In just under one month, Anderson Elswick has gotten himself on quite a roll. His sophomore EP, Relic charted in the top 75 on iTunes, and has played a big part in earning him well over 5,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
Looking to keep his momentum going, Elswick is back with the release of Quarantine Knights; a six-song EP comprised of just Anderson, his guitar and six of his favorite songs by Chris Knight. The vocals are impressive, and the EP was recorded in a way that makes us feel like we’re listening to Elswick performing around a fire, which is refreshing given the current circumstances we’re living in.
We caught up with Anderson about the success of Relic, what inspired him to record Quarantine Knights, why he chose each song on the album and more!
Pro Country: In less than a month since its release, Relic has charted in the top 75 on iTunes, earned you well over 5,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and has received praise from several family, friends and fans alike. What has that support in the month following Relic’s release meant to you.
Anderson Elswick: Man, it’s so cool. For me, the coolest thing in the world is to put tons of work in to something and have people really enjoy it when it’s complete. It wouldn’t matter to me if there’s 5,000 or 5 people the really like it. Just the fact that someone enjoys something that means so much to you is incredible. I’m so thankful and humbled every time someone tells me they like one of my songs.
PC: In our first interview, you mentioned how big of an impact Chris Knight had on your music. What is it about Chris’s music that you love so much, and what drew you to record an acoustic album of your favorite Chris Knight songs?
AE: The rawness and honesty in his songs speaks to me so much. His way of writing a song that may sound so simple, but in reality, it’s the furthest thing from it. They paint such a vivid picture in my mind, I can see all the characters clear as day. I guess as far as what drew me to record the album was just the fact that I’ve always wanted to record some Knight songs. I thought, “No better time to do it than when people are stuck at home!” [laughs]. And as far as them being acoustic, I just thought that’s how Knight songs should be: nothing but a guitar and vocals. Nothing to get in the way of his outstanding lyrics.
PC: We’re obviously living in a strange time right now with quarantine and social distancing in place. When did you record Quarantine Knights? How long did it take?
AE: Yeah, I’d agree. We live in a strange world, man. I’m just ready to go eat a steak somewhere with my wife and friends! [laughs]. I recorded the album on March 30th in just a few hours. I drove down to Gem City Studios in Jellico, TN early that morning. Me and my producer, Matt McQueen, set up two microphones and just rolled with it. No click track, just a pair of headphones, me and my guitar. Because we recorded it “live” so to speak, we couldn’t tune or edit the vocals at all, so look over me if I’m a little flat here and there [laughs]. It was super fun, and I’m excited to share some of my favorite Knight songs with everyone.
PC: Let’s go through each song on Quarantine Knights! Let us know why you chose to add each song to the album:
“Crooked Road” might be my favorite song, ever. I work in and around coal mines for a living, and I drive through Logan, WV almost weekly it seems, so I can just relate to that song so much.
“Enough Rope” is a close second to “Crooked Road” for sure! The hook is just unreal, one of those that make you say, “Man, why didn’t I write that?”
“House and 90 Acres”
“House and 90 Acres” is just a cool testament of a real man, I think anyways. His woman left, he’s raising his kids alone, but he’ll be damned if he gives up.
“Something Changed” is just a cool song about an extremely relatable situation, and I just love the melody at top of the chorus [laughs].
Wow, what a song. The story of a little girl that loves to dance and just stays around the same ol’ town. Knight somehow found the romance in being a lady of the night [laughs].
“It Ain’t Easy Being Me”
I picked “It Ain’t Easy Being Me” just because it’s been one of my favorites to play live for years now. A lot of people ask me to play it at shows, so I figured I’d cut it so people could listen to it all they want now!
PC: Is there anything you’d like to add?
AE: I just want to say thanks to Pro Country for taking the time to talk with me again and being interested enough in my music to want to learn more. Also, I want to thank my producer, Matt McQueen, for always helping me out and giving me a great place to make music. Thank you all so much for the love and support- Anderson.
*Images courtesy of Anderson Elswick Facebook Page*