Country music covers a broad spectrum of styles, Bangs native Coffey Anderson says, so he’s not going to let “Nashville Star” celebrity judges’ comments about his music not being country affect him.
“I’m not twangy like John Rich and Jeff (Jeffrey Steele) would like, but an artist must still be true to who he is, and that’s what I’m going to do,” Anderson said Friday as he prepared for Monday night’s live television broadcast. “Country music has everything from Loretta Lynn to Taylor Swift. But I’m still taking the advice they give me, and the mentoring from Jewel, and using that however I can.
“Here’s the deal,” Anderson said. “I don’t want to conform. I sang ‘Proud Mary’ last week and the audience loved it. They really got into it. That’s what’s important to me.”
Anderson said it’s still sinking in that he is among the top six performers competing for the title of “Nashville Star” this season, a contest that began with 45,000 hopefuls. The series began this summer with 12 finalists, and text messages from members of the NBC Television audience determine which acts will move on to the next week’s show. Last Monday, two acts were eliminated, and two more will be dropped during the 8 p.m. (CDT) broadcast.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Anderson said of the “Nashville Star” experience. “And it’s really caught on.”
Even if some of the show’s judges aren’t convinced of Anderson’s country credentials, many residents of Nashville are apparently sold.
“The show has really caught on,” Anderson said. “It’s pretty neat. (Fellow contestant) Gabe (Garcia) and I were out at a mall picking up some things and people were stopping and telling us both, ‘I love what you do.’ People everywhere are recognizing us from the show.”
Nashville residents see celebrities in the city all the time, Anderson said, but they consider the “Nashville Star” performers to be more approachable.
“They’ve seen us working behind the scenes on the show,” Anderson said. “They’ve seen us with our families. They know what we’re going through. And they are supporting us tremendously. I love it. I feel like I’m the people’s champion. The people know they can count on me.”
Several weeks into the series, Anderson said the performers and judges — who also mentor the acts — are into a definite routine.
“It’s a lot of hard work every week,” Anderson said. “But when you’re doing what you love, it doesn’t seem like work. The hours pass so quickly. We start early and go late, and then hang out together past midnight or 1 a.m. And we were all still smiling.”
Anderson said e hopes his fans will continue to back him by voting.
“The show will eliminate two of us Monday, and then it will be the ‘final four’ after that,” Anderson said. “I’m giving it my all. That’s how we do things in Brown County.”
Anderson’s Web site, where his music can be purchased, is www.coffeysouthernman.com.