As part of the hugely successful team of Ernie Haase and Signatue Sound, Doug Anderson has been a staple of Southern Gospel music. A few years back Anderson took some time off to record his debut solo record that was met with critical acclaim and has since been a favorite among many fans. Still under the imprint of StowTown Records, he's back with his much anticipated follow-up "Dive." Featuring the current radio single "Love with Open Arms" and a re-make of Dolly Parton's "The Seeker," "Drive" is speeding up to be one of the best Southern Gospel releases released this year. We are honored to be able to chat with Doug about this brand new release:
Hallels: Thank you Doug for doing this interview with us. One of our most read articles at Hallels.com this year is the review of your brand new album "Drive." This means many among our readers are your fans. What would you like to say to your fans and admirers of your work?
Well of course I am honored and humbled by the response. Is a thrill to know that your work is causing a reaction all over the world. I am just me and what you see is what you get. I love this music and I love the life that God is giving me. It's a chance to share the music that I love and the message of how God has changed my life. I have found that and recording songs that speak to me often times they speak to others.
Hallels: I love your brand new album "Drive," especially the title cut. In this song, you sing about letting God drive our lives. Why do you think is it so difficult for us to hand the keys of our lives to God?
It is difficult. Up to this point in my life everything has been about me, my career my goals and what I am doing. Now I have a wife and two girls which makes my priorities a little different. I am no longer concerned with having to be the best. I am more concerned about being the best husband, father, and friend I can be. This only happens with God in control. So, I'm just going to move over and let God drive my life in the direction that he wants me to go. Although not always easy, I know it's the best for my life and my family and that is what is most important to me at this point my life.
Hallels: What are a couple of most memorable moments in making this album? Did it take you a long time to put this record together?
It took about a year and a half to put this project together. Of course with the success of the first project there were many songs and writers to pick from. We had about 180 songs to choose from and had to narrow down to 10 for the project. It is a big task when you have so many great songs to choose from. I wanted this project to be fun and be a celebration of what God has intended our life to be. I think we accomplished that with this project. The songs are a journey and a statement of who I am today. Of course working with multi-talented producer Wayne Haun is always a joy. He is not only a great talent but a great friend as well.
Hallels: On your previous album you covered Billy Dean's "Only Here for a Little While," now you have chosen yet another country cover, Dolly Parton's "The Seeker." Is this deliberate? Why did you choose to do Parton's "The Seeker"?
Of course those who know me very well know I've always loved country music. This may shock the readers, but I've always been a huge Dolly Parton fan. On a funny note I did lip sync a Dolly Parton song in high school once. My buddy sang Kenny Rogers' part and I did Dolly's part and we did the song Islands in the Stream. I always like to press the limits a little bit in my recordings. The Seeker is an spiritual Dolly wrote back in 1971. I loved it as a kid and I'm glad to re-record it today. Crowds are loving it.
Hallels: One of my favorite songs on the album is "Moment By Moment Grace." It's a song that I listen again and again when I feel overwhelmed by trials. Can you tell our readers what the song is about? And why did you choose to include it on the CD?
This is one I needed as a constant reminder of where I've been and what the Lord has brought me through. I have found that in recording songs that speak so strongly to me, there are others who can relate to the same thing and the same hardships, struggles and victories. I am probably safe in saying that we have all had that moment when, in reflecting on our lives, we probably didn't know how we got through those difficult times. I have had many, whether it was mistakes, failures, deaths, or something as simple as opening my mouth when I should have kept it closed. There are also those times when the only person we could talk to was Him. The times when the pain was so great that we questioned everything about life, even God himself. God was there all the time guiding and weaving to protect us so we could see the perfection of his plan for us in the end and to give us the peace we needed to get through. Yes, we have taken some lumps and shed many tears, but in the end, we have grown in wisdom and have made it through. He said He would never leave us nor forsake us, and He hasn't. My life has been a Moment By Moment Grace process. I know in the past, present, and future that He is and has always been with me protecting, guiding, and forgiving, because He loves me.
Hallels: How do you balance your time between promoting your own solo record and your time with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound?
Signature Sound has cut back touring a little bit the last few years. We are not working as many dates as we used to. This makes it easy for me to go out and promote myself as a solo artist. I am enjoying the best of both worlds
Hallels: What's next for Doug Anderson? Ever thought of doing a duets album? Or an album of covers?
I am still enjoying being with Ernie Haase and Signature Sound. I am also enjoying the aspect of Doug Anderson Music. I have been fortunate to have success in both areas. I would love to do a duet's project. I did a project last year called the Back Porch Sessions Which was just a collaboration of my favorite singers and favorite songs. Hey volume two is in the works.
Hallels: With the release of "Drive," where can our readers go to purchase it or/and learn more about you?
The CD is available world-wide at Christian Bookstores. Their support of this project has been amazing! I am so grateful for them and what they do in their communities. It is also available at digital outlets, and online retailers such as christianbook.com, walmart.com, amazon.com, etc. As well as my website dougandersonmusic.com and stowtownrecords.com.
To learn more about me, you can go to my website, DougAndersonMusic.com, like my Facebook fan page - Doug Anderson Music, and follow me on Twitter/douganderson34.