogues from a contemporary musician.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Zoe Cummins

By Amanda Wicks, July 13, 2021

Cummins crafts songs with sharply tuned lyricism, letting her wisened alto capture an emotional crackle in each one.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGVideo Premiere: Dori Freeman's 'I Am'

By Amanda Wicks, August 24, 2021

The psychedelic video matches the cosmic-folk feel of the track.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGVideo Premiere: Bill and the Belles - 'People Gonna Talk'

By Amanda Wicks, June 10, 2021

The band tapped Mehitabel and the What’s Their Name Brothers for their quirky ode to small town residents.

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Esther Rose Announces New Album How Many Times

By Amanda Wicks, January 26, 2021

She also shared the title-track from her forthcoming third album.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Sadie Campbell

By Amanda Wicks, August 18, 2021

Campbell's forthcoming EP Darkroom traces the darker mental days she, like many others, faced in 2020.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Riddy Arman's 'Half a Heart Keychain'

By Amanda Wicks, July 8, 2021

In the long tradition of 'singing cowboys', ranch hand and singer/songwriter Arman has much to say.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Kashena Sampson's 'Little Spot of Sun'

By Amanda Wicks, August 25, 2021

Against inflections of traditional country, Sampson sings about finding the good in life.

Holler Country Music
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Tim McGraw and Tyler Hubbard Perform 'Undivided' at Inauguration Concert

By Amanda Wicks, January 21, 2021

The duo released their new single this past week.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Ryan Kinder

By Amanda Wicks, July 27, 2021

Kinder has translated his early love of guitar into heat-laden Southern rock.

Kacey Musgraves - star-crossed Album Cover
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ALBUM REVIEWKacey Musgraves - star-crossed

By Amanda Wicks, September 14, 2021

On star-crossed, Musgraves' vulnerability doesn’t fully disappear, but neither does she trust it so completely anymore. What emerges are astute observations told plainly. Wrapping them in witticisms or metaphors would lose the truth they need to convey — to herself as much as to anyone else.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Mercy Bell's 'Who Said We Were Friends'

By Amanda Wicks, July 21, 2021

The queer Filipino artist delivers a swaggering bravado on the honky tonk track.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGSingle Premiere: Ike Reilly's 'Racquel Blue'

By Amanda Wicks, September 8, 2021

The 7-minute atmospheric song, which winds between Americana and alt-country, tells the story of a psychedelic journey