Anj Granieri is an original singer songwriter based out of Atlantic City. She plays the piano and will perform at White Horse Winery 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17. We spoke to her in advance of her show.
1. What have you been up to lately musically? Any plans for a new record/tour?
Anj Granieri: I’ve been working on restoring a 1975 Airstream into my future home on wheels, mobile office and touring vehicle. Since I started this process without any prior knowledge of craftsmanship, it’s been a steep learning curve for me. But I’m having a lot of fun in the process! So I really haven’t been writing or recording anything new lately — because all my focus is on getting the airstream up and running. Once I’m on the go, I’m sure another record will be in the works!
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2. How have your live shows evolved since you began performing?
AG: In the beginning, when I was very young, I played a lot of coffee shops and open mics. Intimate settings. As I got older, I worked a lot more commercial gigs like clubs, corporate events, restaurants to pay the bills. Eventually though, I decided that what I ultimately cared about was connecting with an audience. So, a few years ago, I started veering towards more house concerts and house concert tours. I enjoy this type of performing the most because it takes me back to the intimate roots that I sought out in the first place when I began performing. I can connect with a small group of people, and in between the songs, I can share the genesis of how the song came to be written. I find I sell more CDs and make more fans at house concerts than anywhere else.
3. Tell us the most bizarre/unexpected thing that has happened during one of your performances
AG: About 10 years ago when I was playing at a local area winery. A gentlemen who I later came to find out had gotten lost in the woods behind the grounds, stormed into the winery in his hospital gown and boots and right through the restaurant where I was playing. His backside was showing and the gown was not closed! I just kept playing on autopilot! I was told later that he walked into a wedding reception, took the microphone and started making a toast! I still wonder what they gave him for pain at the hospital!
4. What’s the best TV show you have binge watched this year?
AG: Believe it or not, the best show I binge-watched was “The Golden Girls” from the 1980s. Every few years I watch that show from beginning to end. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen the episodes, I crack up every single time I watch those four zany ladies!
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5. What song from the last 60 years do you wish you had written and why?
AG: Wow, that is a tough question to answer! It’s so difficult to pick one song from 60 years of music. But, I guess if I had to chose a song I’d wish I’d written, I’d go with “Long December” by the Counting Crows. They actually aren’t my favorite band in the world, but I do really enjoy their music and I saw them in concert many times in their heyday. That one song though, I feel like it represents my generation: like it almost defines us in a way. The kind of transparent imperfection, melancholy, and seeking of truth that exists in that song, really captured what I think separated the ‘90s music from other decades after it. Aside from straight bubblegum pop music, the rock and singer/songwriter music was raw, gritty and in your face with its honesty. It captured the essence of a whole generation of kids who had grown up with an analog childhood and were coming into a digital adulthood, and were trying to hold onto something real. I’d love to written a song that captured a time and a generation like Adam Duritz did.