Jason Anderson: "Someone Described Me As 'The Andrew WK of Folk Music'"

I feel like a typical singer-songwriter set involves opening with two or three high energy numbers before mellowing out a little bit, so as to not over-exert oneself or the audience. This isn't exactly Jason Anderson's pace. Watching him is like witnessing an indie Bruce Springsteen whose speed is always locked at "Thunder Road" or "No Surrender."

Even his quiet jams are pretty intense. Through constant touring and writing, the folk singer has developed a reputation for creating engaging and emotionally resonant music that has a tendency to drag people in and make them want to sing, scream, and shout along with it. I recently talked with Jason ahead of his upcoming shows in Phoenix.

You are doing two nights at the Trunk Space, one "plugged in" with amplification and a full band, and another just acoustic. You record in a similar way, with some tracks being full band and electric, and others being acoustic. What do you like about performing each way?

That's a great question. I love both set-ups equally and believe that each informs the other. It's fun to play with the contrasting dynamics; during my solo shows, the group sing-alongs will often go so big it almost feels like a full band (in fact, at a recent acoustic gig, someone ((other than myself)) actually crowd surfed (((side note: one of the greatest compliments I have ever received was when someone described me as "the Andrew WK of folk music")))), and sometimes with the band it's magical to bring the levels down to near silence, go off mic, and jump from the stage into the audience.

Regardless of configuration, though, my goal is always to create the most intimate, cathartic, and shared experience possible.