Artist Spotlight: Theresa Andersson – Or Cooking With The Kitchenettes

Artist Spotlight courtesy of Ninjaneer

Creating music is very much like the preparation of a meal: in the hands of an amateur the outcome could be a bland, tasteless mix that is offensive to the senses, but in the hands of an expert even the simplest of ingredients can be combined to create something that is satisfying yet causes a craving for more. Very few musicians are capable of or willing to create beyond pop confectionaries; something to hit the spot for the sweet tooth, but hardly filling. An artist that can put together a feast for the ears is something to behold and Theresa Andersson is very much a master chef.

Originally born in Sweden, Theresa Andersson came to New Orleans in 1990 to play violin with fellow countryman, Anders Osborne. After nine years with the band, she chose to become a solo act and found opportunity to collaborate with other New Orleans artists such as Allen Toussaint, The Neville Brothers, The Meters and Betty Harris. Inspired by a one-man puppet show and a need for a financially practical way to tour with her music, she chose to tour as a one woman show learning to incorporate multiple instruments and a set of loop pedals.

It was in the fall of 2007 that Andersson would cook up a masterpiece. With the assistance of Swedish producer, Tobias Froberg, her album Humming Bird, Go!would be crafted in her kitchen. All instruments were played by her with the exception of two duets (one with Toussaint, the other with Norwegian singer Ane Brun) and she was backed vocally by The Kitchenettes, the name she bestowed to her own backing vocals.

The album was a critical success, but it was her video for her single “Na Na Na” that got the people’s attention:

The video became a viral hit in 2008 garnering over 1.2 million views, however it was more than the musicianship that enthralled viewers. Andersson’s stage presence as she crafts a whole song on the spot on her own and making it look effortless drew people to her music, myself included. To her, a song, like the best meals, is best when the creator’s heart and soul are the key ingredient. That is something that shines in her performances, none more apparent than the song “Birds Fly Away”.

Ingredients include: 1 cup guitar, 2 tablespoons of dulcimer, 1/2 cup Smokey Johnson drum sample, and a dash of Kitchenettes backing vocals. Add one voice with so much soul it could have been deep-fried in fatback and smothered in hot sauce, and stir until ready.

Grade A Choice Prime Cuts

All of Hummingbird, Go! is excellent: