An Interview with Nashville singer-songwriter, WILDWOOD about her new song “Moonrise”
(aka Anne Buckle, HOBY Georgia '04)

Tell us about your new single “Moonrise.”
“Moonrise” is the first single from my new project WILDWOOD, which is a collection of darker indie Americana songs that will be released via South x Sea Records throughout 2017. I came up with the idea for “Moonrise” when I was in my apartment in Nashville at my piano one night staring out the window. The moon was huge and orange, rising up in the night sky, and it looked so spooky and ominous. I thought, when the moon rises, it sets the scene for darkness and uncertainty in the night. I held onto the idea for a while and brought it with me to a co-write with Brett Boyett in LA, where we wrote the song together months later, turning it into a ballad about the uncertainties of love.

LISTEN TO “MOONRISE” ON SPOTIFY: open.spotify.com/album/1kt3stnMLRtamPSkZDCPip

Where does the name WILDWOOD come from?

AP Carter of the Carter Family was my great uncle, and June Carter Cash was my grandma’s first cousin. They were best friends, so I was lucky enough to know her and Johnny Cash when I was a kid. Being a Carter is how I got into music - my two uncles had a recording studio in Bristol, VA when I was little, and I first got to sing into an old ribbon microphone there when I was 7. My uncle also gave me my first violin when I was 6, and that’s when I began playing music. The name WILDWOOD comes from a Carter Family song recorded in 1928, “The Wildwood Flower.” The lyrics tell a sad story: there’s a flower in the wildwood that is loved and promised to be loved, and then one day, her love leaves and she’s left downhearted and neglected. My family in Appalachia has always dealt with many trials, and there’s this tangible soberness that exists there - at least for us there always was. It’s what gave the music such depth. WILDWOOD as a name pays homage to my Carter Family roots, as well as hints at this darker side of life that my own lyrics tell of.

Where in Georgia are you from originally, and how long have you been doing music in Nashville?
I grew up in Peachtree City, GA, the daughter of two school teachers. Unlike a lot of people who move to Nashville as a teenager to chase their music dreams, I went to college and grad school first, and I lived and worked abroad in France twice along the way. It wasn’t until after graduating with a Master’s degree that I made my own pilgrimage to Music City to chase my dreams.

You have an interesting background, from getting a Master’s degree at Harvard to interning at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France when you were in college. Why music?
I’ve always been passionate for music and international relations, so I went to school for both. It wasn’t until the end of college - from a breakup actually - that led me to write my own original songs, and at that point I followed my heart and chose music over the Foreign Service. When I moved to Nashville, I actually worked in government for a few years in the Haslam administration, exploring that public service passion. I helped develop the Tennessee Promise program, which made community and technical colleges free for students in Tennessee. However, after some time, I realized my heart was in music and I needed to leave to chase my dreams. I’m currently self-employed as a touring artist and fiddle player, songwriter, and session player.

What does a typical day look like for you as a singer-songwriter and musician in Nashville?
In a typical day, I’m writing and recording my own songs, or playing violin, viola, or singing vocals for other people as a session player. I teach music lessons a few days a week to help pay the bills, and I’m also a teaching artist at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. I play fiddle for other bands and sing for corporate gigs a few times a month as well. Making a living as a working singer-songwriter currently means I have a lot of different things going on all the time, so every day is a little different!

You recently started a non-profit to help refugee youth in Nashville. Tell us a little about that work.
3 Chords is a non-profit I founded in 2016 to help refugee youth learn to write songs to express themselves. I’ve done a lot of traveling in my life and have gained a huge passion for people of other cultures, and I love being able to help new Americans, particularly ones who are here because they were forced out of their homes in other countries. I spend an hour each week with 10 high school refugees, teaching them guitar and songwriting, and I bring in guest artists and songwriters to work with them. This is year one, but my goal is to have the students record their songs at a studio and then create a compilation record of those songs. I also hope to do a showcase with them all performing at a Nashville venue in May. (Learn more at 3chords.org)

Who are some of your greatest musical influences?
I am totally enchanted by everything Joy Williams does. She's a huge influence on me vocally and musically. I also really love the sweetness of Alison Krauss and the darkness of Lana Del Rey. I like to blend sweet and dark, and that’s what I’m going for with WILDWOOD.

What’s been your greatest musical accomplishment?

Touring with the band Augustana last summer was a dream. I never would have imagined I’d be opening for the Dixie Chicks to 20,000 people at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but I did! I also got to share the stage with Charlie Daniels last year in a fiddle duel playing “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” That memory will certainly last a lifetime!

What advice would you give anyone wanting to chase their dream?

You are the author of your life - write your own story and don’t let anyone else write it for you or tell you how it should go. In the music industry in particular, people share opinions with me about me and my music all the time - I get told “no” constantly. But ever “no” is one step closer to a “yes.” Chasing a dream is hard because you are going to face a lot of rejection and opposition along the way. But it’s totally worth it. Find out what your passion is by following your curiosities, and then go for it with everything you have. Don’t hold back, and don’t let either fear or perfection be your enemy. Just keep moving forward, learning and growing every day.

How has HOBY helped you get where you are today?

HOBY changed me at age 16, empowering me to want to be the best possible version of myself. It helped me become bolder. It introduced me to people different than myself. It taught me that I have the power to be a light in the world that helps make it a little brighter place. HOBY engrained in me the idea that one kid can make a difference.

Website: sheiswildwood.com

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