Local musician joins JP Music Festival lineup

August 30, 2013
By

Merrie Amsterburg, a Jamaica Plain singer-songwriter, won’t be alone as she steps onto the stage Sat., Sept. 7 for the third annual Jamaica Plain Music Festival. Next to her will be her husband Peter Linton.

The two met years ago when they played together in a band. Linton now plays guitar and sings back-up vocals for Amsterburg.

“It’s really great for touring,” said Amsterburg in a recent Gazette interview.

Amsterburg said she used to tour throughout the country, including with Patty Larkin, as she was on her record. She said she loved seeing different areas of the country and the variety of lifestyles.

Amsterburg said she mostly tours around New England now, and when she plays locally, it is usually at Cambridge’s Club Passim or Lizard Lounge.

Asked to describe her style, Amsterburg replied, “Pop music,” and said others have compared her to Aimee Mann and Beth Orton. She said her songs are about relationships, death and loss of innocence. Amsterburg said her most popular song is “Say Goodbye,” which is about a death, though she did not want to go into specifics about the source for the song.

Amsterburg, who has a full-time job as a bookkeeper, is originally from Ludington, Mich. She said she grew up in a musical family with church signing and sang pop music with her brother and sister. She moved to JP in 1987 for the Boston music scene.

Amsterburg said she is a “big Red Sox fan” and has sung the National Anthem at Fenway Park on several occasions, as well as once at a Boston Celtics game.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking the first time,” she said.

Amsterburg has not played the JP Music Festival before, but said she looks forward to it and supporting the community.

The Jamaica Plain Music Festival, which features more than 20 musicians or bands who either live or work in JP, will take place at Pinebank Field in Jamaica Pond Park at Perkins Street and the Jamaicaway. The free festival runs from noon to 7 p.m.

The lineup includes: Afro D All Starz; Merrie Amsterburg; Rick Berlin with the Nickel and Dime Band; Bethel A.M.E. Church Choir; Coyote Kolb; Allison Francis; Mike Greensteen and The Big Squirrels on the Shelf; The Grownup Noise; Hobo Chili; Jesse & The Hogg Brothers; Lars Vegas; Lenny Lashley’s Gang of One; The Long Woods; Lowman; The Macrotones; Kim Mayo; The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library; Red Dog; Streight Angular; Peter Sykes; Tallahassee; and What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?

For more information, see jpmusicfestival.com.

Singer-songwriter Merrie Amsterburg. (Photo Courtesy Tony Sahadeo)

Singer-songwriter Merrie Amsterburg. (Photo Courtesy Tony Sahadeo)