Anderson East (Photo Becky Fluke)

Anderson East, southern soul awakening

The future is bright for Nashville’s budding music standout Anderson East. With a Southern soul album under the belt and tour dates heavy on the radar, East is on pace for another great year.

But before the North Alabama native became a common name in Nashville and Americana music circles, East spent a few years in Murfreesboro as a student at MTSU.

From 2005 – 2009, East attended the university for music engineering, a skill set which has definitely worked in his favor as it has placed him in good company among a popular musical ilk.

“I had a good time. I probably didn’t use my resources as well as I could have, but I learned enough to be dangerous,” East said about his college days.

During this time, Murfreesboro music fans could catch East playing around town and like many who attended the university, Nashville is usually the next step in the journey but East’s path has exceeded the expectations of others have pursued similar ventures in Music City.

Since the move, East has been mastering his craft and staying busy to say the least. He released a stellar soul album with Delilah last year and was featured on the Southern Family compilation with artists such as Miranda Lambert, Chris Stapleton, Zac Brown and Jamey Johnson this past spring.

Regarding Delilah, East says he simply drew inspiration from being 27 years old and what was surrounding his life at the time.

“I was writing songs that mean something and trying to make a record,” East said about the evolution of the album.

Delilah is filled with full-bodied arrangements that are coupled with East’s golden vocals over tasteful tracks like “Satisfy Me” and the slow burners “Lying in Her Arms” and “Lonely.” Other tracks of note include “Devil in Me” and “Quit You,” a co-write with Stapleton.

The album was produced by Grammy award winning Dave Cobb, who has also produced works for Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson and Jason Isbell. In the past few years, it has seemed that whatever Cobb has touched turned to gold, and East’s work is no exception.

“I love that guy to death. I’ve learned a lot and he let me engineer a couple of things from him. I got to observe what a good producer does for an artist. When we started making music together, it was simple and the most comfortable I’ve been in a studio,” East noted about working with Cobb.

“From then on, it was a no brainer that we’d work together,” he added.

East has been in full swing this year with live shows that have included dates with Stapleton, and the artist is scheduled to perform at several area festivals including Sloss Fest and Forecastle Festival and has performed at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival this summer.

With a mix of intimate and large-scale venues, East says there is a lot of work that goes into each show and he and his band treat each one the same no matter the stage in which they are performing.

As for the remainder of the year, East will continue touring and doing what he does best – making music.

“We’re just trying to work on some new music for a little bit and trying to have a good time through it all. We’ve been fortunate that it has worked out that way.”

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