amandawinterhalter-bandphotos-kittenteeth-5.jpg

This Is It

By Amanda Winterhalter

A life between grey coastlines and ragged mountains gave AMANDA WINTERHALTER a scope for the gothic Americana music she creates with her Seattle-based band.

Joined by Geoff Larson on upright bass, Nick Drozdowicz on electric guitar, Rick Weber on drums, and Ed Brooks on pedal steel, the band showcases an arcing sound that may unfold and lift as lightly as a sheet in one song, or drive and build to a frenetic fuzz on another. With their multi-genre backgrounds in jazz, folk, country, gospel, blues, and rock, they infuse Winterhalter’s songs with a broad palette of styles that forms a cohesive grit and tenderness.

Winterhalter’s voice remains the centerpiece of the sound. With her straightforward lyrics and the multi-faceted edge in her tone, she voices, as one listener put it, “the ache of America.” Celebrated northwest folk artist David Maloney noted, “to hear that depth from one so young is truly moving. [Her] voice not only soars but I also love the tender, more vulnerable sound along the way.” Jon Rooney and Zach Warnes for Ball of Wax noted Winterhalter’s considerable range and refreshing approach from lyrics to production. Northwest Music Scene wrote, “get ready to add another name to the list of super talented female singers in Seattle . . . upon first listen we were hooked on her delicate yet powerful vocals . . . the fantastic backing band she’s assembled has the uncanny ability to seemingly read her mind, creating the perfect foundation to let her voice be heard.” Since the release of her debut album, Olea, the band is hard at work on a sophomore album set to release in October 2019.

Lyrics & Story

Lyrics & Music by Amanda Winterhalter

I’ve been watching the sheets

For a sign to believe

Nobody’s making me move

I’ve got a job to do

When I pick up the receiver

Lazarus says

This is it

I’m going down to the earth now

I’m coming up from that mountain

I’m coming out at a hundred

Miles an hour

I’ve got a lot to remember

And I’m not giving up yet

I’m coming back long before

You call me dead

You can fall fast asleep

And they’ll call you extinct

It’s not enough to roll

Away your stones

You gotta come forth

You gotta come forth

You gotta come forth

You gotta come forth

You gotta come forth

You gotta come forth

I’m going down to the earth now

I’m coming up from that mountain

I’m coming out at a hundred

Miles an hour

I’ve got a lot to remember

And I’m not giving up yet

I’m coming back long before

You call me dead

Come on back

Come on back

Come on back

Track Credits

Amanda Winterhalter - Vocals & Guitar

Ed Brooks - Pedal Steel

Rick Weber - Drums

Nick Drozdowicz - Electric Guitar

Geoff Larson - Upright Bass

Recorded and Mixed by Daniel Guenther at Jack Straw

Mastered by Moe Provencher at Jack Straw

© Copyright Amanda Winterhalter 2019

MOUNT SAINT HELENS

By Jonathan Shipley

They were all swallowed and swallowed deep. The Boy Scout Camp. The Girl Scout Camp, too. The two YMCA camps were eradicated. Harmony Fall Lodge fell. A campground quickly lay underground. They were all ferociously destroyed and removed from the face of the earth. Those camps and Mount Saint Helens Lodge. Cabins, too. Spirit Lake Lodge disappeared. The caretaker of it was a cantankerous old man named Harry R. Truman who refused to leave the mountain though it was set to erupt. Erupt, it did, on May 18th, 1980. Truman, and his cats, were buried immediately under tons of mud from the cataclysmic explosion of Mount Saint Helens.

And the lake - Spirit Lake - so quiet and still and beautiful before the eruption, what of it? It received the mountain’s full impact. The blast and debris avalanche temporarily displaced the lake entirely. Lake waters slammed into the mountain slopes to the north. A wave as much as 850 feet above lake level crashed into the mountains crushing all. Three hundred and fifty million acre feet of trees, ash, and rock filled into Spirit Lake. The lake’s elevation rose. The surface area increased. Half the surface area of the lake was thousands of dead shattered trees. The water was toxic, loaded with volcanic gases. Nothing lived, for it was utterly devoid of oxygen.

This was not the first time Mount Saint Helens erupted. Cowlitz Indians called it ‘Lavelatla’ meaning ‘Smoking Mountain.’ Puyallup Tribes called her Loowit. Before she was a mountain she was Loowit, a beautiful maiden. She was loved by two men - Wy’east and Klickitat. The men were sons of the Great Spirit named Sahale. Wy’east and Klickitat were both in love with Loowit and Loowit was in love with them, but she could not choose between them. Wy’east and Klickitat fought each other for her love. They buried villages. They crushed forests with their might. They destroyed everything between them. Their father, the Great Spirit, was very mad at them for what they had done. So angry was he that he smote them all and erected mountains where they fell.

Loowit, who in life was beautiful, turned into Mount Saint Helens - a perfect mountain - symmetrical with a dome of white. Wy’east turned into Mount Hood. He still lifts his head in pride. Klickitat wept upon seeing his love turn into a mountain like he did. He still dips his head to her as Mount Adams.

Lavelatla exploded violently in 1980. The Mount Saint Helens eruption destroyed everything in its path. Fifty-seven people died. It caused $1.1 billion in damages. The ash cloud circled the globe. And Spirit Lake died. The flood and flow off Lavelatla’s flanks filled it to its death. All the camps, lodges, gone. All the people, gone. All the oxygen in the lake, gone.

But life finds a way. In 1983 there became a reemergence of phytoplankton. It began restoring oxygen levels in the lake. Frogs came. Salamanders. Fish were introduced by fishermen and thrived. The lake has spirit once again.

Further reading:
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
Mount Saint Helens Information Resource Center
Earth Observatory