Van Life: Ana Egge

North Dakota’s Ana Egge has long been regarded as one of the brightest talents on the Americana scene. Her distinct brand of evocative, folk-infused songs have really made an impact – emotionally and artistically – on her growing fan base this side of the pond. With her new album, ‘Is It The Kiss’ – featuring amongst others the dulcet tones of Iris Dement – Egge is set to gain a multitude of new fans. America-UK catches up with the singer-songwriter as she is over here on a short run of shows to ask about her life on the road and what music she needs to have in that glovebox on any such trip.

So, Ana, how’s life on the road treating you these days?
Van Life If it’s not fun, it’s funny being on the road. I grew up traveling and moving from house to house, from town to town. With lots of shared beds and camping and Grateful Dead parking lots and side of the road sleeping. So tour life as a young adult was a pretty natural transition for me. Car naps and couch beds. New faces and friends and views and stories.

There’s such a deep potential for camaraderie with musicians and band mates on the road too! Unforgettable highs and lows and loves and lessons learned (or not). All fertile soil for writing for me. Where the ground doesn’t stop whirring by, I plant and reap lyrics and melody, and the insanity of what we actually do during the day in order for the show to go on in that evening somehow all remains worth it.

I guess any road trip can – neigh, WILL – be enhanced by a glovebox full of great music. What do you enjoy listening to? 

JB Lenoir- ‘Vietnam Blues’ (The Complete L+R Recording)
I was given a double CD collection of JB Lenoir’s music in my early ’20’s. His work on the acoustic guitar and his beautiful voice and socially aware and painfully honest songwriting have been a huge influence on me and inspiration since then.

Aretha Franklin – ‘Atlantic Singles Collection’
Her voice and the production and arrangements on most of these songs are near perfection. The emotion and energy behind her singing still floors me.

Hank Williams – ‘Greatest Hits’
Masterful songwriting and minimal instrumentation. All these great songs that get and keep people dancing without a drummer. Plus, put Hank on and I cannot keep quiet, I must sing along!

Joni Mitchell – ‘Blue’
This was my entree to Joni. A friend gave it to me in high school and the first thing I remember thinking when I heard it was, ‘what is she doing with her voice?! Then my next thought was, ‘I never realised that the space in between every note is just as important as the notes themselves’.

Django Reinhardt – ‘Hot Club of France feat. Stephane Grapelli’
A truly brilliant master. His music continues to inspire and keep me company on my way.

Big Thief- ‘Two Hands’ 
I really love this band. The songwriting and Adrianne’s expression and the way the they all play together is pretty magical. Love the sounds on the record and the feeling of being slayed and lifted at the same time by her lyrics. Haunting.

Paul Franklin
Paul Franklin’s incredible, mind-bending steel guitar solos on songs by The Time Jumpers, Alan Jackson – endlessly inventive and creative! Makes you aware of all the places a song can go if you’re open to it. I especially love the remix of Anita feat. T-Pain. So MUCH electric, propulsive energy.

Andy Shauff – ‘The Party’
Beautiful songwriting and singing. And he plays everything on the album except the string parts. My first fave part of the record were the drums and when I realised he was playing them and also all of the gorgeous clarinet parts I was completely sold.

Pop Country Radio
My friend Alec Spiegelman (who I’ve been touring with for a few years now) and I both have a weakness for pop country. We’ll find a good station on the road and fall into listening about dogs and beer and America and revel in the arrangements and craft of some of those great tracks.

‘Is It The Kiss’ is out now on Storysound Records

Ana Egge UK Dates 2019:

30 OCTOBER – Green Note, Camden
2 NOVEMBER – Ana Egge At The Secret Music Club, Sakala, Steyning
4 NOVEMBER – The Greys, Brighton

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