Performing Arts

Songwriter Amy Carol Webb found ‘Sound of Music’ young

Amy Carol Webb is surrounded by guitars at her home in Miami Springs.
Amy Carol Webb is surrounded by guitars at her home in Miami Springs. Miami Herald Staff

Jimmy Buffett might be the voice of Florida’s leisure time, with songs about saving the manatee and honoring natural resources mixed among his odes to the cheeseburger and the margarita. But Miami Springs singer-songwriter Amy Carol Webb is the pure voice of Florida’s environment: empowering, empathetic, enriching.

On two albums — Come Take the Waters: Florida Songs, Florida Friends Vol. 1, and Welcome Home: Florida Songs, Florida Friends Vol. 2 — Webb elevated in song real-life Florida characters, along with scenes of nature both thriving and endangered. She set those things to music, her own and music by other Florida folk songwriters. The music, a Florida journey, flowed from the waterfront of Mallory Square in Key West to the country diner Tami's in Dade City.

For years, through 10 independent albums, the Oklahoma-born Webb, who is a consulting minister to the River of Grass Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Davie, sang of spirituality, strong women (her melodic mid-’90s tune, I Come From Women, is an enduring local favorite), and the pains and joys of growing up (Being 16).

Imagine actually growing up to be what you knew had to be when you were only 9 years old!

Amy Carol Webb, singer-songwriter

“You might think for a kid born into an arts-oriented family, there’d be no real ‘awakening,’ but not so,” says the mother of two grown sons. “There’s a tangible difference between experiencing art as normal life and knowing you must make art or die. I have no memory of not being around music. But I do have a visceral memory of the moment that plunged me into making music my life.

“I was 9 years old,” says Webb, who’s now 58. “My mom took me to see The Sound of Music, and something in me came alive, like the hills. I had to be Julie Andrews. Had to. HAD TO! My dad was both a musician and a minister, and Julie Andrews sang and played the guitar and was a nun. Shortly, then, I announced to my family I would be a ‘preacher and a singer’ when I grew up.

“A few years later, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Déjà Vu blew me down a different road. Now here it is 2015, and after a whole lifetime as a musician, I am finally a minister, too. Imagine that: actually growing up to be what you knew had to be when you were only 9 years old!”

Howard Cohen: 305-376-3619, @HowardCohen.

If you go

What: Amy Carol Webb in concert.

Where: River of Grass Café, 11850 W. State Road 84, #1, Davie.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

Cost: $18 in advance, $23 at the door.

Information: 954-723-7877 or www.riverofgrassuu.org.

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