By Keith Sharp
For those music fans who wondered whatever happened to Amanda Marshall, do not worry; Amanda is back with a bang, and a national tour Amanda Marshall – 25 & Counting: The Heavy Lifting Tour and presented by Live Nation.
With a début single, “I Hope She Cheats,” already hitting the social media airwaves, Marshall is obviously thrilled that her comeback has generated such a favourable response. “When you’ve been out of the spotlight so long, you never know what to expect, but it’s been gratifying to know the support is still there,” she says over the phone as she prepares for that long-awaited comeback. “People kept asking me, what is happening to you? Where have you been? But with a national tour pending and two sellouts at Massey Hall, I’ve either got a lot of relatives or people are really anxious to see me,” she jokes.
It’s almost criminal how Marshall has been held back by an internal fight with previous management which dragged on for 12 years before being resolved enough for her to make a comeback. Certainly, her career started off promising enough as she established herself as a major new talent in the mid-1990s with a debut self-titled on Epic Records, which featured six hit songs, including “Birmingham,” “Let It Ride and “Beautiful Goodbye.”
One track, “This Could Take All Night,” was featured in the 1996 Kevin Costner movie “Tin Cup,” and another track, “I’ll Be Okay,” appeared in the 1997 hit movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding” prompting Elton John to rave about her talents when he appeared on The Rosie Show.
Marshall’s star power seemed to be well established when the release of her second album, the 1999 l `Tuesday’s Child,’ resulted in a European tour opening for Whitney Houston. Still, after another successful follow-up, her 2002 ‘Everybody’s Got A Story,’ which featured a noticeable switch to a more soulful direction, she ran into resistance from her label and manager Tom Stephens (drummer and manager for The Jeff Healey Band).
“I found it a revelation to work with Peter Asher and Billy Mann, but when I ran into resistance from my manager and record label, they wanted more of the same,” Marshall noted. “So felt I had to change management, but it wasn’t that easy; the relationship became a contentious, ugly divorce which dragged on for more than 12 years with one legal issue after another.”
Marshall felt that anything new she recorded would be lost in a legal vacuum, so she elected to stop working while her issues were resolved. She did finally emerge in 2014, promising to release a new album and planning to return to the spotlight. A short Ontario tour in 2017 convinced her that public support still existed. A Calgary date with Bryan Adams in 2019 was supposed to foreshadow a return tour supporting the new album. Still, the COVID pandemic forced her to mothball her tour and album release until early this year.
“In retrospect, that layoff and the pandemic was very therapeutic; it allowed me to mature and re-evaluate everything,” she noted, “I think I have re-emerged much stronger because of my past experience.”
Marshall has been re-invigorated with a new management team (Coalition headed by Rob Lanni and Eric Lawrence) in full support and a major tour set for this summer. “It’s a whole new environment right now,” she mused. “There’s a lot of freedom in being able to release songs when you want and not be tied down by a record company or bad management.”
Joking that her new single has a lot in common with Carrie Underwood’s boyfriend-hating “Before He Cheats” hit track, Marshall’s version of “I Hope He Cheats On You” is a cover of a Marcia Ambrosius song with her version featuring a more rhythmic delivery. When asked to compare her track with Underwood’s car-wrecking hit, Marshall points out a sub-lyrical message: she’d take him back in a minute if the opportunity were there.
For tour information and more updates on Marshall’s album release, please link to www.amandamarshall.com