Interview with Ed Anderson – Performing at The Southgate House Revival on 4/24 with Chicago Farmer


photo by Michelle Stancill

Ed Anderson and Chicago Farmer
Southgate House Revival, 111 E 6th St, Newport, KY
8pm doors, 9pm show, $12, 18+

Cincy Groove: Your debut record came out about a year ago, how is the follow up coming along?

Ed Anderson: It’s funny you called when you did, I am in the middle of putting together artwork for the new record.  The record itself is finished and is coming out on October 27.  Now we are trying to decide the vibe and look of the album cover, etc…  The music itself is more Americana, a lot of fiddle and pedal steel guitar.  It also has a lower Alabama vibe, which is where I was living when I made it.  We make a trip down to Alabama each year.  We base ourselves in Orange Beach, Alabama and tour the southeastern states when it unbearably cold here in the north.  

In between gigs and touring I was able to slide in some days to goto this recording studio, which is located in the middle of 2,000 wooded acres.  The owners Anthony and his wife are incredible musicians. Anthony played with Neil Young for years. He also played fiddle and guitar with Steve Winwood.  Anthony used to perform with Dwight Yoakam and has a song on Dwight’s new record.  The guy just happens to live in lower Alabama and we went down to the area to escape the winter.  Once I figured out he lived down there, I knew I had to make a record with this man.  His wife Savana also sang a lot of backup vocals on my new record.  Anthony and his wife also currently tour in a band called Willie Sugarcapps.

Cincy Groove: How did your perspective on songwriting change going from a band to a solo artist?

Ed Anderson:   I think the way I go about writing has stayed the same.  I have tried to talk myself into doing some session writing in Nashville.  But the session writers are always under the gun and on the clock.  I write when ideas come to me.  I try to keep things fresh by writing songs in different genres.  Thats probably why it has been difficult to label my music.

Cincy Groove:  What about the strangest or most unique places you have performed?

Ed Anderson: There have been so many.  The thing is after one of those types of gigs, you leave and go on to the next show.  After a few weeks of more shows, you forget about the weird situation you were in.  Daytime gigs make it a little harder to get in the groove.  I am usually more relaxed later in the day.  One of the things I like about my job is that if something goes wrong at a show or if someone rubs me the wrong way,  I don’t have to go back there.  Really the only complaint is the act of driving all the time can be less than exciting.  I wouldn’t trade what I do for anything.

Cincy Groove: What part of Alabama do you base yourselves out of in the winter?

Ed Anderson:  Orange Beach, Alabama.  Usually we go down around Halloween and stay through March or April.  Its a cool little town that has worked out well for us in that I met a whole slew of new people.  I feel lucky I  have another region of the country I can goto and make a living touring when the weather is dangerous to tour in.  Its a little strange having two separate lives and packing up and moving twice a year.  Its a small price to pay to not have to shovel snow and scrape ice off the windshields.

Cincy Groove: Do you predominately tour as a solo artist?

Ed Anderson: For the most part, I hired a band when I released my debut solo record last April and did about 4 shows.  I love playing in a band, its just complicated and its harder to make ends meet.  I know what it takes to keep a band together, did it for 15 years between two bands.  There is nothing better than making music with your buddies and especially when everything lines up.  By necessity I had to figure out how to entertain on  my own.  I have lots of various tones to play with now on a number of different instruments.

Cincy Groove: Where do you do most of your songwriting?

Ed Anderson: Sometimes I write on the road, but most of it happens when I get to a stationary place, like my house here in Illinois.  I don’t do much writing down in  Alabama, but I collect experiences and ideas.  Then I bring them back to my house here in Illinois.