INTERVIEW: Anna Garrott

The BIO for Anna Garrott describes her as a cool-summer cocktail that goes down slow and easy, and is intoxicating by design; Anna Garrott is sugarplum sweet with a jalapeno kick! As if cast in a star-studded movie as the stereotypical sweet, southern girl next door with a tomboy edge, Anna Garrott fits the bill. Having grown up in the small college town of Troy, Alabama, Anna was a rough and tumble little girl who spent her playtime building forts and seeking adventures in the woods. In Alabama, being tough was more important than being darling. Anna was encircled by strong women who reinforced her drive to become an independent young lady.

I was very fortunate to spend some time talking to this young new artist who is taking Music Row and making it her own. I took the opportunity to get to know her and to find out a little more about what makes her who she is as well as where she hopes the music will take her.

Bev: Anna, I am so glad to have this chance to visit, please, tell me about the new project and what has been happening.

Anna: We released the single awhile back and it is doing really well. It is doing fantastic and taking off. We are thrilled about that. We are writing and working on the next album. I plan on recording it the first of this year. It is a busy time right now. The single is doing really well but we are at the mercy of the radio stations as to whether they are going to add it or not. We are on the road right now going from radio station to radio station just like in the old days, doing live performances and trying to get them to add it where we can.

Bev: What has been your biggest surprise, something that you had no idea would happen with the single or the album?

Anna: For the single, I didn’t want to overset my expectations. I really didn’t have any expectations because I didn’t have any idea how fast it was suppose to travel up the charts. How well it has done has definitely been the biggest surprise. Our radio promotions team has been like “wow” and they can’t believe how many stations are picking it up with me being a brand new name and an independent artist. It has been a great surprise.

Bev: Tell me a little bit about your history of when you started singing and how you got to the point you are now.

Anna: I started singing in church, singing gospel. When I went to college, I fell in love with the live music. I went to Troy University in my hometown of Troy Alabama. We had several clubs and bars in town and I fell in love with the live music. From there I met a producer from Nashville and several years later, he introduced me to several other people and that led me to the label. It all started in my college years.

Bev: You mentioned you are already working on the next album, have you done anything out of the box to promote this other than radio promotion. Obviously you are doing Facebook, Myspace and the other internet social media, but are you doing anything else sponsorship wise or contest wise that will help promote the song and album.

Anna: I have a marketing degree so that is my focus. My thoughts are “How can we sell this in a way no one else is doing”. We have all kinds of things going on. At the live shows, if you sign up in the fan club, we do a drawing and you may win something. With email addresses, every once in a while we will pick a winner and send them some merchandise. I use Facebook and Myspace to keep in touch with my fans. Blogging has been really interesting lately. I am trying to get to every person I can. Out on the road, every hand I shake, I give out these little bookmark like things with little blurbs on them. They are unique, but cool. My team and I try to come up with things like that all the time, anything that has my name on it, just try to get it out there. We have things as simple as when we eat at a restaurant, we leave something on the table so the next person picks it up.

Bev: Going back to your current project, you write all the songs on this album?

Anna: No, I did not. The single that is out now was written by Phil Vassar, Charlie Black and Bobby Fisher. I was real fortunate to get that song and cut it. There is a Delbert McClinton song on there called “Two More Bottle of Wine”. I loved that song when Delbert McClinton did it and then Emmy Lou Harris did it in the 1970s. We took it and put it back to the Delbert version. There are some amazing writers on the album and then I am writing for some for the sophomore album.

Bev: Is there anyone on your wish list that you hope to write with?

Anna: I would love to write with Phil Vassar and Neil Thrasher. Neil is an icon on the songwriting world. I would even just settle for cutting a Neil Thrasher song. Those are probably my top two.

Bev: How about performing? Is there anyone, at some point in time, you would like to share the stage with?

Anna: I would say Bonnie Raitt. It would be wonderful to open for her or share the stage with her. A show like that would be awesome. Bonnie Raitt or Emmy Lou Harris are my two favorites.

Bev: Who has inspired you?

Anna: Musically, I grew up spending summers with my Grandmother and she introduces me to the Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Kitty Wells, that classic country to really sink your teeth into. I think that you need a good understanding of that first and that helped me come into my own. That is when I fell in love with Emmy Lou Harris and Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedesky and Pattie Griffin. Those are some of my favorites. I don’t want to sound like them but you take the things you like about them and gel them all together to become who you are.

Bev: When you chose songs, do you try to choose something that you can relate to or just something you like?

Anna: I am more of a melody person. When someone asks “what is the equation for a great song”, I would say it is the melody that sticks in your head with a message that speaks to you. I think those two elements are what makes up a great song. I try to make sure the songs we are looking at or writing has those two elements. Now, sometimes, especially in writing, you come up with the message first and then match it with a melody. As far as hearing a song for the first time, it is the melody that sticks with me.

Bev: In speaking with the fans, what is something that a fan has said to you that you will probably always remember?

Anna: We have this song called “Silver Wings” on the album and it is about your Grandmother. I had played the song in a show one time and I had a girl at a meet and greet come up and she was crying. She said “I lost my Grandmother last week and she was the closest thing to me and that song just really spoke to me, I will never forget it”. I started crying because I am extremely close to my Grandmother. It is when you touch someone in a way that is indescribable. It is the moment when you go “holy cow, what I am doing is affecting someone”.

Bev: What are your plans from here? Are you doing any big shows or tours in the near future?

Anna: Now with the holidays over I will be back on the road again. We have a ton of things working with the label right now, especially with this single going so well. Our calendar is filling up fast. I am using this down time off the road to clear my head and take it easy.

Bev: Can your fans buy your music online.

Anna: We are available at We have tour dates, merchandise and digital downloads. We will be available on ITunes soon.

Bev: Thanks Anna, I enjoyed speaking with you and look forward to seeing you again soon.

Anna: Bev you are so sweet, thank you and I cannot wait to share some time with you again.

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