Marisa Anderson channels the history of the guitar and stretches the boundaries of tradition. Her deeply original work applies elements of minimalism, electronic music, drone and 20th century classical music to compositions based on blues, jazz and gospel and country music, re-imagining the landscape of American music. Onstage, she is a master storyteller, bringing warmth, wit and insight to her virtuosic compositions and arrangements.
In 2017 Mississippi Records is re-issuing Anderson’s 2013 record, ‘Traditional and Public Domain Songs’. Anderson spent a year researching hymns, blues, murder ballads and American patriotic songs. The resulting record is an exploration of the relationship between evangelical Christianity and state sanctioned violence.
Originally from Northern California, Anderson dropped out of college at age nineteen to walk across the US and eventually landed in Portland, Oregon, where she currently lives. Classically trained, she honed her skills playing in country, jazz and circus bands. In 2011 she released her first solo guitar record, ‘The Golden Hour’ followed by ‘Mercury’ (2013) and ‘Into The Light’ (2016). She is in demand as a collaborator and composer, contributing to recent recordings by Beth Ditto, Sharon Van Etten and Circuit Des Yeux among others, as well as creating music for short films and soundtracks.
Anderson tours extensively throughout Europe and North America. Her work has been featured in Billboard, Rolling Stone, NPR, SPIN, Pitchfork and The Wire. Billboard magazine named ‘Into the Light’ one of the best records of 2016 and Pitchfork named Anderson’s 2015 split LP with Tashi Dorji one of the top experimental records of the year. Recent festival appearances include Le Guess Who, Moog Fest, Copenhagen Jazz Festival and the Winnipeg Folk Festival.