Entertainment, On A High Note

John Anderson strikes gold with new album, career highlights

For someone who’s had such an expansive career as John Anderson, it’s hard to imagine him ever taking a break from music. And though some believed that to be the case, Anderson has done anything but. While you know him for hits like “Straight Tequila Night” and “Swingin’” fans are sure to enjoy his latest work, “Goldmine,” just as much, as the singer describes the album as something that became essential for him and his fans.

"Goldmine" was just named one of the top 40 country albums of the year by "Rolling Stone." PHOTO BY JIM SHEA

“Goldmine” was just named one of the top 40 country albums of the year by “Rolling Stone.” PHOTO BY JIM SHEA

“Goldmine became more and more of a necessity for us,” Anderson said, adding that it was nine years since his last album release, prompting people to wonder if he was still an active musician.

“We’re just really getting started into the life of the CD; trying to breathe a little bit of new life into our fan base.” And with the album being named one of the top 40 country albums of the year by Rolling Stone, “Goldmine” is certainly accomplishing that goal.

“There’s a big variety of emotion on this record, as well as country sounds,” Anderson says of the album’s tone, which is reflected on songs like “Song the Mountain Sings” that the singer calls a bluegrass-style “old hillbilly music” song and is one of his favorites off the album.

Other noteworthy tracks include “On and On and On…,” a cut he believes is just as current as the new country sound that’s popular today, the emotional ballad “Back Home” and the Merle Haggard-penned “Magic Mama” – one that is particularly special to Anderson.

“He’s been a huge inspiration in my music for many many years. He’s always wonderful,” Anderson said of the country legend. One day, Anderson got a call from Haggard, saying he had written a song and the more he wrote, the more it sounded like Anderson. Without hesitation, the “Swingin’” singer told his idol to finish the song and he’d cut it.

Anderson's new album can be purchased on his official website PHOTO BY JIM SHEA

Anderson’s new album can be purchased on his official website

A few months later, Haggard was in Nashville for an event and asked to see Anderson. When they met, he pulled a folded up piece of paper out of his back pocket, asked for his guitar, and started to play the twangy tune. “I hope we did the song justice. It’s hard to guess when it comes to someone as great as Merle Haggard if you did well or not,” he said, revealing that Haggard did hear his version and “loved” it.

But the renowned country singer isn’t the only star Anderson was thankful to work with. Friends and frequent collaborators Josh Turner and John Rich also had a helping hand on “Goldmine,” co-writing “I Work Alot Better” and “Don’t Forget to Thank the Lord,” respectively. When talking about Turner, it’s clear that Anderson’s admiration for the singer runs deep. “Every time I talk about Josh, I can’t hardly go without saying what a fine young man he is and one of the better ones I’ve ever met in this business as far as having his head on straight,” he praised. “He’s one of the best.”

And being in fine company is nothing new to the ‘80s hit maker. Last year, Anderson was distinguished with the honor of being inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Fellow inductees include Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Dolly Parton – just to name a few.

Though the singer has received many accolades over the years, he cites this at the top of the list. “That’s one of the most flattering and biggest honors I’ve ever had in my life,” he says of the induction. “Some of those people were my biggest heroes and greatest influences and for my name to be up there beside theirs is almost unbelievable.”

Just one of the many hit songs the country crooner has written includes the 1983 hit “Swingin,’” later recorded by LeAnn Rimes and was released as the first single from her 2010 album, “Lady & Gentlemen,” garnering her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Country Vocal Performance in 2011.

Anderson was both humbled and honored when he found out Rimes recorded the hit. “She’s one of my very favorite singers ever in this business,” he gushed. “I know she’s a huge star, but in my opinion, she’s still underrated as far as her voice. She’s one of the greatest singers; her voice is just incredible to me.”

As “Goldmine” continues to pick up speed, fans can look forward to seeing the star on tour all throughout 2016 as he continues to play new songs off the album, perform acoustic sets, and sing the country hits they know and love. In addition to new music, supporters can also anticipate a solo project Anderson has had in mind for years that features 15 songs he’s composed in the rough, raw version – just like when he first wrote them.

But above all the fame and success, Anderson graciously thanks his longtime fans for all the continued support. “I love playing music,” the singer said. “I love going out and playing for the fans, and that’s probably what I do the best. We’re forever thankful to the fans.”

“Goldmine” is available on Anderson’s official website.