Happy 67th birthday to an absolute legend of an artist, Mr. John Anderson.
The Apopka, Florida, native started his music career in a rock band but quickly changed to country after hearing George Jones and Merle Haggard. He moved to Nashville in 1971 to pursue his dreams, playing clubs at night and doing odd jobs, including working as a roofer on the Grand Ole Opry, until he signed his first record deal in 1977.
He went on to have an extremely successful career as part of the New Traditionalist movement alongside artists like George Strait and Randy Travis, racking up 22 studio albums, 40 charting singles and 5 Number Ones, including the all-time great song about country’s dark horse liquor, “Straight Tequila Night.”
John suffered through a number of health problems in 2018 and 2019, but as he started to recover decided to put out a new project with the help of The Black Keys guitarist and vocalist Dan Auerbach.
Years came out just a month or so before COVID hit, but it’s honestly a great project when looked through the lens of John’s comeback story and the fact he wanted to get in the studio and do one “as if it may be my last.”
The first track is called “I’m Still Hangin’ On,” with the title doing a pretty good job of giving you the gist of the song. It’s basically a “Yeah, I’ve been through the ringer but you can’t get rid of me yet” song that puts a “hell yeah” smile on your face and some pride in your heart.
It tells the story of a veteran that suffers from PTSD, and the pain of losing friends, but against the odds, he’s still hanging in there.
“So many friends along the way I lost and they’re not here today One wrong move and you’d be history I was tryin’ to pull my life together You could knock me down with just a feather How I’m still here remains a mystery
I’m still hangin’ on I’m still hangin’ on There were people placin’ bets That I’d be dead and gone Oh, but I’m still hangin’ on”
Even in his later years, John Anderson remains a legend among legends.