It would have been great “Behind the Music” fodder: “Angry Fiddler Splits from Folkie Troupe.” But for as much as she might be pushed and prodded, Amanda Gervasi can’t speak the least bit ill of her former wolfpack, Gypsy Tailwind, or the wisdom she gained from the full-band experience.

The substance shows. Gervasi’s debut, “Merry the Ghost,” rings with the authenticity of a steep learning curve, and many a foot-stomping night. The young songwriter has powered forward with a steady confidence and a font of song arcs to draw on. Gervasi’s best resource, though, is the web of Portland players who implicitly trust and support her. See Gervasi open for The Molenes at 9 p.m. Saturday at Empire Dine & Dance in Portland or check out

How does your experience in Gypsy Tailwind inform your experience as a solo artist?

I gained a great deal of confidence through Gypsy Tailwind, which has improved most everything for me in the music world. It also provided a solid reference for people in terms of knowing I was a musician and helped me feel less random. I will always be grateful for the experience and remain supportive of the band as they have all been and continue to be for me. I’m feeling armed and ready to take on my solo career with a whole lot more knowledge this time. Oh, and a lot less angst. 

What has surprised you the most about the response to “Merry the Ghost”?

I really feel like people got it. I tend to walk around under the assumption that I’m too complex and cryptic for the world you know, the “you wouldn’t understand” line of thought. So when people listened and gave feedback about my lyrics specifically, I was surprised that it was exactly the way I wanted listeners to be listening. Contrary to my own belief, there are plenty of ways that others can relate to my music. I am indeed not that weird. I don’t exactly write bebop-in-the-car music, so having it received well and 100 percent what I meant to write, that’s the best thing. 

What does Maine mean to you?

Maine will always mean home to me. I’ve traveled and will continue to travel, but there’s a sense of comfort I get here that couldn’t happen anywhere else. Like, I’ll date around and see what else is out there, but I think this relationship will stay pretty monogamous. Maine is a babe. 

How is your sound evolving?

I really want to embrace a band sound. Up until recently I had always played solo, you know, the chick in the corner of a coffee shop. It wasn’t until I played with a band (in Gypsy Tailwind and on my own) that I realized how much I want to rock out and move a bit away from the quiet corner. I’ve been listening to my main loves recently, namely The Black Keys and Tom Waits, and am getting closer to figuring out my current musical identity. A little bit heavy and a whole lot catchy, more riffy than before — but still creepy. 

What’s your favorite collaboration from 2010 so far?

Aside from Gypsy Tailwind, I honestly haven’t done a lot of collaborating. I’m a very private writer and haven’t exactly figured out how to work well with others. I have high aspirations to someday be involved in what you accomplished musicians refer to as a “jam.” Don’t laugh at me. 

When do we get to hear the next record? What can we expect?

I’m heading back into the studio within the next couple of weeks to start on some pre-production ideas for a spring EP. However, I have a lot of songs, and might end up with another album. I think it’s safe to expect a bigger sound, but not necessarily a bigger production. There may even be a few bebop-in-the-car songs, who knows. 

Mike Olcott is a freelance writer who lives in Portland and Boston.