Amanda Lehmann : Steve Hackett collaborator releases her debut solo album, 'Innocence and Illusion'
Amanda Lehmann announces release of debut solo album – Innocence and Illusion
Out on 20th August 2021 CD digifile with Booklet and Digital
Pre order link: https://officialmerchandise.store/collections/amanda-lehmann
Memory Lane video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je6M8ncIBJ4
After a musical career spanning over three decades (and known latterly for her musical involvement with Steve Hackett), singer/songwriter/guitarist Amanda Lehmann will release her debut solo album Innocence and Illusion. The album, which features 9 songs, sees a fusion of prog, rock, ballads, and elements of jazz-blues. ‘Innocence and Illusion’ takes us on a journey through magical childhood worlds and hard-edged realities; emotionally touching us at every turn.
“ ‘Innocence and Illusion’ is set to take the year’s music honours by storm. I believe she is the new British talent with a range of expression rarely heard on a debut album. You’d have to cast your mind back many years to find such a rich seam of ideas mined on one record. There’s an actor’s approach to character exploration from child to woman and back again, where Amanda is the ringmaster of her own fantasies with much to say about the human condition, adding a hint of chanson to the power of rock and a touch of magic realism. We’re discovering a true musical chameleon. It’s been a pleasure to play on one or two tracks along with input from several gifted pals to fully inflate her sails, but the golden ship itself belongs to Amanda alone. With production icons Nick Magnus and Roger King at the helm, who know where Amanda’s creative travels may take us in the future”.
With the lyrics and music composed by Amanda Lehmann, she has welcomed the keyboard and engineering skills of Nick Magnus ( Steve Hackett, China Crisis, Renaissance, James Warren - The Korgis/Stackridge, Claire Hamill) for seven of the songs, with Roger King (Gary Moore, Squackett, Steve Hackett, Peter Andre) on two tracks, and also featuring guest appearances by Rob Townsend ( James Taylor - James Taylor Quartet, Bill Bruford, Steve Hackett) on sax, and Steve Hackett (Genesis, GTR, Squackett) on lead and acoustic guitars and harmonica.
The album cover features a striking original creation from Des Walsh Illustration
“Innocence and Illusion
The man in the moon still follows me home”
Amanda’s career has incorporated thousands of live shows, performing extensively around the UK with her own band in the 80s and 90s and latterly touring with Steve Hackett between 2009 – 2013. She has previously released a solo EP ‘Shadow’ in 2010, and a duo album ‘Wazzoon’ in 1994 (remastered 2021), which are available for download.
Her haunting multi-layered vocals weave throughout ‘Innocence and Illusion’, intertwining with her lead vocals which range from warm bluesy tones to rocky harder edged to choir-like pure notes. Her trademark red guitars feature regularly with thematic lead lines, crunching power chords and delicately picked arpeggios, alongside more gentle acoustic treatments.
As well as Amanda’s own keyboard and piano compositions appearing on several of the songs on ‘Innocence and Illusion’, Nick Magnus brings a wealth of inspired, majestic performances to the pieces with orchestral arrangements - such as the enchanting flying sequence instrumental in Tinkerbell, swooping synth solos (Who Are The Heroes?), dynamic rhythms and plenty of haunting Mellotron throughout. Roger King adds a beautiful string arrangement to Memory Lane and funky jazz band to Only Happy When It Rains, along with lilting sax solos from Rob Townsend. Amanda and Steve Hackett go into twin guitars on Forever Days with some stellar lead work from Steve. Steve also brings the elegance of his nylon guitar into play on Where The Small Things Go and bluesy harmonica on Only Happy When It Rains.
“I am incredibly proud of this album”, Amanda comments; “there is a wide variety of music, all weaving around the central thread of life’s journey; the twists and turns and all the stops along the way, the innocence, the illusions, the hopes and dreams, reflecting on what is, what was, what could be. These songs have been bursting to be heard, and I hope that they speak to everyone who listens to them.”
1. Who Are The Heroes? (6:58)
2. Tinkerbell (5:59)
3. Only Happy When It Rains (3:47)
4. The Watcher (7:20)
5. Memory Lane (4:52)
6. Forever Days (5:25)
7. We Are One (4:56)
8. Childhood Delusions (4:50)
9. Where The Small Things Go (1:42)
All songs written by Amanda Lehmann (except for Where The Small Things Go, with music by Steve Hackett and lyrics by Amanda Lehmann). Tracks 1,2,4,6,7,8,9 produced by Amanda Lehmann and Nick Magnus. Tracks 3,5 produced by Amanda Lehmann and Roger King. Mastered by Nick Magnus.
About Amanda Lehmann:
Amanda has always adored singing, and throughout her childhood would grab any opportunity to sing whether in a solo capacity or as part of a choir. As a teenager, she began to study the styles of various vocalists from Stevie Nicks to Pat Benatar; Alison Moyet to Joni Mitchell, to work out what techniques they used and forging a vocal style of her own. “My vocals are always adapting” says Amanda “I like to vary my style according to the song I’m singing; different techniques work for different songs. I particularly love constructing multi-layered harmonies.”
Originally classically trained on the piano, Amanda fell in love with the power of the overdriven guitar. Self-taught, she went ahead and learnt tricks and tips from experienced players, all the time creating a style combining influences of rock, blues and folk. “You never stop learning” says Amanda “which is part of the joy of music. Latterly in my touring days with Steve Hackett I learnt so much about orchestration – less is more. There are times to let rip with the guitar and times to be silent. I learnt to combine precision with performance.”
Vocal influences: Stevie Nicks, Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell, Pat Benatar, Alison Moyet
Guitar heroes: Steve Hackett, Steve Rothery, Ritchie Blackmore, Dave Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Nancy Wilson