singer / songwriter
1971 - 2014
"I feel like I came in with a script," Amanda says, "a script and a purpose - I'm here to align that purpose with music, to create a joyful, healing noise!"
Amanda blue Leigh's story begins in the Cape Of Good Hope during the early 1970's and spans four decades and three continents. Amanda (or Mandy as she was known by, when she first stepped onto a Cape Town stage in 1971) was born Amanda Cohen. She came of age during the turbulent years of Apartheid's Swan Song and absorbed the rich, multi-cultural diversity of her homeland, like a sea sponge taken from the two oceans that meet at Africa's Southern-most tip. Beneath the surface of separation, coalitions of artists and political activists were forming. The atmosphere was redolent with revolution. All this informed the young singer, credited with bringing the songs of Neil Young to South African audiences, who often performed, back to the audience, her shyness painful and palpable. This sensitivity is what later compelled her to retreat from performing in order to explore her inner world, but her journey to that point in time was unforeseen then.
She began singing with a group of local musicians, including Anton Fig (Drummer Letterman Band) and Keith Lentin (Spider). Together they formed H.A.M.M.A.K. which boasted amazing local musicians, Midge Pike (Bass), Mike Faire (sax), Nicolas Pike (composer), Andre De Villiers (singer.songwriter) and many others. H.A.M.M.A.K. released a live album in 1971 in Cape Town, South Africa. Amanda was soon signed to a solo deal by Warner Brothers in England and released her first solo record, produced by Keith Lentin and George Wolfhaardt, called Medusa, in London UK, 1972.
Then onto forming the band Spider in New York City in 1977, along with band members Keith Lentin (guitar), Anton Fig (drummer Letterman) and shortly after joined by Holly Knight (songwriter) and Jimmy Lowell (bass). Gene Simmons and Ace Frehley from KISS discovered the band later that year in a New York City club, introduced them to their manager, the late Bill Aucoin, who then signed them to Nikki Chin and Michael Chapman's Dreamland Records based in Los Angeles, in 1980.
**Tina Turner covered the original Spider song "Better Be Good To Me", off their second album "Between the Lines", co-written by Chapman and Holly Knight, tipped her hat to Amanda's singular vocal style and went on to receive the grammy for female vocal performance of the year for this song in 1983. Around that time Holly Knight left the band to pursue her songwriting career with Michael Chapman in LA. Anton Fig, who was also in demand as a session drummer in NYC at the time, remained with Amanda and Keith under their new formation, Shanghai, who Terry Ellis signed to his label, Chrysalis, and this band also included producer Beau Hill on keyboards. It was a short lived deal and after releasing one album in 1984 the band fell apart.
Except for occasional forays to sing with friends such as Link Wray, Paul Butterfield, Chris Spedding, Noel Redding, and a brief stint with the South African ex-pat band, NativeLand (Robit Hairman, Ron Kunene (Lion King fame), sisters Thandi and Cassey (Kunene), Amanda has written and recorded an impressive catalogue of original songs over the last 20 yrs, including songs she wrote with Anton Fig in Anton's home studio in the 80's, which were released on a CD called "BlueFig", restored and remixed by Brian Kehew from very old quality tapes, in 2010. Nice Job Brian x
In 1993 Amanda's shamanic training began in earnest, being introduced first, through a family friend, to her mentors (writers and visionaries), Sir Laurens Van Der Post and Helen Luke. Devoting herself to self healing, healing service and attention to spirit through the creative, her dedication has led her to counseling, point holding body healing sessions and now her main work in the world . spirit healing music . with Amanda Blue Band. Their first CD - "Season of Love - Amanda Blue"
*Producer: Roger Bashew, recorded in Cape Town, South Africa.
*Released through Eversound Records in 2013.
*Found on iTunes, Amazon and most other international download sites.
"I feel my real creative music work in the world has just begun. I align myself with bringing healing, for our own hearts and the hearts of the world, through music, communication, play and soul. Allowing myself to be a channel for Healing Spirit. Our whole world is aching, suffering, from the way we are living and we are ignoring it. We don't have a lot of time. My wish is that my music helps, in some way, to erase the negative, unconscious karma and assist in raising the vibration to the healing of our Souls and the Soul of the Earth"
Written by: Lynne Allen Robinson, Playwright/Artist/Writer, Taos NM
© amanda blue & amanda blue leigh
WholeBlueMusic Publishers, ASCAP