Anna Lombard first caught our ear with the now-defunct folk-rock band Gypsy Tailwind. Most of her Gypsy bandmates stuck with her, and the new band is called ANNA. The sound is soulful blues-rock, one that's well-suited to her 1,000-watt voice.
Lombard also just recorded a solo EP, so there was no shortage of things to talk about with GO.
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ANNA, mostly made up of former Gypsy Tailwind members, will play on Friday at Empire Dine & Dance in Portland.
LEUKEMIAPALOOZA, featuring ANNA with Model Airplane. Benefit for local musician Christian Cuff's brother Jacob, who is battling leukemia.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Empire Dine & Dance, 575 Congress St., Portland
HOW MUCH: $8; ages 21 years and older
WHAT'S ON ANNA LOMPARD'S iPOD
"What Would It Be Like," Sara Hallie Richardson
"Elephants," Rachael Yamagata
"Tip of My Tongue," The Civil Wars
"Farm Day," Megan Jo Wilson
"My Love Will Keep," Jonathan Edwards
"Peace Comes," Jacob Augustine
"Emmylou," First Aid Kit
"Somebody That I Used to Know," Gotye featuring Kimbra
"Push On," Lyle Divinsky
"Never Easy," Zach Jones
"Peace of Mind," Will Dailey
TURN YOUR RADIO DIAL
to 102.9 WBLM every Friday at 8:30 a.m. to hear Aimsel Ponti wax poetic about her top three live music picks for the week with the Captain and Celeste.
Let's start with the ANNA lineup.
We have Max Cantlin on electric guitar and backing vocals, Benjamin Trout on the "flying V" electric mandolin, Chris Dow on percussion and Colin Winsor on bass. I am on vocals and guitar and sometimes piano, but only in the privacy of our practice space.
What's the latest with the band?
We are busy in the studio right now working on a record -- most likely a five- (to) six-song EP, but the more tunes we write, the more we consider a full-length record. It's been almost seven months since the end of Gypsy and the bottom line is, we need to release some music to keep a buzz going, to show fans we haven't died.
It's been quite a transition from Gypsy; we had to literally start from ground zero. We went into the studio in August with no songs. What we did have on our side was the fact we had played together as a band for four years (minus my year away to have a baby) so that comfort, the vibe, etc., was all there. Now we are just trying to figure out what our sound is, and although we may not be overly conscious of it, we want it to be very different from Gypsy.
You just raised funds for a solo EP using Kickstarter, and went to New York City to record it. Tell us about that.
I set a very conservative goal of $5,000 -- those of you who know what it costs to make a record will agree that in order to do a record "right," it should cost considerably more than that. I was blown away, though, by the amount of support I received, from fans, from friends, from family. To me, that's a lot of money.
My trip to New York was absolutely amazing. I went there to be a part of the beginning stages of this record, and I'm heading back there in February to check in on the progress. At the helm of this record are my dear longtime friends Adam Agati and Nick Falk. The players on this record are among some of the best session musicians in New York. Nick is a hyper-talented drummer who is fresh off the class of 2011 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and Adam is a world-class guitar virtuoso and songwriter who is currently playing with the legendary Marcus Miller as well as rapper Ludacris.
What are your ANNA goals versus your solo goals?
I think it's safe to say my goals for both are the same: To create music that people connect with, with musicians I respect, admire and love; to do what I believe I was put on this Earth to do -- to sing; and to continue to grow as an artist and a writer. Also, to make records that people will feel compelled to buy. ANNA is certainly a unit -- we write together, we play together, we make fun of each other, and we all sleep in the same bed every night. Except for Colin. Colin sleeps on the floor.
Musically speaking, how does your solo work compare to the ANNA stuff?
My solo work is definitely going to have a poppy, indie-rock feel. ANNA is driven by a soulful, bluesy-rock vibe. Ideally, I would love to have it all be one thing so as not to confuse people, but I'm still figuring that out.
What did you listen to growing up, and does any of that influence your work?
I grew up listening to Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, Mahalia Jackson, John Lennon, Carole King, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash, among others. I have more recently been influenced by Rachael Yamagata. I never want anyone to say, "Yeah, Anna she sounds like (fill in the blank)." I want elements and undertones of everyone I've ever listened to to come through in my work and singing, but I want to be my own voice.
Where can people listen to your music?
You can find Anna & the Diggs at http://www.annaandthediggs.com
Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: