Erin Enderlin

Singer-songwriter Erin Enderlin – who releases her new EP "I Let Her Talk" next week, is excited about getting some new music out to the public. After all, she's been working on it for a while.

"It's so cool and exciting," Enderlin told Billboard. "I feel like a kid when you've done your big art project. You can't wait to get home and show your parents. It's corny, and everyone says it, but this CD has been a labor of love. I love these songs, and am excited to share it with people."

She credits her Arkansas childhood for developing her love of music. "My grandpa had a pretty big record collection," she recalled. "Waylon, Willie, Conway, Kenny, the Statler Brothers, and I loved everything about it. I loved the ritual of picking up the record, having to be really careful with it. He worked during the day and he wouldn't let me listen to his records while he was at work. He was afraid I would scratch them, which I probably would have. It was a big deal to get to do that. So, during the day, while he was at work, I would watch 'Fandango' and 'Crook & Chase' like it was my job."

Since moving to Nashville, her "job" has included writing some of the format's biggest hits – such as Lee Ann Womack's "Last Call" and Alan Jackson's "Monday Morning Church." She admits she still has trouble accepting that her success is reality. "When I hear [my songs] on the radio, I am still convinced that one of my friends has punk'd me, and conjured up this fake version, and slipped it in on the radio station."

One of the highlights of the set is the classic sounding title cut. Enderlin says she was honored to be a part of the writing of the song.

"That is one of my very favorite songs I have ever written. I had the pleasure of writing that with Leslie Satcher. It's everything I have ever loved about country music. It's a story song, has a surprise ending in it, and some great characters, which is something I love about music. I remember growing up with songs like 'Bed Of Roses,' 'Pancho & Lefty,' and 'Fancy.' I just love the characters in songs."

Enderlin says that not only does she love the stories in the songs, but also the story of the music itself. "I fell in love with the story of country music – growing up and watching the Opry. Minnie Pearl was one of my favorites along with Roy Acuff, and all the people that came across the Opry. I worked there part-time because I love it. I've done some volunteer work at the Hall of Fame teaching kids about country music. To me, that's the part that anchors me as a creative person is never losing that love and reverence for the music. It's open to everybody."

She says she loves to see the innocent love of music among the children. "It's cool to see the fire in their eyes, and the wonder while they go through the exhibits. I've been able to write songs with them, too. They don't know the rules, they just do it out of a pure place of what they like and what they feel. I once wrote a song with a kid, and he wanted to write about candy corn because he loves it. It keeps things in perspective where you don't get too serious about it. You can get serious about crafting music, and sometimes it's great to just sit back and have fun with it."

And, right now, Enderlin is simply having fun -- writing and performing. "I just want to be able to keep getting my music out there, and take it to different places. I want to get back out on the road and meet new people. I have always been a little shy, and music is the perfect icebreaker. I can go play a show in southern California, not know anybody there, play for thirty minutes, and afterward, I have twenty brand new friends, and I'm hearing their stories about where they are from and what they up to. It's so cool where the music takes you, and how it opens the doors for you to meet them and hear their stories."