Amanda Rundquist
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Amanda Rundquist

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Music – Minneapolis, MN

Amanda Rundquist, rising star of the pop/folk genre, grew up in a rural community in southeast Minnesota. Ever since she was old enough to sing, she dreamt of being a music artist. She began piano lessons at age five and was soon singing and playing at churches and nursing homes with her mother. Early on, she discovered her natural ability to sit down and play a song soon after hearing it, a skill she shares with both her mother and grandfather. By age 12 she had written her first single "Lonely Love Song" which appears on her debut CD "Long Long Week". "Amanda's lyrics have such a deep human appeal. Each one tells a story the listener can relate to in a personal way," says engineer and producer Douglas Yoder of Studio 7220. "That's the magic of gifted songwriters. They reach in, and pull something out of [the listener] rather than trying to force something in." Amanda describes Long Long Week as a long, long overdue project. "Man, I had enough material by the time I was 27 to record almost three albums," she says, with a sheepish grin. "The hardest thing was picking what would go on the album." Though none of the tracks stray from her folk roots, they still manage to cover a broad range of style. "Genuine" stands out as a warm love ballad that would be at home in a wedding ceremony, while "Far Away" is an edgy, punk-leaning rocker with a slight Caribbean rhythmic bed. At the same time, "Dreams" is an ethereal and orchestral expression of longing. Still, none of these works lacks the earthy, driving acoustic strum that is Amanda's trademark. A life-long pianist, Amanda also plays piano and synth on much of the album. Her work on "This Time" and "Your Prisoner" stands as an example of the keyboard talent she inherited from her mother, who so greatly influenced her musical upbringing. Guitarist and instructor Carl Stephenson also plays a large roll in Long Long Week as well. "Carl laid down all the guitar parts that I just didn't have the skills to put together," says Amanda, who only recently started playing guitar. "It's kind of a drag when you write things you're not ready to play, but I suppose we all do it from time to time," she says with a laugh. Then she adds, more seriously, "in the studio, Carl really got where I was going with the composition and added some guitar lines that blew us all away. Those little decorations really made the CD something special." ...more