Cy-Fair singer and songwriter brings soul back to country music

People of Passion
Cy-Fair singer and songwriter brings soul back
to country music
Written by Kirsten Ham | Photography by Jason Lehecka
Amber Lynn Slack combines
heartfelt lyrics with amazing vocals
to create a classical country feel
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As soulful chords escape from the strings of a 1960s Gibson
guitar, Amber Lynn Slack rehearses repeatedly until the
verse sounds perfect. Having rescued her from a dangerous
situation at the age of 10, her grandparents Donnie and
Debbie Slack raised Amber and her brothers in the caring
community of Cy-Fair. Through their encouragement and
support, as well as a chance meeting with music legend A.V.
Mittelstedt, Amber realized her dreams of pursuing a singing
Homegrown Roots
“I’ve always loved singing country music, and Texas sure is a
great place to do that,” laughs Amber. Growing up in Cy-Fair,
her early years were filled with warm days along Cypress
Creek, involvement in school theater programs, and spending
time with her beloved grandparents. One thing set Amber’s
childhood apart from
that of her peers,
though: She was
already honing her
talent with live public
“On a Sunday
afternoon, we headed
to this dance hall
out in the middle of
nowhere,” Debbie
explains. “You
would’ve thought it
had been abandoned,
but there were
hundreds of people
there.” Amber’s
friend Lefty signed
her up, and when
the 12-year-old took
to the stage, the
audience was blown
away by her rich
A.V. Mittelstedt works with Slack
vocals reminiscent
in the studio to perfect tracks
of Patsy Cline. After
for her upcoming album
her performance,
a Styrofoam cup
was passed around
and gathered tips for her. “There was a $100 bill in there,”
remembers Debbie. “And she asked me, ‘You don’t think this
was someone’s grocery money, do you?’ She was so surprised.”
Being able to play at local venues like the Alvin Opry, Tin
Roof BBQ, Cypress Saloon, the Sugar Land Opry, the Kemah
Boardwalk, and the Pasadena Opry has provided Amber with
unimaginable experiences. One of those unique opportunities
includes being one of only two children invited to sing at the
Ben Johnson Memorial Benefit, second only to LeAnn Rimes.
“I’ve sang with Randy Meadows, Big John Mills, Randy
Corner, and of course the Good, Bad, & Ugly Band,” says
Amber. “They’ve taught me so many different aspects of the
business; that knowledge is irreplaceable.”
Working with a Legend
While performing at the Moose Lodge, Amber was
introduced to songwriter and music producer A.V.
Mittelstedt. Known for his work with artists like George Strait,
Mark Chesnutt, Clay Walker, and Clint Black, Mittelstedt
boasts five decades of music industry experience, in addition
to numerous awards and national recognition.
Although Mittelstedt had long since hung up his headphones,
an unknown family connection caused him to take a second
look at Amber. “It was the strangest thing,” recalls Donnie.
“He asked me if I knew an Otto Slack, and that was my daddy.
A.V had worked for him at a meat packing plant.”
Mittelstedt took Amber under his wing and began teaching
her how to play the guitar, the art of stage presence,
production techniques,
and how to cue her
band mates during
performances. “She was
a natural,” Mittelstedt
recalls. “She had a Godgiven talent, that extra
that made her a cut above
the rest.”
“A.V. has put forth so
much time and effort into
me,” Amber says. “We all
feel like God brought us
together; it’s been a huge
blessing. He’s my best
More Than
After the death of her
father and parental
choices that led to
being reared by her
grandparents, Amber
poured out her emotions
through song. “I Can’t
Save You Now” describes
Amber’s relationship with her mother and the trials they’ve
been through together. “There’s so much of me in that song,”
Amber says. “I can barely sing it without choking up.”
Amber describes her songs “I Cry” and “Just One More Day”
as exposing her softer side and reveals that she’s always been a
sucker for a sad country song. “She makes things fit together
and paints a good picture with her songs,” says Mittelstedt.
Admittedly, there’s another side to Amber’s music. “This
girl can write some cheatin’ songs,” shares Mittelstedt’s wife,
Dinah. Amber jokes that you can’t sing classic country music
without loving cheatin’ songs. “I don’t want to write things
that people don’t care about,” says Amber. “If you don’t have
passion for what you are doing, your efforts just fly out the
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Nicknamed “The First Lady of Rockabilly,” Wanda Jackson
also served as a strong influence for Amber’s songwriting
choices. “I got to meet her once, and she signed my guitar,”
Amber recalls with a smile. “She’s an amazing female artist; I
love her.”
No Slowing Down
Mittelstedt continues to work with Amber, and they are in
the process of recording her first album. Her main goal has
been to bring back the classic country sound, with strong
emotions and deep feelings behind what she is singing.
“Just keep going,” she advises other ambitious musicians.
“Some people make fun of me for wanting to sing country
music, but I don’t care. If you love something, you should
pursue it with everything you have.” A.V. only laughs and
adds, “Musicians should always keep something on the side
they can fall back on.”
Despite emotional struggles and inevitable challenges,
Amber has never thought twice about pursuing her dream of
becoming a singer and has no intentions of being derailed.
“I went for what I wanted and nobody could slow me down,”
she says. “I’m not about to stop now.” CFM
KIRSTEN HAM enjoys being the editorial coordinator of CyFair Magazine and still remembers being an award-winning
soloist in her parent’s living room.
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Get to Know
Lynn Slack
• Age 19
• Graduated from Windfern High School
• Favorite artist is Wanda Jackson
• Once had extreme stage fright
• Enjoys singing country classics from artists like
Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and Tammy Wynette
• Won a singing contest at Tootsies in Nashville
when she was 11
• One of her most difficult challenges has been
learning to play the guitar
• She hopes her music inspires and encourages
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