CD REVIEW: Pat Anderson takes us down “Magnolia Road”

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective. As I told ‘The Tennessean’ in 2008, “since moving to Nashville twenty-five years ago, I have met people whose lives do not remotely reflect the caricature of what many outside our city presume to be a ‘Nashvillian’ or the Nashville experience.” “Underground Nashville” thus explores the soul of the city, not its surface—offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew


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CD REVIEW: Pat Anderson takes us down “Magnolia Road

By Dave Carew

Pat Anderson is a roots-rock/Americana singer-songwriter based in Nashville. Over the past few months, Pat has showcased his music at the world-famous Bluebird Café and at other Nashville venues. (To see Pat performing at the Bluebird, as captured by BBC World News America in July, go to Although Pat’s prime focus these days is building his local fan base, he’s also busy capturing accolades beyond Nashville’s city limits. Roots Revival Radio in Belgium hailed Pat “a very talented young artist who deserves highlight attention.”  And said of Pat: “This is a singer who is going to be BIG . . . . You will be hearing a lot more of Pat Anderson.”

After hearing Pat’s new album, Magnolia Road, I couldn’t agree more. This is a young artist of unusual passion and dedication—one following the path of artists like John Hiatt, John Mellencamp, Steve Earle, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd—but forging his own unique footprints on it.

Stand-out tracks on Magnolia Road include “She’s the One” (which Pat performs part of in the BBC World News America video) and the opener “Follow Me Down.” The latter solidly sets the tone for the entire album, by riveting your attention immediately and telling you, “The 11 songs you’re about to hear have nothing to do with plastic; nothing to do with schlock; nothing to do with Music Row soullessness.” When Gram Parsons said “I dream of . . . Cosmic American Music,” here’s what he was talking about.

When I interviewed Pat for Underground Nashville last spring—when he was still recording Magnolia RoadI asked him what his dream for his music is.  He replied, in part, “I just want to make music good enough that it affects people in the same way that music I like affects me. There’s something comforting and strengthening in the best music, and it makes the world a little bit more habitable place to me.”

After listening to Magnolia Road, I sense that Pat Anderson’s dream—thanks to his unique talent and vision—is quickly coming true.

David M. (Dave) Carew is editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter.” He also is a freelance book editor, publicist, and copywriter.


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