The Toll

Philip Rogers

A break was necessary, but Amy Annelle knew nothing would stop the music.

AMM Jan. 31 2024

Amy Annelle residency at Cloud Tree Auxiliary, starting Thursday, with Obscuress.

Today’s the AMM wraps up Love Austin Music Month with the story of one artist’s journey to complete her album after a long absence. It was a serious one. But nothing could keep Amy Annelle from making her album.

Annelle has made her mark as an Austin musician since the late ‘90s – recording albums and making endless contributions to others’ work (most recently, arranging and providing vocals on Bill Callahan‘s 2022 LP Ytilear), hosting house concerts in the Montopolis neighborhood, and gaining recognition for her rendition of Townes Van Zandt’s “Buckskin Stallion Blues,” used in the Academy Award-winning film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Following a long and difficult battle with stage IV endometriosis, complicated by other health issues, Annelle gradually made her way back to the studio to record The Toll, co-produced with Cooper McBean (The Devil Makes Three), mixed by Annelle and Neko Case producer Darryl Neudorf. Of course, bringing this vision to life couldn’t have been possible without the help of The Velvet Hand band, a cast of outstanding talent including Beth Chrisman, Brian Beattie, Thom Washburn, Elaine Barber, Henna Chou and Bob Hoffnar. The Toll is scheduled for an independent summer release on Annelle’s High Plains Sigh label, with a big release show at Scottish Rite Theater in the works.

Amy Annelle & The Velvet Hand. In the photo: Beth Chrisman, Thom Washburn, producer Cooper McBean, Brian Beattie, Amy Annelle, Elaine Barber, Henna Chou and Bob Hoffnar.

In the meantime, Amy Annelle shares her latest music at her February residency at Cloud Tree Auxiliary, 3415 E. 5th St., next door to Cloud Tree Studios & Gallery. The first show is tomorrow night, Thursday Feb. 1, 8 to 10 p.m., with special guest, songwriter Christina Carter’s project Obscuress. The residency continues with guests Creekbed Carter on Feb. 8 and Up Around The Sun on Feb. 15.

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