The balance between traditional sounds and contemporary themes is evident on Carlton Anderson’s new Arista Nashville EP and his first single, “Drop Everything.” Originally from Cypress, Texas, Anderson grew up on sports and the other Texas pastime: music.
His inspiration came from Willie Nelson , George Strait, and a long line of musical mavericks who transcended borders. The family mantra was “go to work, or go to war,” but Anderson, who cut his teeth playing honky tonks and dancehalls after graduation, had other aspirations. He moved to Nashville to attend college and follow his dream. With undeniable talent and a work ethic honed on the oil fields of Texas, Anderson quickly found a stage and tip jar in one of the honky tonks on Broadway to pay the bills. He was the first to graduate college in his family, but he learned the ropes through hard work, practice, paying his dues in Texas, and playing for tourists and bachelorette parties in Nashville. He focused on “connecting” with his audience, no matter how distracted or inebriated they were. It wasn’t long before the industry took notice and he was signed to a publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music and began writing with some of the most sought-after songwriters in Nashville. He gained a reputation for his steadfast belief in authenticity before trends. “If I’ve lived it, I can sing about it,” he said. “If I haven’t lived it, I’m not a good faker.”