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Theresa Andersson: One-Woman Wall Of Sound

Theresa Andersson is a one-woman band, and this was never more apparent than when she strolled into the WFUV studios with no band members, but two engineers — most solo artists don't travel with any. When I booked the interview back in the early part of this year, it was because I had seen her on YouTube where she had recorded a live version of her song "Na, Na, Na" in her kitchen. The video went viral and her kitchen became famous.

Andersson's new album, Hummingbird, Go! seemed to go back to the "wall of sound" era with a full band and all the trimmings, and yet here she was by herself, surrounded by drums, tons of floor pedals, slide steel guitar and a guitar on her back, and playing them all while singing. I thought I was good at multi-tasking, but this was a whole other level.

So, here she was at WFUV going through her sound check with her engineers, and our engineers are looking at her equipment with these kids in candy-store eyes. It's just hard to fathom how she can juggle all of these plates of sound together. She was just doing some really cool and original stuff, and at the center of all her equipment was a white fake-fur topped stool — obviously the type of stage object that had been given a lot of thought.

Yet, after providing us with a great performance and interview, she left her white stool behind, and it has become a part of our live studio's furniture. The stool has now been used by many musicians who might sing and play an instrument, but not recreate a whole room of music.

As her career continues its ascent, Andersson might be able to relax a little more. When I asked her why she decided to go on tour as a one-woman music machine, she said, "I realized that I couldn't afford all the band members that I needed to go on tour with, so I figured just play everything." She should have added, play everything well.

Listen to the previous Favorite Session, or see our full archive.

Copyright 2009 WFUV

Rita Houston
A nationally recognized tastemaker with a broad knowledge of and passion for music, Rita Houston shapes the musical direction of WFUV's acclaimed City Folk® format. With the help of staff, Houston selects the songs that become part of City Folk®, establishes theme days and creates popular features like "New Release Monday" and "Guilty Pleasures Day." Well-known for her rapport with artists, she books the on-air interviews, hosting a number of them herself. Houston also serves as executive producer of the nationally distributed City Folk Live concert series, and produces annual benefit CDs of performances from WFUV's Studio A.