Q&A with John Anderson: Country star talks upcoming GATS concert, ties of trucking and country music

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Updated Aug 13, 2015

JohnAndersonCountry music legend John Anderson, who’s in the midst of a tour now to promote his new album Goldmine, gave a few minutes to Overdrive this week to talk a little about his upcoming concert at the Great American Trucking Show (his third trucking trade show gig in the last few years), his new album and the draw of trucking crowds like those at GATs.

Anderson is known for songs like “Swingin’,” “Seminole Wind,” “Black Sheep,” “I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal” and other hits from the 1980s, along with his 1992-released album Seminole Wind, two songs from which reached No. 1 on the country charts — the album’s title track, “Seminole Wind,” and its lead single, “Straight Tequila Night.”

Truck driver and singer-songwriter Tony Justice will open the Trucker Path-sponsored concert for Anderson. The Friday (Aug. 28) show is free for GATS attendees, and tickets will be available the morning of the show on a first-come, first-served basis at the Trucker Path booth and the American Central Transport booth.

Here’s a Q&A of Overdrive’s talk with John Anderson:

Overdrive: Hey, John! Thanks for talking with us. Let’s dive right in: What made you want to play at GATS this year?

John: Well, I’ve had such a great time doing them in the past, I wanted to do it again. Fortunately for me, I’ve been able to work a couple of them, and I’ve always really had great experiences at the trucking shows.

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And I’ve always loved truck driving songs. Actually, I was able to meet and hang out with Mr. Carl Montgomery — he wrote Six Days on the Road — when I was just a kid. Well, I say a kid. I was about 19 years old when I met him.

I’ve always felt like myself and the band — we always felt like we were somewhat kin to the truckers. We kind of have a similar lifestyle, always on the road. Trucking and country music have always gone hand in hand in my opinion. The guys and girls who drive trucks are a huge part of country music.


Overdrive: The crowd at GATS will be a little smaller and the venue a little more intimate than the shows you usually play. Do you change your show when that’s the case?

JA: Well, the crowd always kind of determines the mood of the show. They’re all different. But it is nice to have a closer group that comes there to really listen. It’s always great to have that.


Overdrive: Everybody loves the classics, but you’re on tour promoting the new album. Do you plan to play more from the new album or more of the old stuff?

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JA: We are on tour for the new album, but we only do three or four songs from it. Just the other night I had a dear friend and fan say “Awe, man, you didn’t play such and such from the new album.” I told him, “Well, we can’t do them all.”

We try to give the fans the music they come there to hear. Sometimes, of course, people have one favorite song that the rest of the crowed hasn’t even heard. Sometimes it’s hard to get to those songs.

But [we play] a lot of the songs fans come to hear, as far as the old hits.

I can promise them this: What they hear will be real country music.


Overdrive: What’s your plan for the show? Are you just coming in to play the concert or what?

JA: I’m coming in early that morning. I’ll be signing autographs that morning, which we don’t do a lot of these days.


Overdrive: You’re still playing and still drawing crowds and you’re about 30 years out from when the bulk of your bigger hits were released. What gives?

JA: First off, I have to give credit just for the love of the music. The good Lord blessed me with love in this music. It’s been a big part of my whole life, since I was just a youngster. The other part is the fans that have supported us. I realize no matter how much I enjoy the music, we couldn’t make a living at it if other folks didn’t enjoy it.


Overdrive: Thanks for the time, John. We know you’re busy. We’re looking forward to seeing you at GATS.

JA: I’m really looking forward to the GATS show too, and I do hope the fans enjoy the new CD.

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