2 Years Down the Road (video 2:00)

2 Years Down the Road (video 2:00)
2 Years Down the Road (video 2:00)
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MA3Moving from Brooklyn to Nashville is a great leap – both in distance and lifestyle. But not necessarily attitude.

 

Michaela Anne continues to write “old country” songs about relationships and sing in a heart-felt style influenced by singer-songwriters like Emmy Lou Harris and Lucinda Williams. Her band includes a pedal steel guitar, which adds the perfect mournful touch.

 

Nashville was a purposeful move. She wanted a slower “better quality” lifestyle and to surround herself with new music influences and possibilities. “I couldn’t have hoped for it to go any better than it has. It’s been really inclusive and I’ve made some amazing friends.” And, she now lives in a house instead of a 1-bedroom apartment. “It’s been amazing!”

 

She toured a lot her first year in Nashville. With the last 6 months focusing on her new CD, she’s taught music to pay the bills and barely toured . It’s a commitment that Michaela Anne realizes is all part of the music business. A business that she says is built on art.

 

 

Band3Being independent gives her complete control over her music. While recognizing the business side, she wants to maintain her music as authentic. “I don’t have a label that approves my music. I deliver the album and that’s that.” It also allows her to keep in touch, “the human experience,” which she says is what drives her.

 

On being a woman in a fairly male-dominated business, Michaela Anne points to festivals and showcases that are mostly male performers with one or two females. “That’s just stupid! Music reflects our lives and women are half of the population. That frustrates me.” In Nashville, she found a very supportive community of female singers and doesn’t feel any competition. “My thought on it is, just keep on going out there and kicking ass.”

 

CD CoverMichaela Anne’s 2nd CD “Bright Lights and the Fame” got a rave review in the New York Times. She’ll be on the road until July, both promoting it and opening for Mandarin Orange as a duo. She first played Richmond 2 years ago at a Northside house concert. This past Thursday she played “The Tiny Bar” at Black Iris Studio. Again, it was a house-like setting, but with a bar and pro sound. Having played to an audience of 200 in Nashville the night before, she appreciated Thursday night’s up close experience of approximately 20. She also had the chance to tell stories about herself and her songs.

 

The guys at Black Iris created the “living room with a bar” with the idea for the audience to actually experience the artist…not to shoot photos or video. The lights were low and the vibe was casual.  (I was allowed to shoot by special permission. Even though, I supplemented the grainy video quality with stills.)

 

Band:

Michaela Anne:  vocals, acoustic guitar

Aaron Shafer-Haus: drums (and husband)

Phillip Sterk: pedal steel guitar

Reese Williams:  electric bass

 

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