Interview: Anderson East

Alabama-born Nashville-based blue-eyed soul man Anderson East recently released his delicious debut LP, Delilah, via Low Country Sound/Elektra Records. Have mercy, y’all, it melts my butter.  He’s been appearing all over the place as of late, from Late Night with Seth Meyers, to World Cafe on NPR, selling out shows, and melting the hearts of, well, everybody.  Needless to say, I was dying to know more about this southern delight, and of course, keep you, beloved readers, in the loop. He was kind enough to answer a few questions for us:

Mother Church Pew:  What made you decide to pursue music as a career?

Anderson East:  It’s the only thing that has ever interested me and was able to hold my attention.  It’s a fascinating field of study.

MCP:  What was it like for you to record at the legendary Fame in Muscle Shoals, where greats like Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and Otis Redding recorded their music?

AndersonEastAE:  It really was a special experience.  I’ve been a studio rat for many years and being in the studio is where I’ve felt at home. To get to go somewhere with that much history and leave a little bit of my own juices was a real gift.

MCP:  What has inspired your nostalgically bluesy sound?

AE:  I think that’s just what came out.  We tried to make music that felt good, and indeed there are some heavy tips of the hat, but I hope it comes out as something more than a “retro-throw back” record.  We’re very much trying to make honest music in the “now.”

MCP:  Youre from Alabama, but Nashville-based.  What is your favorite thing about Nashville, and how has being here shaped you as a musician?

AE:  I think Nashville has given me a lot of opportunities, ones I don’t think people in other places get.  I think the breadth of talent that rests there is not something to overlook.  I think when I was just coming up, I had the ability to be around other great musicians and writers who were passionate about what they were doing.  That desire regenerates itself…. I’ve got unbelievably talented friends – that’s my favorite part about Nashville.

MCP:  You have a pretty intense-looking tour schedule coming up, is there anywhere in particular youre excited to play?

AE:  I honestly am excited to play anywhere there’s people excited to listen.

MCP:  What is your favorite song on the album, and why?

AE:  They’re all my little children.  I can’t be making them jealous of each other.

MCP:  Whats something people would be surprised to learn about you?

AE:  I don’t drink caffeine.

MCP:  If you could tell your much younger self something, what would that be?

AE:  Don’t smoke, and call your parents more.

See below for tour dates, but make sure you check out his website for additional dates (he’s going all over the place)!  If you haven’t heard his music yet, you should definitely make it a priority:

Anderson East on tour:

August 8—Bozeman, MT—Sweat Pea Festival

August 12—Spokane, WA—Knitting Factory Concert House*

August 15—Morrison, CO—Red Rocks*

August 16—Salt Lake City, UT—Red Butte Garden*

August 22—Minneapolis, MN—Cultivate Festival

September 12—Nashville, TN—Live on the Green

September 16-19—Nashville, TN—Americana Fest

September 19—Mamaroneck, NY—SoWe Music Festival

September 30—Denver, CO—Gothic Theatre†

October 1—Durango, CO—Fort Lewis College†

October 2—Phoenix, AZ—Musical Instrument Museum†

October 7—San Francisco, CA—The Fillmore†

October 8—Portland, OR—Aladdin Theater†

October 9—Vancouver, BC—The Imperial†

October 10—Seattle, WA—Neptune Theatre†

October 27—Columbus, OH—Lincoln Theatre†

October 31 & November 1—Chicago, IL—Thalia Hall†

November 3—Pittsburgh, PA—Rex Theater†

October 27—Columbus, OH—Lincoln Theatre†

November 12 & 13—New York, NY—Webster Hall†

*appearing with Brandi Carlile

†appearing with The Lone Bellow

(additional dates to be announced)

Susan Hubbard

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