Hannah Anders never fails to set the bar higher for women in country music while bridging the gap between the old and the new. With high-energy shows at Summerfest, CMA Fest, HogRock, and many more, Anders is a country music queen who excels at taking real-life experiences and blending them with the best of her artistic flair. Anders’ album Evolution, released in January 2021, is a full-length experience that showcases Anders as a multi-faceted lyricist, vocalist, and personality.
Following her successful single “While I Still Got Time,” Anders dove into the world of another track from Evolution, entitled “Redneck Riding Hood.” Her most adventurous and tongue-in-cheek song yet, “Redneck Riding Hood” puts a spin on the classic tale of a young woman who carves her own path and refuses to be tamed.
“I love the narrative happening around “fairy tales” right now that the heroines are not these damsels in distress but rather strong, independent women who can hold their own in the world. I wanted to bring that to “Redneck Riding Hood.” The song is definitely fun and campy and that gave me a great platform to bring her to life, but I wanted her to be a bit of a badass as well. She’s no wolf’s victim.”
Tell us about your new music and the inspiration behind it.
Every song has its own unique inspiration. Not every song is written by me either. On my album Evolution, I would say it’s about a 60/40 split of songs I’ve written versus songs other people have written.“Redneck Riding Hood” for example, was written by the extremely talented Megan Conner, Jon Stea, and Jon Conley. I think we HAVE to keep that beautiful relationship between songwriters and performers. There are amazing songs out there that need to be heard and if your ego is in the way about whether or not you “wrote it” you’re going to miss out on some great moments and we’re going to miss out on celebrating great writers who don’t necessarily perform.
With all that said, when I write music, whether it’s an upbeat party song or a heartfelt ballad, it’s always coming from an authentic place. It’s inspired by something real. I could go song by song and walk you through each moment that took me there, but the overall message is, it’s my life in music, in its different phases and moments.
When I cut someone else’s song, they all have one feeling in common. “I wish I’d written this.” If I have that feeling, I’ll usually take it on.
What was the songwriting and recording process?
Since we’re all about “Redneck Riding Hood” right now (which I love), I’ll share that story specifically with you. As I mentioned, I didn’t write “Redneck Riding Hood.” I actually heard Meagan perform it here in town YEARS ago. I instantly fell in love with it. I knew it was getting some traction and had some interest, but I so much wanted to cut it and bring this character to life. Megan and the writing team were kind enough to give me the “ok,” and it’s only now that I’ve been able to circle back and give her the attention she deserves. Bringing the song to life in the studio is always a fun adventure as well because you could have five people cut the same song, and it’s going to be a little different each time. Developing the song and arrangement is just as fun as developing the character herself. Where we the band and the producer “feel” moments in a song is always a fun thing to discover and bring to life.
What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?
I want them to know that they can come to a “Hannah Anders” album (or show) and there will be a song or songs that will speak to what they’re going through. Whether it’s a good time, a mellow drive, or a heartbreak, I’ve been through all of it too, and I want all of that to be a part of my work and a part of the experience. It isn’t about pigeonholing myself or my fans.
When did you first pick up the guitar, and what drew you to that instrument?
Truthfully, I’ve only picked up the guitar in the last few years. My first instrument was piano which I’m pretty proficient in, but the guitar was calling to me for a long time. I’ve REALLY enjoyed learning how to play, and while I’m definitely not where I want to be yet, not much makes me happier than sitting out on my deck with a whiskey and my acoustic guitar at the end of the day.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Love Chris Stapleton, love Alabama, love Reba, love Aerosmith, love Miranda Lambert…the influences are wide and varying.
We’re working on some cool new ways to approach our live show. We’re ALWAYS looking for ways to take that to the next level and give our fans a fun and new experience when they see us live. I’ll be very glad when live music is back to some normal consistency again.
As far as music, inspiration has been bubbling for the next round of tunes, and I’m thinking there’s another single/video release in 2021…
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