QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SHOW?
Anna Wilson is a critically acclaimed artist with a voice that Jazz Times likens to “crème de cocoa.” Her numerous albums have been released to rave reviews and she has been hailed as the queen of the country-jazz duet with her critically acclaimed Countrypolitan Duets project. She has recorded and performed with Grammy award-winning and legendary artists Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Rogers, Larry Carlton, Ray Price, Connie Smith and more and she is an award-winning ASCAP songwriter, whose works appear on over 7 million RIAA certified records, for artists like Lady Antebellum, Reba McEntire, Billy Ray Cyrus, Chuck Wicks and more.
Her latest project is Americana duo Troubadour 77, that she formed with husband and hit songwriter Monty Powell. If you think it’s an odd departure away from her many jazz records and country songwriting accolades, you may be right. However, Wilson indicates that first and foremost she is a songwriter and that her songs have always been the driving force in everything she does. “Even on my past vocal jazz projects, it was always all about the original jazz songs I wrote, way more than the standards of the genre. T77, as we sometimes call ourselves, is representative of the music I have always wanted to make. It comes from a true singer songwriter mindset, inspired by my heroes and musical influences of the California Laurel Canyon era in the early 1970s.”
After a twenty-five year recording career and six studio albums, this dynamic and diverse songbird has even more things to sing about. She recently co-wrote and co-stars in a two-person musical with songwriter/husband Monty Powell called “North South Nashville” that will debut with a residency run this summer in Nashville at the new Woolworth Theatre. “The best way I know how to describe it is Springsteen on Broadway meets the hit movie Once, meets The Bluebird Cafe on crack!” It’s a scripted show that tells her and Powell’s personal story of chasing dreams and finding love amid the backdrop of their separate and combined Nashville pilgrimages to songwriting success.
Additionally, Wilson and Powell co-produced another special project that highlights various country, Americana and pop artists as they re-imagine the songs of one of the finest singer/songwriters of our time…the great Billy Joel. The album is called A Nashville State of Mind and hopes to inspire old and new Billy Joel fans in celebration of his 50th year as a songwriter.
When it comes to giving back, Wilson is all hands on deck, as community outreach is another important aspect of Anna’s career. She continually tries to find ways to marry her music with charities that she is passionate about. She is widely known for her Habitat for Humanity International theme song “A House, A Home” that garnered worldwide attention when it appeared in the charity’s public service announcements and received over $5 million in free advertising worldwide. She also penned and Olympic inspired song called “Spirit” whose royalties benefited Women’s Ski Jumping USA when they made their debut in Sochi, Russia. The proceeds were given directly to the organization to help support and run a successful and sustainable team, grow participation, produce the best women ski jumpers in the world and advocate for gender equality in sport.
Born and raised in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of Loyola University in Maryland, Anna Wilson splits her time between Nashville, the mountains of Utah and the Florida Keys where she enjoys golf, skiing, wine, performing live and recording innovative album projects that have appeal to wide audiences. Her music is engaging and effortless as she weaves her soulful, vulnerable and richly textured voice through everything she does.
Looking for Monty Powell? You don’t have to look far. He is usually hanging around somewhere at the top of the radio charts and most recently you will now be able to find him live on stage co-starring in a new musical he co-wrote with his wife and bandmate, Anna Wilson called “North South Nashville”. This songwriter musical will make its debut with a summer residency at the new Woolworth Theatre in downtown Nashville. It’s a scripted show that tells his and Wilson’s personal story of chasing dreams and finding love amid the backdrop of their separate and combined Nashville pilgrimages to songwriting success.
He is also easily found on any one of the 60 million plus records floating around containing one of his songs. Powell is a highly decorated songwriter having been named SESAC’s Songwriter of the Year (2009), is a recipient of the prestigious CMA Triple Play Award (2010), has earned seven BMI Millionaire Awards and has over three decades of other songwriting honors, penning hits for Tim McGraw, Billy Ray Cyrus, Diamond Rio, Colin Raye, Brooks & Dunn, Chris Cagle and more. Additionally, he was a key creative force in establishing the mega success story of Keith Urban by producing Urban’s first American release “The Ranch” and was one of his top collaborators for many years earning a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Song in a Motion Picture for his co-written song with Keith Urban “For You” in the movie Act of Valor, as well as a Critics Choice Award nomination for the same. Additionally, his handwritten manuscript of his classic hit “Days Go By” is on display in the permanent collection at The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN.
Apart from songwriting, Powell is also an accomplished music producer. He is currently co-producing with his wife and recording artist/songwriter, Anna Wilson, a project that highlights various country and pop and Americana artists as they re-imagine the songs of one of the finest singer/songwriters of our time…the great Billy Joel. It is called “A Nashville State of Mind” and features Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, Lady Antebellum, Willie Nelson and Tim McGraw to name a few. Powell also co-produced Diamond Rio’s first three albums, two of which are now platinum and one is gold, as well as Keith Urban’s critically acclaimed band The Ranch for Capitol Records. In 1994, he won a CMA “Album of the Year” award for his production work on Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles. In addition, Powell produced Working Man’s Blues” by “Jed Zepplin (Steve Wariner, Lee Roy Parnell and Diamond Rio) on the highly acclaimed Mamma’s Hungry Eyes: A Tribute to Merle Haggard.
Over his 40-year career, Powell also has held roles in artist management. His clients have included Muzik Mafia member, James Otto (Warner Brothers), Trent Tomlinson (Lyric Street) and Chuck Wicks (RCA), all who steadily rose to country music stardom under his watch.
In the midst of all the various hats Monty wears these days, he also finds time to donate his talent to many charitable causes like St. Jude, T.J Martell, and Habitat for Humanity, but the cause closest to his heart is the Alzheimer’s Association. Powell’s father died from an early on-set of Alzheimer’s, so Monty decided to use music as his weapon to fight this terrible disease. He took action by creating an initiative called Better Start Livin’ that was inspired by his mega hit “Days Go By”, penned with superstar Keith Urban. Together, for the first time in concert, Powell was joined by Urban, Anna Wilson and rising star, Matt Jenkins at the Cobb Energy Center in Atlanta, GA, where they raised over $250,000 in a single evening to fund Alzheimer’s research.
Currently, alongside his wife Anna Wilson, Powell spends his time co-writing, producing and performing in an Americana duo they have founded together called Troubadour 77, that pays homage to the 70s Laurel Canyon SoCal sound that so heavily influenced them. As they drive forward, Powell states, “We are performing original music that is reminiscent of the classic singer-songwriters that helped define our generation.”
Monty currently splits his time between Nashville, the mountains of Utah and the Florida Keys and can often be found golfing, chasing fish with a fly rod on the gulf coast or skiing down a black diamond run on the slopes in Utah.