HOMETOWN: Athens, Ala.
INFLUENCES: Led Zeppelin, the Jackson 5, Otis Redding
ALBUM: Flowers of the Broken Hearted, out now

Folk-rock singer-songwriter Anderson East didn’t grow up in a musical household. “The only time I heard music in the house was Sunday morning before church, when my dad would listen to country music,” he says. His hometown of Athens, Ala., wasn’t exactly a hotbed of entertainment. “It was a tiny Southern town with no music scene at all,” he says. “All I remember hearing was talk radio.” No matter, East displayed promise when he began playing guitar and piano as a child. After graduating with an audio engineering degree from Middle Tennessee State University, East performed gigs throughout the Southeast. Eventually he released his debut album, Flowers of the Broken Hearted—a two-disc set that ranges from blues to country to folk. The first half, White, was recorded in L.A. while the second, Red, was self-produced in Nashville. “It was very organic,” East says of the recording process. “The song told me what the music was going to be.”

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