Smoky soul singer Anderson East showed off his swampy, barroom gospel on CBS This Morning this past weekend (November 28th), underscoring why he was named one of Rolling Stone Country‘s Artists You Need to Know this summer.
Along with “Satisfy Me” and “Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em, and Forget ‘Em,” East performed an online-only rendition of the spiritually-minded “Devil in Me” (watch the performance above). All three songs are part of East’s latest album, Delilah, his first to be produced by Americana heavyweight Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell).
With a hungover horn section, back-sliding lap steel and a come-to-Jesus organ whirring behind him, the Alabama native sings about a God-fearing man tempted into sin by a vivacious preacher’s daughter. Torn between wild Saturday nights and having to face his maker on Sunday morning, the passion in East’s growling vocals makes it clear he’s no stranger to either setting.
East grew up in the church — which explains the song’s gospel foundation — but like the rest of Delilah, “Devil in Me” seems to owe more to Memphis soul than the Gaither Vocal Band.
“I just wanted to have more fun for once in my life,” he tells RS Country about his sound. “[Soul music] is ultimately the best feeling around. I think people are naturally drawn to it. I don’t know anybody that can hate Sam Cooke or Otis Redding. We’re trying to tip our hats to that style of music, but I don’t want to wear that hat. I still want to be relevant now. I don’t want to be making 1960s music in 2015.”
East will take his modern soul on the road for his Devil in Me Tour starting January 28th in Louisville, Kentucky. It will mark his first-ever headlining run, and he’ll be joined by fellow roots soldiers Dylan LeBlanc and Andrew Combs.