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Rock-a-bye baby

By |2018-01-16T09:44:23-05:00June 8th, 2006|Entertainment|

ANN ARBOR – Without Ana Egge’s baby, she’d feel lost. But this baby doesn’t drool, it’s the kind made of wood and strings. “There’s always something good about most guitars, but there’s a lot that’s really special about that one,” the singer-songwriter says from a tour stop in Austin, Texas.
With her hand-built guitar she’s crafted three albums of melodic, pictorial tunes that capture her smoky vocals. On her newest release, “Out Past The Lights,” Egge’s collection of indie pop treks dreams filled with lush orchards, virgin snowfalls, shotgun weddings, deserted cityscapes, starry seas and the enduring icons of New York. In turn, she has emerged “from opening-act status for the likes of Shawn Colvin and Ron Sexsmith to deserving headliner,” Billboard Magazine wrote.
Since she was a few years old, music has saturated Egge’s blood. She remembers mimicking Bob Dylan, a constant musical fixture in her household, as a child. She says, “My parents have pictures of me posing with the toy guitar and pretending to be Bob Dylan.”
Laughing, she continues, “At the time I’m sure I didn’t know who Bob Dylan was. But that’s who they said I walked around pretending to be.”
Egge, the daughter of a schoolteacher and a wheat farmer, grew up in a close-knit rural North Dakota town of 50 people where she didn’t need a cell phone to be reached. Her mother would just blow her whistle. “In the summertime we had to be home before dark,” she says. “If we heard the sports whistle, we were like, ‘Oh, gotta go!'”
During the frigid months, the family piled into an old converted school bus and traveled to warmer climates – down the coast of California and New Mexico. Egge used her diverse surroundings as a source that would later surface in her writing, which usually expresses someone else’s thoughts through a spin that matters to her. Even when writing through others’ perspectives, she can’t escape the images of her childhood town.
“You can’t ever really separate from your surroundings because we assimilate so much information all the time,” she says. “[There is] so much room, so much sky, so much land to run around. I think that had a big affect on me as a person and as a songwriter.”
Now residing in New York, Egge is in the process of recording her next album and touring the states. When performing live Egge remembers the same motto when she records: “this is a time in history that you’re gonna be listening to again.”
In the studio, she imagines performing for someone and bringing the same energy, intimacy and presence to the recording. And while she relishes both, it’s the traveling by car, train, plane and, yes, boats that wears her out.
“I get tired of all the traveling, even though I love it, too,” she says. “It’s definitely hard on the body.”

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Cher, Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. His work has also appeared in GQ, Vanity Fair and Billboard. Reach him via Twitter @chrisazzopardi.