Arista Nashville artist/songwriter Carlton Anderson is setting the bar for 2019 high by releasing new music and making his debut on the Grand Ole Opry at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Friday, Jan. 11, and joining a star-packed round at the ASCAP Music Café in the heart of the Sundance Film Festival in collaboration with the Academy of Country Music and the famed Bluebird Café on Jan. 30 and 31.
On the heels of his successful debut single “Drop Everything,” which was recognized by Taste of Country as “Reminiscent of a lot of things, but not a copycat of any,” Anderson is releasing new music including “Keep Abilene Beautiful” and the anthemic “Country Music Made Me Do It.” The new songs will be available Friday, Jan. 11 on all digital retailers and streaming platforms.
Anderson has been lauded for his authenticity and bridging the divide between traditional sounds and contemporary themes. He was named one of Rolling Stone’s 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know and was on the list of “Future CMA Nominees” by Cowboys & Indians. He wrapped 2018 being named one of Amazon’s Music Best of Country.
Performing on the stage at the Ryman completes a list of career aspirations Anderson set in motion when he moved to Nashville from Cypress, Texas. He wanted to get a publishing deal, which he did with Warner Chappell Music, he wanted to be signed by a record label who believed in his forward-leaning traditional sound, which he found in Arista Nashville, and he wanted to play the Grand Ole Opry at Ryman Auditorium, the Mother Church of Country Music.
The revered stage has special meaning for Anderson. In the days before he caught the attention of Nashville’s industry tastemakers, he found work in a downtown honky-tonk to pay the bills and college tuition. Each night, he would pass the Ryman and rub his hand across the red brick exterior wall. He never gave up on his dreams and he never lost sight of the legendary stage on the other side.
“When I moved from Texas I had three goals I hoped to accomplish,” Anderson said. “Playing the Opry on the Ryman Auditorium stage was one of them. I’ve been dreaming about this moment long before I ever picked up a guitar and I’m thankful to the Opry for giving me the opportunity and my team for helping make this happen.”
Adding to an already exceptional month, Anderson is joining the impressive round for the Sundance ASCAP Music Café, which has featured songwriters and artists from a variety of music genres for 20 years. The ACM and Bluebird Café Songwriters Series Featuring Anderson Deana Carter, Jacob Davis, and Lee Ann Womack, will be held Jan. 30 (4:30 PM) and Jan. 31 (4:15 PM).
Anderson will appear with Aaron Watson on the following dates:
Jan. 17 – Vinyl Music Hall, Pensacola, FL
Jan. 18 – Dallas Bull, Tampa, FL
Jan. 19 – Terminal West, Atlanta, GA
Jan. 26 – 8 Seconds Saloon, Indianapolis, IN
Follow Carlton Anderson here: