NEWS & ADVENTURES of a philosophical folk songstress mama                                                    ~ Fall 2014
Well hello out there!
I wanted to send you some autumnal greetings, as I'd promised a quarterly newsletter here. I absolutely love the autumn; it is a time of year that always makes me feel in love.
I had a truly wonderful summer, staying home instead of touring for the first time in many years (oh, except for that summer in which I had a baby instead... which was kind of like a REALLY CRAZY TOUR??!!) People talk about nesting before you have a baby... well, I think we have been a little behind on things and nested this summer instead, only two years late. But it felt wonderful.
There has been a shift around here, a deeper settling into this family and this new life of parenthood. For the moment we seem to have come into something that doesn't just feel like it's passing for some semblance of balance, but actually IS balance between music and parenthood and bill-paying and everything else. It means many many things have changed, and it means the most important and essential things are still here, perhaps more profoundly so than ever.
I was practicing songs for my new album (which we just started recording TODAY, although I'm a little nervous to actually say that, kind of like announcing you're pregnant when you've only just yourself seen the little plus sign on the stick...) Anyway, I was singing these songs about things like, you know, abortion and domestic abuse and loved ones dying. But the song which actually made me cry as I sang it, was the little lullaby I had written for my boy. It's like that. All those hard things, yep, there they are. But the beauty, the love, the new hope that comes with a new little person in the world, THAT is what really catches you, catches me.
I got to meet Ani DiFranco this summer. Yeah, it was pretty awesome, and we even had what was practically a normal conversation about the challenges of balancing motherhood and musicianhood (she has two little ones of her own now). I wrote a longer piece about it all which I will share if I ever get this blog going that I have in mind (it could happen!), but the essence of it is that I heard and saw in her the deep pain of conflict between music and motherhood that I have been so intensely struggling with. And I suddenly felt immensely grateful that I was not so famous that I HAD to be on tour away from my child. I am so grateful that I get to be home for bedtime and share those moments... These moments are so profound, childhood so fleeting, two years already gone by in the blink of an eye.
So I'm staying home and making a new album, and hopefully getting a new website one of these days, and maybe starting a blog, and still teaching music lessons, and doing Womb Song (the singing circles for pregnant women) and a few other things, and some events listed below...
I realize this might have all been a lot about motherhood and not enough about music, but it all becomes blurred together you see, and this is what I am surrendering to.
Thanks for staying with me on this incredible journey of life!
I hope your summer was wonderful, and that your fall is even better.
Drop me a line, I'd love to hear how life is for you these days.
with love & song & endless gratitude, 
~ Amanda

------- { and sometimes I go on facebook too! AmandaWestMusic } ------
U P C O M I N G  E V E N T S :

THIS WEEKEND: Fri & Sat @ 6pm, Sun @ 4pm
Matrilineart | 418 Project, 418 Front St. Santa Cruz, CA
I'm playing a musical part in this multimedia production exploring the place where motherhood and creativity meet! Presented by Song Nelson. Learn more:    and

Saturday October 11th @ 4pm
ValleySingOut at Livermore Artwalk | Bankhead Theater Plaza, downtown Livermore, CA
I'm super excited to be playing just after the duo, The Littlest Birds (, I just have this feeling they're going to be really awesome! Should be a great day of art & music, good for all ages. And, this year I'll finally have Pete playing with me!
Fri or Sun, Nov 7 or 9th
Looking for a Santa Cruz Venue! Any ideas? 
This awesome cellist folk singer, Anna Fritz ( is going to be touring through here and we are working to set up some shows together. Our planned-for venue has fallen through... Might you like to host a house concert? Send me an email!
Ongoing Mondays @ 7pm 
WOMB SONG | Pacific Cultural Center, Santa Cruz
A community based singing circle for pregnant women, led by Amanda West & Megan Jacobsmeyer. Learn more:


{photo by Jo Ann Manolis Photography... gotta love the banjo in autumn!}

Amanda West Music
Philosophical Folk Songstress

PO Box 7345 | Santa Cruz CA 95061