Artist of the day: Anna Gavin
Honesty is the best policy, or so states Anna Gavin.
The Plant City native has been performing her brand of folk-tinged tunes locally for the last couple of years. This year, she’s been hard at work preparing her debut album, Detour, due in early August). She’s stepped out of her comfort zone with a full band, wielding tales of strength, independence, perseverance, and self-preservation.
At 9 p.m. Friday, the singer-songwriter performs a free show with Ryan Walker at 9 p.m. Friday at the Brass Tap, at Westfield Brandon, 775 Brandon Town Center, Brandon. For info, call (813) 654-4712.
She sat down with tbt* to give us a glimpse into her world.
Who is Anna Gavin?
Wow, what a huge question! Anna Gavin is a singer-songwriter-musician who loves all kinds of music, who breathes through music. That’s all I want to do. Music is my life; without it I would literally die.
How did you first become involved with music?
I grew up around it. Everyone in my family plays — my mom, dad, brother and sister, aunts, uncles, everybody.
What kind of music did you play together?
I started with country — old country, like Johnny Cash, June Carter, Willie Nelson, that kind of thing ... and gospel music, because I grew up in a really conservative family.
You had a family band?
Oh, yeah, every time our family got together it was like a huge jam ... If you didn’t play an instrument, you got a spoon and you played the spoons.
How did you get from there to what you’re doing now?
I grew up around it, and in church I was always singing solos and being pushed up front. When I was in middle school, that was the first time I realized I could sing. ’Cause everyone in my family sang, so it didn’t seem like a big deal to me. I never realized I had any talent at all; I assumed everybody could play. I assumed that was normal. In middle school I had a teacher who was my first choir teacher and private vocal coach; he was the one who was like, “You could make a living at this one day.” That’s when it really sunk in. I always loved being loud and in the spotlight; I was never afraid to get in front of people and have fun and be goofy. When I realized that, I kind of took it and ran with it.
The day after I graduated high school, I moved out with my whole family on the front yard screaming at me. I packed my stuff into my boyfriend’s car and drove to Gainesville and moved in with him to start a band. We were together for a year and a half. At the time, my dad had cancer, so I was not there a lot. I came down here every weekend, driving back and forth. Two of the big members moved out of state, so it just kind of fell apart. I moved down here and got a job at a coffee shop and brought my guitar to work every day and started playing, and that’s how I got started as a solo artist.
How would you convince someone who’s never heard your music to attend an Anna Gavin performance?
My selling point is my honesty. I’m honest in everything I say. Sometimes brutally honest, sometimes embarrassingly honest but, I think people can relate to me. ... I’m not gonna put a mini skirt on with a low-cut shirt, and stand in some heels and giggle and sing and dance. I’m not gonna do that. I’m gonna get up there with my guitar, and rock your ass off. I’m gonna play a song of four chords and f---in’ rock. I may not look like Dolly Parton, but it’s gonna be real.
If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?
-- Aaron Lepley, tbt*