by Chad Campbell, senior producer
When we went to New Orleans to talk to musicians during the first weekend of the city’s Jazz and Heritage Festival, I knew we wanted to include artists like Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas and Keely Smith, but I had to be introduced to the work of Anders Osborne and Theresa Andersson. Together they made up a mini Swedish invasion of New Orleans about 20 years ago. They both grew up on Gotland, an island off the southeastern coast of Sweden and were romantically linked for about nine years in New Orleans. By now they’ve each lived most of their lives here and consider New Orleans to be their home. Osborne and Andersson went their separate ways and have each found success, but not without setbacks.
We arranged to meet with Anders before his show at the Mid City Rock-n-Bowl, a live music venue which happens to include 18 bowling lanes. We talked out back while the Stanton Moore Trio warmed up on stage. Anders enjoyed success as a songwriter, Watch the Wind Blow By was a number one single for country singer Tim McGraw. Osborne was also doing fine recording his own songs until drug and alcohol addictions got the best of him. His manager and friends held an intervention and got Osborne clean earlier this year in rehab. He’s very interested in restoring and preserving the disappearing land south of New Orleans and you can check out the website at Voice of the Wetlands for more about that work. Osborne’s latest CD was released in April and is called American Patchwork.
As for Theresa Andersson, what she does all by herself - with drums, a violin, a guitar, a dulcimer, a record player, her body and her voice - really needs to be seen to be appreciated. Andersson records and loops herself - pretty much seamlessly and effortlessly - live on stage. She sings, claps and plays instruments, while stopping and starting the recordings with her feet and turning knobs with her toes, building a song, phrase by phrase, from scratch. Here is a video of the demonstration she gave us between her sound check and performance at Le Petit Theatre in the French Quarter.
Here’s the video Theresa Andersson recorded in her kitchen to demonstrate her technique to the world.
And here are some YouTube links to songs from her DVD “Theresa Andersson Live at Le Petit.”
(You may have searched for Teresa or Anderson, but her name is spelled Theresa Andersson.)