Amanda Shaw was born in Boston in 1991, but the family moved to New Orleans, where her father grew up while she was still a child. When she was three years old she saw a symphony orchestra on television and fell in love with the violin. She showed an immediate affinity for the instrument and had her concert debut with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra when she was seven, the youngest soloist to ever play with the orchestra. The Rosie O'Donnell Show contacted her parents shortly thereafter and she made two appearances on the show in 1999 and 2001. Living in New Orleans, Shaw was exposed to a wide variety of music. Her parents took her to see funk, soul, jazz, blues, zydeco, and Cajun music. By the time Shaw was nine she was ready to ditch her classical training and try fiddling. She began sitting in with jazz, blues, and Cajun bands and learned how to play by ear. By the time she was ten, Shaw was fronting her own band, later to be named the Cute Guys, as well as playing various solo and duo gigs.
Her first album, Little Black Dog, consisted of traditional Cajun dance tunes played with fire and verve by the Cute Guys and Shaw. By the time Shaw cut I'm Not a Bubblegum Pop Princess in 2003, she was adding rock and country to her sound. The album was produced by the Cute Guys and featured covers of "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" by the Clash and the Ramones' (slightly rewritten) "I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend." It was the success of Bubblegum that led to her deal with Rounder Records. Producer Scott Billington worked with Shaw and the Cute Guys for almost four years on Pretty Runs Out, her Rounder debut, honing her sound, selecting material, and setting up co-writing sessions with Jim McCormick, Shannon McNally, and Anders Osborne. In early 2007, to capitalize on her popularity at the Jazz and Heritage Festival, Rounder put out a limited-edition five-song EP and DVD, Home Again, which contained three tracks from Pretty Runs Out and two non-album tunes, "Who Do You Think You Are?" and "Perrodin Two Step." Pretty Runs Out hit the streets in early January 2008, a solid 13-track set that shows off Shaw's fiddling chops as well as her winning way with country, pop, and roots rock material. ~ j. poet, Rovi