The "Pickin' Wildflowers" singer discusses what caused him to step away from the music industry and what brought him back seven years later.
In 2008, Keith Anderson was at the top of the charts with "I Still Miss You," and had two successful albums under his belt. In a new interview with Billboard, Anderson explained why he walked away from his country music career just when things seemed to be coming together.
"A lot of people don't know why I took time off. It was really for personal reasons," Anderson said. "Right about the time I was making C'mon!, my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer, and we ended up losing her pretty quick."
After the unexpected loss of his mother, Anderson struggled with performing and keeping up with his blossoming career while mourning her death. He decided to take time off to reconnect with his family and to begin the healing process. "I ended up marrying my longtime girlfriend, and we have two beautiful babies, which brought the joy back to my life."
Even with so many positive things happening in his life, Anderson found it difficult to dive back into the writing process. "It was tough to reach for the pen again, because I was so sad, and it was such a dark period. I just lost that creativity and that desire to pick up a guitar again. But once I did, it felt like I was supposed to write these songs of healing. There were a lot of other things that inspired me and helped to bring that back. Then you have that joy and desire to get back out on the road and start playing again."
Anderson's eventful seven-year journey inspired him to write material for his new EP, I'll Bring the Music. Although he has yet to formally release a single, SiriusXM has already put the title track into regular rotation on its stations.
"It was exciting to start recording again. We started performing some of the new songs live, just to see how the crowd reacted. That's what the EP is -- songs that have just gone over so well in the live show, like the title track and 'Wild Girls.' People really seem to be reacting well to them. They're singing it back to me, which is always nice. It feels like 'Pickin' Wildflowers' did at the beginning."
Keith Anderson's EP, I'll Bring the Music, is available in stores and online now. A full list of his upcoming tour dates, which stretch across the United States throughout the summer, are posted on his website.