Kerry Anderson is a songstress/guitarist not to be taken lightly. Her style is clear and
crisp, with a siren quality would be fitting in any Romantic painting — you can hear the
waves splashing off the wild coastline and the pain and longing in the heart, with just a
mild touch of the tragic.
A Colorado native, Anderson spent much of her life down a long dirt road with the
Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. Growing up among the wildflowers and native
grasses, there is a scent in her music that is not to be forgotten, even in the hustle and
bustle of her current hometown in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
Born in 1979 of frugal parents, Sandy and Ernie, who taught her the value of money
and family harmony. Anderson spent 21 years leading the simple life.
The first time Anderson got an inkling she wanted to be a musician was when she was
12 and home alone. It was raining. She was playing the piano, the first instrument she
tackled as a musician.
“I started writing all these poems, and that’s when I felt that I had a natural ability with
that. I was so excited,” she said. “I had a little tape recorder — a Karaoke machine I
used to record on — and I sang the lyrics while playing the piano.”
Anderson said the song “just came out.” At that time, she was very shy and the
recorder produced the intimacy the budding artist needed to find her own particular
When Anderson moved out on her own, her roommates in Boulder had just moved
back from New Jersey. They told her that she needed to do something with her talent
and search for an outlet for her music.
“They said they could set me up with a family that needed a nanny in Montclair and
that everything would be taken care as far as living needs were concerned,” she said.
“So two month later, off I went.”
Anderson said she flew into LaGuardia airport in New York and her first ride through
Manhattan was a hair-raising one, complete with the quadrupled speed of the east
While staying in the guest room of her new family’s house in Montclair, she tended to
their children and played at the various coffee houses in northern New Jersey. In the
summer of 2001, Anderson recorded her first CD in the tiny basement in Montclair.
When she finally struck out on her own, she rented her first apartment in Bloomfield
and has been there ever since. She met producer Charles Roane and began writing
and recording immediately. In 2004, she met Liz Montalbano, and signed to her
company for management.
“I’m on a mission to get a record label and a fan base,” Kerry said. “My audiences in
Montclair are very enthusiastic. They ask for more information and then become my
friends on MySpace.”
Anderson’s clean playing, mournful lyrics and rich, modulated voice is introspective
and exciting, so it is no wonder her audience is growing.
The intonations in her voice came from the outside influences of other musicians like
Sarah McLachlan and Natalie Merchant.
“I loved the tone of their voice just for softness. I felt connected to them as artists
because of my own natural softness,” Anderson said. “Especially the folk music aspect
and the type of acoustic guitar style.”
The guitar is her main mean of expression now. Always finding new ways to create
versatile guitar tunings. Finding tricks with capos to evoke different sounds and effects.
Anderson said her lyrics come out of nowhere; she doesn’t have any mindset toward
them. In artistic terms, some call that a visitation from the Muse.
“That’s exactly how it is — it’s really crazy how lyrics appear for me,” she said.
“Sometimes, I’m going through life and I don’t realize how sensitive I am to certain
things. Then I pick up the guitar and all of a sudden something appears in the lyrics that
The effect is like someone whispering in her ear from deep in her subconscious, she
said. The haunting flavor of Anderson ’s work makes those comments believable. In
“Sideways,” the piece starts with quiet playing and soft finger snapping, I felt I was
walking down a hall toward something in myself. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there but I
did, compelled by my own experiences. Memories flooded back of love lost, love had.
Bittersweet. Biting. Beautiful.
“My hope is that with every word I sing, and with every melody you hear, I want my
music to reach your soul. I want my music to take you somewhere else, out of your
everyday life. I want my music to be like a warm blanket or the taste of fresh baked
cookies on a cold day,” she said. “Like the smell of rain, or just like feeling the sunlight
through the trees. This is my passion and joy, and it is all for you.”
With the level of professionalism and poetic beauty of her music, Anderson’s train
should arrive shortly on the rails to success. You can visit her Web site at www.
- An excerpt from an article by Celeste Regal of The Observer in New Jersey