SOMERVILLE – Amy Black stood in this same kitchen with this same reporter nearly three years ago. But the circumstances were different, maybe even a little uncertain. Back then, Black was still working her day job in marketing, but had decided to chase a harebrained idea. It seemed crazy, but she couldn’t help but wonder:
At 40, could she pull off a lifelong dream to become a full-time singer and songwriter
Three years and as many albums later, she’s discovered she can — and has. Earlier this week Black self-released her third album, “The Muscle Shoals Sessions,” which took her to Alabama to record at FAME Recording Studios in the fabled Southern town referenced in the title.
Working with legendary Muscle Shoals musicians such as Spooner Oldham on organ, Black veered away from the country and folk leanings of her previous releases for a confident foray into blue-eyed soul music. She’s been hooked on soul lately, and for a recent interview at her Somerville home, she’s sporting a Mavis Staples T-shirt to prove it.
“When you’re in the middle of something, sometimes you don’t recognize progress,” Black says on her back porch, sipping coffee with her husband, Ryan, by her side. “But when I do take a step back and see how far I’ve come, it’s pretty amazing. It’s a short period of time for the amount of discovery and music I’ve produced.”