We had the good fortune of connecting with Anne Buckle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anne, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I grew up in Peachtree City, GA, a town known for its 100 miles of golf cart paths weaving through the forests. (We rode golf carts to school as kids, and my high school even has a golf cart parking lot!) Though Peachtree City is where I was born and raised, the place that really made me who I am is my mom’s hometown – a tiny little town in Appalachia called Mountain City, TN. Mountain City is where I spent summers and holidays with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins as a kid. As an only child, they meant everything to me. Even more, my mom’s family were all very musical. My grandmother was a Carter, and her first cousin was June Carter Cash. They grew up together in a tiny town in southwest VA called Hiltons. My mom’s side of the family certainly inherited the Carter musical gene, and as a kid, I’d watch in awe as my talented aunts and uncles would sit around a fireplace and play gospel and folk tunes like “Wayfaring Stranger” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Two of my uncles – Bugs and Mike – owned a recording studio in nearby Bristol, VA in the 90’s called Classic, and that’s the first place where I fell in love with audio recording at age 7, when I got to sing into a fancy old vintage mic. My uncle Mike was also a songwriter and put out an album when I was little; my aunt Joy also put out a gospel album, and I’d listen to their songs on repeat as a kid, dreaming of making music like that one day. Mountain City is also the place where tragedy struck in 1997, when I attended my first funeral at age 9, as we buried my beloved uncle Mike and 2 cousins Paul and Daniel who were like big brothers to me and my other cousins. It holds my favorite memories from childhood; it’s where my heart was innocent and happy before it ever had to know heartbreak. The people and memories from my childhood in northeast TN/southwest VA are who made me fall in love with music, and losing them has made me cling to music even more as a way to feel connected to them – and to a time when the sounds of my family playing guitar, mandolin, and upright bass filled log cabins and echoed in my soul.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve had a bit of an untraditional path to becoming a professional musician. I went to college at the University of Tennessee, studied music education and international relations, and actually considered a career as a diplomat! I worked for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. and also the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France when I was in my early 20’s, and I fell in love with international travel. I went to grad school at Harvard, studying arts education, and when I made the decision to get into music professionally, I was 24 – which some would say is old for the music industry. In fact, they did. Often. I got so much rejection in my first few years, people saying I was “too old.” “Too educated” to be a performer. That I should “get a real job” and give up my dream. I had to learn to silence those voices and pay attention to my own, and honestly, it took years to do that. My first job in Nashville was actually working for the Governor in education policy, and I did that for 3 years while I played writers nights in the evenings and honed my craft as a songwriter, found my voice as a singer, and became a decent fiddle player. I finally quit my day-job when I was invited to tour with Augustana opening for The Chicks in 2016, and ever since then, I’ve been full-time self-employed in a bunch of various music ventures from writing my own songs and performing my own music as WILDWOOD (my stage name) to touring with others, doing songwriting education programs at the Country Music Hall of Fame, and hosting songwriting workshops for corporations as team building.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite things to do in Nashville are attend a show at the Bluebird Cafe, an all-original music venue that’s intimate and magical; eat Hattie B’s hot chicken (touristy, I know, but it’s fantastic and has been my favorite spot for 9 years!); and visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which is full of not only country music artifacts, but also artifacts and history from all types of American music like rock, blues, bluegrass, pop, gospel, and more – they even have Elvis Presley’s Cadillac in there!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband and co-producer on all my music is Brandon Metcalf. He sees my talent when I don’t; believes in me when I can’t; encourages me to keep going when I want to give up. He is one of my biggest supporters in my career – and life – and he gives generously of his time and talents to my projects. This shoutout is for him. Thanks for everything, B.
Danielle Shields Photography