Kasey Lansdale Talks Recording New 'Lady Anthem' & More at Johnny Cash's Studio

Kasey Lansdale
Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Kasey Lansdale

Country artist Kasey Lansdale has a slight problem. Whenever she sits down in front of the screen to watch films such as Cold in July or Christmas With the Dead, she admits that it takes her a little bit to catch on to the plot. But the Texas native has a pretty good reason for being preoccupied: Her music appears on the soundtracks of both films.

"The times that has happened, I have not been able to focus on the movie or television show because I've been simply waiting for that moment," she says with a smile. "My music was featured in Cold in July, and I watched it six times before I actually saw the movie. I was very excited, and it was just such a surreal experience."

Lansdale has just released a new single, "Sorry Ain't Enough," from her latest CD Restless. "I'm very excited about [the single]," she said. "I worked for a long time on this album and recorded it at the Cash Cabin. We had gone in, and I wasn't quite sure how it was going to turn out. It really came out as this strong, lady anthem. I did a national tour, and it got a little bit of attention already. We did a music video, and GAC picked it up for their 'Emerging Artist' series, and it's been one surreal thing after the other. I think it really sets the tone for the album and who I am as an artist."

Recording at the historic cabin once owned by Johnny Cash was something the singer won't soon forget -- as well as working with his son, producer John Carter Cash. "He's such a great guy. He created this environment that was so relaxed. I've worked with several producers over the years, and the thing that he said to me that stuck was 'follow your joy.' I really felt like that was a genuine statement from him. He really just wants you to be what makes you happy and what works for you as an artist instead of telling you who you are. Working with him was a great experience."

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Lansdale says she couldn't help but be captivated by all the history in her surroundings while recording Restless. "This was the cabin where Johnny actually recorded his last album. It's got so much history in there," she recalls. "There are things signed to Johnny and June from people like Bob Dylan. Everyone who has recorded there has signed the mantle."

With the single now released, the songstress has just completed a music video, which was produced by Phillip Guzman and the award-winning Texas-based company Incendiary Features. She says working with Guzman made for an enjoyable experience. "We shot half of it at the Cash Cabin and the other half in Austin, Texas. I thought that was a perfect fit being from Texas and in Nashville to meld those two worlds for me. It was nice to go back after having made the album, living with the album, and going back where we started. It was comfortable and it made sense. Then we went to Austin, which is where the director lived, and it made sense, as well."

Last week, Lansdale began a tour that will focus on her home state of Texas. "It's so nice to come back, and see people that I grew up with and my family. I think it's going to be a big adventure."

She says she appreciates the wide musical pallet the Lone Star State offers -- from honky-tonk to blues. "Texas is a whole different world, and anyone who has been here can attest to that. It started because Texas was its own country once upon a time, so I think that autonomy and that Texas pride still ripples throughout the state. I think that's why people still think of it as its own market or musical world. It's fascinating and also very interesting the way the world can mix between Nashville and Texas and still have its own unique originality to them."

And where does she fall in that mix?  She doesn't hesitate: "I'm from East Texas, and where I'm at, there's a lot of the blues influence and the classic country sound. There's so many different influences that reflect on my area. I think if you go to West Texas, they would say the same being near New Mexico. I think it's just a place that people of all genres can come and find a place they fit in, because Texas music isn't just one thing; it's all of those influences combined."