Performer: Anderson East
Type of music: Americana Southern soul
About: SlossFest brings the Athens-born singer-songwriter back to his home state. Growing up, Anderson was surrounded by gospel music – his grandfather was a Baptist preacher, his dad sang in the church choir and his mom played the piano every Sunday. There was not much pop music in the house, so Anderson would cling to the little snippets he would hear of Led Zeppelin and Michael Jackson. He taught himself to play guitar at the age of 10, but unlike most kids who learn by playing covers, he quickly became frustrated and began writing and performing his own songs. After a Nashville move and a few albums self-released under his birth name, Mike Anderson, he changed his name to Anderson East.
He quickly caught the attention of renowned producer Dave Cobb, who signed on to produce his major label debut album, “Delilah,” which was released last July. Described by NPR’s Ann Powers as “songs that don’t get stuck in vintage amber, and instead move freely from blues attitude to singer-songwriterly sensitivity to country tenderness,” Delilah showcases East’s musical style and demands that its listeners take note. Paying homage to East’s Alabama roots, “Delilah” includes a cover of songwriter George Jackson’s “Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em, Forget ‘Em” that was recorded at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. East joined big names like Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown and fellow Americana favorites Jason Isbell and John Paul White when his song “Learning” was included in Cobb’s “Southern Family” concept album released in March.
East has spent much of the past few years on the road, opening for various acts including Holly Williams, Sturgill Simpson and the Lone Bellow. He launched his headlining Devil in Me Tour in January. He toured across the county the first half of the year and will make a European leg in August and September before wrapping up back in the United States through November. SlossFest is one of the many music festivals he is set to play this year, as well as the widely popular Bonaroo Music Festival and Austin City Limits Music Festival, along with many others. His 2016 has also included brief stints opening for Chris Stapleton and the Dixie Chicks.
Discography: “Southern Family,” “Delilah,” “The Muscle Shoals Sessions – Live from FAME Studios,” “Flowers of the Broken Hearted,” “Closing Credits for a Fire.”
You might have heard: “Devil in Me,” “Satisfy Me,” “Quit You” and “Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em, Forget ‘Em,” from Delilah. “Learning” from Southern Family.
Playing at SlossFest: Anderson will take the Steam stage from 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, July 16.