Virginia native and singer-songwriter, Carl Anderson is going to be one of the next CMT artists. At a young age, Anderson had a love and passion for music due to his parents playing and singing music as he grew up. Anderson released his first album, Wolftown, in 2012 and released his album, Risk of Loss, in 2016. Anderson has been on tour and will be ending it towards the end of May. I was able to talk with Anderson about growing up and his inspiration to become a musican, his experience playing at the Stage Coach music festival in April/May, and more!
How did you music career begin? Who inspired you as a child?
My parents actually met in Richmond, Virginia, in this little coffee-house. The two of them and their friends would meet in the basement of this church in Richmond and play. They met singing and playing and around the time I came around it was just a big part of our lives. Growing up my dad was a folk singer and he never tried having a career doing it but it was sort of this incredible memory for old songs. I grew up listening to him sing and my mom played guitar and it was just a lot of music happening. I sort of fell into it. I sort of fell in love with it early on and I don’t even know consciously aware of the fact that I liked music. I kind of, I don’t know, I was always drawn into it.
I guess in middle school I got a guitar and started playing it a little bit but not really seriously until middle of the way through high school. I was writing songs and recording them and I got my own computer and small recording set-up from a friend of mine that was upgrading. I got his old computer and had this small recording set-up in my bedroom. I would write and record a lot of songs.
I’ve always been a singer and music just became a thing. I thought for a while that I’d be a stage actor but that sorta fell to the side. Music took over, however, I’d like to get back into it at some point. My parents were probably the early influence since I listened to my dad sing, I’ve just always done it, I really have.
Does your Dad still sing today?
He still sings I believe. I haven’t talked to him in a long time. Were estranged which is really weird but he actually showed up at a gig when we played a show in Nashville, three weeks ago. It was really strange to me since I hadn’t talked to him or seen him in years. It was nice but also totally drawing. I’m lucky I didn’t see him before the show cause it was shocking. I think he still sings.
You played at the Stage Coach music festival, how was that and how was your experience?
I did and it was so fun and we were so thankful to be offered. It came unexpectedly and we flew the whole band out and it was really fun. It was Coachella, the country-Coachella. It was a really well run event and we had a great time. We played at 2 o’clock on that Friday and it was awesome. It was a great crowd and just a really fun opportunity to go out and play in California. It was great.
I met Emmy Lou Harris, which was kind of amazing for me. A young song-writer who gets to interact with a person like that who’s been around for so long. My friend Mike is the bass player and was in town and plays with her band. He introduced me and it was an amazing moment for me. Mike was like, “Emmy, meet Carl. You need to check out his songs because you’d love em.” I was like, “Oh my God, is this happening right now?” It was so real. It was great and I didn’t really meet any of the big country stars. I ran into Whitey Morgan, I know those guys. I met a lot of cool people!
I saw some good sets but we weren’t there for long though. We flew in Thursday and rehearsed in Los Angeles before we played on Friday. We flew out on Saturday morning. I’d like to go back next year and stay for the weekend and really experience the festival.
If you could collaborate with any country artist who would it be?
Country artist? I don’t know. Honestly I am compelled by a lot of contemporary music and other groups. In terms of like dream come true, I don’t know. Maybe Wilco or Willie Nelson, will start in the W’s and work out way down. Bruce Springsteen too and I was having a really weird dream about him too.
The end of your tour is coming end but do you have a favorite memory from your tours?
We finally played out west last year and just being in the north-west in Portland and Washington for the first time was magical. We had some really good shows and we played this interesting gig in Portland. I sort of reached out to clubs and I was booking myself at the time. We ended up playing in the basement of this church in Portland with this really sweet guy, Bob. Basically he invited the entire congregation of the church. So we had this big crowd of people that where their and listening. I think that was my favorite memory in terms of arriving to a city that I’ve never been to and getting to play for a sizeable group of people who were interested and very attentive. It was kind of a magical and unexpected moment on tour. I think the night before we played in Oregan and we played in the backyard for three or for kids at this house show. That gig in Portland was special because everyone kind of seemed to get us.
My favorite song by you is, “Ocean.” What’s it about?
It’s one of those songs that I wrote in five or six minutes. I haven’t listened to it in awhile but it’s just yearning and I don’t know if there’s any specific meaning to me other than just the idea of wanting to be somewhere else I guess.
Keep on rockin’ Carl! Hope to see you soon 🙂