Chasing Dreams

Former resident rising in country rock world


NASHVILLE, Tennesssee — Former local resident Amy Jo Gaither’s stock as a country singer-songwriter has seen her career gain some notoriety recently.

The mother of seven children who attended South Montgomery schools until high school, has recently garnered awards from several prestigious musical organizations.

On Aug. 22 Amy Jo — as she is known professionally — won Best Outlaw Song by the International Singer-Songwriter Association for her 2021 release, “Swamp Water.” She also won the U.S. Best Female Vocalist of the Year award and was nominated for Songwriter of the Year and Emerging Artist awards.

Hearing her name called as the recipient of song of the year, Amy Jo said she was shocked and flooded with emotion when she started her acceptance speech. She was hit by a tidal wave of memories and hard work that had enabled the prestigious award.

“I started thinking about my life’s work and the journey I have been on,” Amy Jo said. “I thought of my children. Tears started flowing and I was quite the mess.”

After graduating from Fountain Central High School in 2007, Amy Jo, decided to continue a modeling career which started when she was a young teen. It was not until she was 22 years old she picked up her guitar and had her mother, Candy Bell, start teaching her basics on the instrument. She wanted to be a country rock singer-songwriter.

“I was known as a band nerd at Fountain Central and was the drum major,” Amy Jo recalled. “I played the saxophone which I decided that was not the instrument I needed to play if I was going to get into Country Rock. So, my mother started teaching me guitar.”

Early childhood memories include singing at local churches and the Wingate Sweetcorn Festival at age 14. She also performed as the Crawfordsville Strawberry Festival opening for Confederate Railroad. She penned her first song at the age of 10.

Amy Jo was able to use nationally known music producer Sal Oliveri to produce her latest releases. She said that move also was a break for her.

“To work with someone of Sal’s experience was a blessing,” Amy Jo said. “I also have been contacted by another producer who wants to make a video of “Swamp Water.”

Although, Amy Jo hopes to see her career continue to rise in the country music world, she also will be satisfied to just be herself. A wife to Rocky Gaither and a mom to a blended family of seven children.

“I am in independent entertainer and I just want to be able to keep making music,” Amy Jo said. “I hope to continue to do music and have a good family life.”

Amy Jo’s website is www.amyjosmusic.com. Her music can be found on Spotify, Amazon Music, I Tunes and other music sites.