Amy Dalley: I’m Hopeful Again

Amy Dalley is loving being a new mom, having control of her own career and finally having an album available for her fans.

After spending a frustrating few years on a Nashville record label that put out plenty of her singles, but never an album, Amy Dally’s finally on her own and creating her music her way. She’s also enjoying being a new mom to young son Jackson, who may have deprived her of sleep during the making of her new album, It’s Time, but he certainly didn’t keep Amy from doing great work. In fact, it’s a good bet that, after hearing her new CD, Amy’s former label will be asking themselves how they could’ve ever let her get away. Here’s some of what Amy had to say during a recent interview at CW.

For more from Amy, check out the March 9 issue of Country Weekly.

CW
I love the record.
AD
You do!
CW
It’s gotta be a huge relief for you to finally be free to work on your music and know a CD is actually available [at cdbaby.com] for your fans, after so many years of not being able to make one for them.
AD
It was really frustrating. I feel really good now, even though it’s kinda scary to be in a big world by yourself. But it’s not nearly as frustrating or feeling as much like the world is on your shoulders.
The freedom is good though. But it’s not that I was miserable. I got to do a lot of really cool things while I was there. It’s kind of a circle, you know? You write the song and then you want to go in the studio and record it and then you want to go play it for people live. And then you want to have something for them to buy. And that last piece was always missing. So it never got to circle all the way around.
CW
When did you sign . . . and what were the singles you released?
AD
I think I signed in 2002 and they put out “Love’s Really Got an Attitude,” “I Think You’re Beautiful,” “Men Don’t Change,” “I Would Cry,” “A Good Kind of Crazy” . . . then they started to put out another one and it kind of went away.
Then, in 2007 it was done.
CW
On the bright side, I didn’t know you were a mother of two until the other day . . . when’s Jackson’s birthday?
AD
April 16th. He’s 8 months old. Just yesterday, he started to crawl, and he can crawl so fast! [she laughs].
CW
Got him on video?
AD
Oh yeah! It was just funny, because for a long time I’m like, “He just doesn’t want to crawl. He isn’t motivated to do it.” He rolled everywhere. Then he went after the Play Station. It was just funny, ‘cause I’m like, “Wow! He’s really fast, too! I’ll never sit down again.”
CW
Was it more of a challenge making the record while having two kids to deal with? How old’s Madeline now?
AD
She just turned 10. Her birthday’s Dec. 18.  It was a little bit more of a challenge, just because having a brand new baby is harder than I remembered. I mean, 10 years go past and you don’t remember anything. And he never sleeps . . . I still haven’t slept. He woke up every two hours last night. So that is the biggest challenge, that I’m not very rested. [chuckles]
CW
CW
Is that something you can expect to resolve itself by the time he’s a year or so old?
AD
Please! I don’t know. I’m workin’ on it . . . doin’ my best. But he’s not really a napper. We’re trying to let him just cry it out. And it’s pitiful, ‘cause he stands up and just swings his head around in the baby bed (laughs). We probably should have a helmet for him! But we have this little TV monitor so we can make sure he’s all right. The other night he screamed for about 2 ½ hours. It’s like, “Okay, I could just go in there and resolve the whole issue within 15 minutes.  Who knows what’s gonna be better?”
It really is an act of wills. Am I stronger or is he stronger? So, I’m gonna beat him. I won’t be defeated! [laughs]
CW
What can your kids do that’s guaranteed to make you laugh . . . or make you cry?
AD
The thing I think is the sweetest . . . and makes me laugh . . . is Jackson laughs at everything Madeline does. He loves to look at her. She’s everything to him. When he sees her his whole face lights up. And that is so sweet. She’ll just move her head funny or somethin’ and he’ll start dyin’ laughin’. And to hear him laugh . . . then she cracks up. Then we’re all laughin’ .  . .  and it’s like, well, there’s nothin’ better than that. It’s really sweet how he just loves her. So I’m glad that she has the opportunity to be a big sister and have a sibling. For a long time I thought it’d just be me and her.
CW
What was it like workin’ with [husband] Jack on this . . . totally comfortable?
AD
Oh yeah. I love writin’ songs with him. It’s weird how we write songs. I’ll say, “What about this for a song idea?” and he’ll say, “Yeah, I think that’s cool.” And a couple days later he’ll say, “What about this music for your idea?” And we’ll just be standin’ in the kitchen cookin’ dinner, writin’ a song. It’s probably the way it should happen, more so than sittin’ in an office with a stranger. He’s really, really musical. And it was just really easy and just felt like it was supposed to be that way.
CW
I love “I Built This Wall” . . . sort of a nice liberated, empowered kind of way to start of a record, considering what you’ve been through.
AD
Yeah, that’s actually gonna be the single I’m gonna send out to radio. I’m not sure when we’ll send it out. I know it’s backwards, but I want to put the record out first. Just because I haven’t been able to do that yet. One of the big complaints from radio stations was “We’re not gonna play your song because you have fans who want to buy your record.” And holdin’ it against me ‘cause I didn’t have my album out. I don’t know if I’ll go to major markets or just go to medium markets and start that way with it. I’m just excited that it’s finally out there and people can have it if they want it.
I’m starting out just selling it through CD Baby. So I’m gonna see how that goes. Hopefully I’ll pick up a bigger distribution deal. It’s kinda strange to be one-mannin’ it (laughs), but I’m just goin’ for it and seein’ what’ll happen.
CW
In “Walls” there’s a line “commitment makes me run for cover” . . . are you one of those people who typically has felt like that in past relationships?
AD
Yeah. I used to be. Really, that song was about Jack. He was wanting to go out with me and I was like, “No! We’re friends. Forget it.” Finally he wore me down, and there you go. [laughs] But we were really good friends . . . and he was in my band. I just didn’t want to go out and realize we really didn’t like each other that much, then everything else would’ve been weird. But it never was awkward. I was just scared for nothin’.
CW
In “Talk” . . . is there a little hostility there? Wouldn’t “spit” on somebody who’s on fire?
AD
[laughs] You know, anytime you go through a really bad thing you think about it again sometimes, and get all worked up all over again. It was a personal thing, but if I applied it to professional, it would probably work as well. [laughs]
CW
Are you slow to anger?
AD
I think I’m pretty laid back. It takes a long time before I get really mad. I’m not really confrontational. You have to do a lot to me before I say something back or kick anybody’s butt or anything! [laughs] Usually, I just take it out on ‘em in a song.
If I’m happy, I’ll write happy songs. But if somethin’s botherin’ me, it definitely works its way out through some kind of song.
CW
“Friday Night with a Broken Heart” has a lot of great images. How long’s it been since you’ve felt sorry for yourself?
AD
It’s been a while, but there was a time. It’s hard to be a single mom . . . and hard to think that’s gonna be it. Truly feeling that that’s gonna be it was hard. So I had a lot of pitty parties during those days. And a lot of rooms got painted. [laughs] You find all kinds of projects to busy your hands and your mind. 
CW
I love the line, “there might be some prayin’, there might be some ice cream.” Do you pray on a regular basis?
AD
Yeah, definitely. Especially when you have kids, you kind of put that forward even more than if you’re just livin’ large by yourself. It’s really important and it’s definitely gotten me through a lot of dark times.
CW
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever been through?
AD
I guess, in most cases, I’ve been really fortunate. My children are healthy and I’ve been healthy. A few friends passed away who were really close to me. Then, on a superficial level I guess, my record label was a hard thing to go through. Just bein’ stuck. Feelin’ that nobody was helpin’ me and I couldn’t do anything. That was really difficult. I prayed a lot then.
CW
Did the lyrics in “It’s Time” sort of become your mantra? “It’s time to find my way to break these chains, I can’t wait, there comes a day, you know you’ll be all right.” Has there been a day since you left when you’ve been either thrilled that it happened or more like, “I really don’t feel good being out here all by myself . . . I’m really scared”?
AD
It is scary. There are so many things I don’t know about getting an album out. Getting it mastered and other things I’ve had to learn. So that part is scary. But, for the most part, I’m just glad, even thought the burden is all on me. If it doesn’t work, it’s just because people don’t like my music. Even though I know there’s a lot of different factors involved.
So I wish I had all that. I want people when they get it to receive it well. So far, they have. I did a pre-sale on my website and people have written in to say they love it. So that’s pretty gratifying. So I’m glad about that. But whatever happens, it’s the absolute best I could’ve done. And I’m doin’ everything I can. I’m not being lazy or procrastinating about anything. Me and Jack both are workin’ our butts off to try and get it moving. That’s really all I can do.
Jack’s playing with Chuck Wicks right now, and they’re workin’ a lot. So I get Jack to play with me whenever he can.
CW
Think a lot of people really never have the courage in a relationship to say “It’s Time” to move on?
AD
I think so. Because it is scary . . .you don’t know what’s out there. But there’s good stuff out there, too. It’s just that the stuff that’s in your mind that kinda haunts you is bigger than the good stuff. You just have to step out and go for it to find out.
CW
“The Bitter End” is a great song.
AD
Wanting to avoid the bitterness at the end. I wrote that song because I was in a relationship like that. I had been dating someone, but I knew it wasn’t the one. Not what it was supposed to be. I thought, “I don’t want it to get ugly. So, let’s just call it what it is and move on.” It was kind of mutual. It was a comfortable, friendly dating thing.
CW
“He Makes Me Wanna.” Okay, which of these have you done . . . “get a big tattoo in the small of my back . . . water ski naked in the pouring rain”?
AD
I would never water ski ‘cause I’m very clumsy and I can’t imagine being on a ski. And I don’t have any tattoos. I’m not opposed to ‘em, I just don’t have any. I just never have wanted one.
CW
“That’s all I Better Say About That.” Is there a real group of four this song is about?
AD
Yes. And all of this stuff has happened . . . but not all in one night! [laughs] There’s the one friend who’s trying to make out with the bartender to get free drinks, or one’s sneaking off . . . and one’s flashin’ . . . and I’m not any of those! Just for the record! [big laugh] I haven’t done that [gone out with the girls] in a long time because of being pregnant, having the baby and now never sleeping. When Jacks’ home, we usually just family out. “What are we gonna cook tonight?”
CW
“Safe” features Madelline singing at the beginning. It’s really sweet.
AD
It really is one of my most precious, treasured things that I have. She did it when she was three. And she’s a really good singer. She just stood on a stool, had these big headphones on and I said, “Just sing that ‘twinkle star’.” I just love that she doesn’t say the words right. I can hardly listen to that because she’s so grown now, and I miss the little girl she was.
CW
Have you worked out the royalty split for her vocals?
AD
I haven’t really told her she could be paid! Maybe a dollar more on her allowance.

For more from Amy, check out the March 9 issue of Country Weekly.

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