If you haven't heard Angaleena Presley's debut album American Middle Class yet, stop reading this interview and go hunt down a copy. Here, the singer-songwriter and one third of The Pistol Annies answers our questions about what we can expect from her appearance at Musicians Corner this Saturday, her favorite Nashville hot spots and more.
You're playing Musicians Corner during AmericanaFest. What do you like about Americana music? Who are some Americana artists you're a fan of?
I'm nuts for Sturgill Simpson and Robert Ellis. I think the records they put out last year were modern masterpieces. From a production standpoint, both records were cutting edge and classically timeless. And the songs... Don't even get me started. These guys are, in my humble opinion, pioneers in uncensored honesty from the male perspective. Probably best of all, they can both flat pick a guitar like it's nobody's business. I'm talking smoke rolling off the fingers... Having grown up on bluegrass music, I have a real weakness for that.
What's been one of your career highlights of 2015?
Best moment in 2015 was hearing my dad's gravely, hillbilly accent echoing across the airwaves of BBC radio. I recently visited the UK and appeared on Bob Harris' show. He played American Middle Class and it occurred to me that even though my father has never even been on an airplane, the power of music was carrying his voice into the ears of one million listeners on the other side of the pond. Remarkable to say the least.
What can we expect from your set at Musicians Corner?
I'm doing a stripped down set, playing songs from American Middle Class and maybe a cover or two. I might play a couple songs that I'm considering for my next record which is currently brewing in my heart. In honor of sticking with the theme, I'll probably work in a song that features one of my guys shredding on a Les Paul.
Have you been to Musicians Corner yet? Any thoughts on it?
Yeah, I think it's a wonderful thing for Music City because it accommodates such a diverse audience. Young or old, married or single, kids or no kids, everyone can feel welcome and comfortable at Musicians Corner
Where are some of the places you like to hang out in Nashville?
My living room. When I'm home I like to stay home. I conserve my energy for the road and uphold my right to be a reclusive, creative being. If on the rare occasion I do go out, I stick mostly to the East side. I love grabbing a smoothie at The Post and I'm a sucker for Mad Donna's fried green beans. I also love a good evening porch sit with my girl friends.
What's the last great concert you've been to?
I saw Joan Armatrading at City Winery and she absolutely blew my mind. She is truly a legend in her own time. She can rip a solo like Pete Townshend on an electric guitar and play the blues like Robert Johnson on an acoustic. Her songs are the kind that speak to your humanity and give you goosebumps for days. I cried a few times. I'd like to thank my friend Kelly for dragging me out of the house to see one of the greatest female artists of our time ;-)