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Interview and Photos by Mary Andrews
A conversation with country music's rising star Abby Anderson
Country Thunder, Florence, Arizona, April 12, 2019
Country Thunder Arizona is happening for 2019 and new country artist, Abby Anderson, has graciously taken time out of her busy day to speak with ConcertLiveWire about family, new music and her upcoming tour.
Anderson was the only female artist scheduled to perform on the big stage at Country Thunder Arizona this year. She was obviously very comfortable performing on stage as she sang, moved down the runway, and signed autographs without missing a note. Her exuberance was infectious.
Here is what she had to say.
ConcertLiveWire: Is this your first appearance at Country Thunder?
Abby Anderson: It is my first Country Thunder, but hopefully it won't be my last. It's a beautiful day and I'm ready to play.
CLW: Where do you hail from?
AA: I'm originally from Dallas, Texas. I was raised up there, good old Texas girl. I moved to Nashville when I was 17 my senior year of high school, so Nashville is my home now.
CLW: You are from Dallas and how old are you now and when did you start singing?
AA: I just turned 22 my last birthday. My mom put me in piano lessons when I was five years old. There are seven kids in my family and she put all of us girls in classical piano lessons. They wouldn't let me quit. I hated it at first, but it has been the biggest blessing to me ever. From a very young age, I knew I was going to be a singer. I was a big 'ole' show off and everything. I started singing when I was five as well. I was real young singing in church. I don't really ever remember starting, honestly, I was just always doing it. That's what our family did, absolutely.
CLW: Were your parents musicians?
AA: They weren't musicians, but they were very musical. They were not professional musicians. My dad plays piano and he actually composes hymns. He has an amazing, beautiful tenor voice. My mom is quite an amazing singer. She introduced me to the country world in Nashville and how the whole business goes there.
CLW: How did you get your first big break?
AA: I guess it would depend on what you would consider my big break. I think I'm still looking for my big break. I signed my deal with Black River Entertainment back in 2017, two years to the very date I moved to Nashville. That was the beginning of everything.
CLW: Who is your biggest musical influence?
AA: That's one of my favorite questions. I grew up listening to country music and people like George Strait, Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. My mom introduced me to Elvis Presley. My first concert ever was Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin. I think my music is a blend of soul and country.
CLW: Playing Country Thunder is a big break for country artists. Is this the only Country Thunder location that you will be playing this year?
AA: This will be the only one. I'm real thankful for that. I'm the only girl playing on the big stage. I'm very honored to have that distinction.
CLW: How does that feel?
AA: I'm not really sure. On one hand, I'd love to see my other girlfriends out here performing too. On the other hand, I'm very honored that I get to rep the women out here today. It's going to be fun. Shoot, I'll take it. It's really going to be fun.
CLW: You have a new single song out. Can you tell me about it?
AA: It's called "Good Lord." It's basically about a good woman dating a good man. Good Lord, I got a good man. I wrote it with Josh Kerr and Jordan Minton. I try to write mist of my music, but I'm not naive enough to think that I'm going to write the best song in Nashville. There are a lot of songs in Nashville and I believe that the best song wins. If I didn't write it, that's okay. As long as it's a hit, it doesn't matter whether I wrote it or not. I want to give my audience the best music possible.
CLW: What is the best advise you ever got?
AA: My dad always taught all of us girls growing up be interested, not interesting. You must always ask questions and be interested in other people's lives. I believe I am where I am today because I've asked a lot of questions. Because of that, I've learned a lot very quickly. My dad is a smart man.
CLW: Are you releasing an EP or an album soon?
AA: That's a good question! I don't know. We just cut 12 songs. Whether we release them as an album or an EP, I can't say yet. All I know is that they are going to see the light of day. We will see what happens.
CLW: What inspires your writing?
AA: Mostly, real life experiences inspire me. I only write well when my connection with God is in a good place. That's real important to me. Also, real life with my family inspires me whether it is good or bad.
CLW: It sounds like you are very spiritually oriented.
AA: I try to be.
CLW: You are going to be touring with Rob Thomas this summer.
AA: Isn't that crazy? Oh my God, when I got the call for that, I thought why would a rock star like that want o take a little country girl like me out on the road with him? I'm really excited about it. It's going to be a great experience for me. It will be amazing exposure. I'm so happy that Mr. Rob has taken me on.
CLW: He's a great entertainer.
AA: I've heard. I haven't gotten to see him perform live yet, but I've always wanted to. I'm excited.
CLW: You have been recognized early in your career. New Country has named you as a "New Artist to Watch." What do you think about that?
AA: I am very thankful for that. There are a lot of talented girls and guys in Nashville. I never really thought that I would stand out. I'm thankful they have acknowledged the music I am making.
CLW: If you were interviewing yourself, what would you ask?
AA: Right now? What's for dinner? (Laughing) Maybe I would ask what you are thankful for. I'm thankful for your time and this interview. I'm just thankful to be here.
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