End of the Line: Anderson East

[I’m a big fan of our standardized Q&As, which allow me (and my colleagues) to arrange a great wealth and variety of quality content, with our rather small editorial staff. Though each article still requires a good amount of attention and coordination, I’ve found that simple repeating features can strengthen our editorial profile while streamlining the process of running an active publication with limited resources. This piece is just one such example.]


Meet Anderson East – the South’s newest soul-singing star.

With frequent comparisons to Sam Cooke and the Muscle Shoals sound, the Rising artist and Alabama native is turning heads with his sweat-soaked rhythm and blues.

East first grabbed our attention earlier this year with his soulful lead single “Satisfy Me,” and a powerful rendition of “Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em and Forget ‘Em,” a deep cut from Bobby Gentry’s 1970 album, Fancy (originally recorded at Muscle Shoals’ Fame Studios).  Now East is freshly out with his excellent full-length debut, Delilah.

Anderson East began his music career in 2009, self-releasing an LP under his birth name, Mike Anderson. Under the new moniker he relocated to Nashville and recorded a series of promising EPs while performing in the dirty country bars and honkey-tonks of the South. Eventually, he caught the ear of producer Dave Cobb (Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell).

“You don’t hear voices like that everyday,” says Cobb. “The first time I saw him at the Bluebird [Cafe] in Nashville – he started to sing and shut the place down. And he had the charm and wit to completely hold the audience in the palm of his hand.”

When Cobb got the chance to start his own imprint on Elektra – Low Country Sound – East was the first person he wanted to sign. “When he sings you can hear the soil and landscape of great southern soul in his voice and he’s a amazing writer as well,” he says.

Touring heavily this year, behind the likes of Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson, John Butler and the Lone Bellow, it’s only a matter of time before Anderson East gets the marquee all to himself.

We asked East to play a round of End of the Line, which he willingly completed, tongue firmly in cheek, from cruising altitude on a trans-Atlantic flight.

*   *   *

Hello, My Name Is Anderson East and I’m currently sittin’ on a plane going 500 mph over the ocean to England.

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I always do is wonder, what just happened?

People may not know this about me, but I collect Simpsons memorabilia.

I’m happiest when I play a show that I’m proud of.

I’m terrified of going crazy and being put away.

My real life hero is my dad.

My goal in life is to make great music and be someone that other people want to be around.

The most rewarding thing I know is to do a bank shot while playing ski ball.

My day is not the same without the boys in the band.

If I met a younger version of myself I would tell myself not to smoke cigarettes.

I admire anyone who can break wind in public. Loudly.

One day, when I get the chance, I would like to be a Simpsons character. Or go to Universal Studios and have a Duff.

I consider myself a rock and roll grandma with a heart of gold and buns of steel.

Now that I’m finished, I’m going to find the lavatory.

But before I leave, I want to say y’all be sweet, and Roll Tide*.

[*rallying cry for the Alabama Crimson Tide]

(Photo credit: Neil Krug)

(Photo credit: Neil Krug)

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