by Melody Charles
He's an everyday soul man who combines his Southern-bred authenticity with a rich, raspy-edged delivery that emanates from a place of sensitivity and strength. On a national tour to promote his fourth studio CD, The Point Of It All (scheduled to drop Dec. 16), 37-year-old Anthony hamilton isn't trying to completely flip the script, but he does want to, in his own words, "get my boogie on" and showcase the growth he's experienced as a man and musician. It was a quick, animated chat, but he did convey his enthusiasm for ...Point, the married life and the virtues of being with a "countrier than corn" brother....
It's good to have you back on the scene Anthony, how are you doing?
"I'm looking forward to things, it's been a minute."
I'm loving the new single "Cool," we need a song like that these days, you know? When you're dumping the couch for change, between paychecks....sometimes staying at home and keeping it simple is best.
"(Laughs) Best go 'head on...come on somebody! You got some good sense. People gotta realize, it don't take all that. You can have all of that and be miserable. All that money and stuff...."
Exactly. Tell me how Point... differs from your last CD, Ain't Nobody Worryin'?
"Well, I want to boogie a little bit, you know? I want to dance, have a good time.I got some more partying songs: there's a lot of fun, uptempo stuff on there. I pretty much wrote it all. You gon' see the bones and think to yourself, 'this boy is a wild and country negro...' (cracks up)"
I can get with that: do you have any favorites?
""I like the title track, 'Fallin' In Love,' 'Soul's On Fire'----it's just a really good album. My wife, Tarsha, is featured on a song called 'The News', the lead song. She's also got an album out right now on iTunes called The McMillian Story. I'm looking forward to really seeing both of our careers come full circle."
Is that hard, having two artists in the same house? You've been married how long, by the way?
"It's been 3 years, we've been together for 5. Most of the time, it makes it great, we know what the other one's going through. (Laughs) She's on my team and I gotta tell myself, 'ain't nobody trying to take your biscuit baby.' "
So, would you saying being married has also impacted your art?
"I'm not heartbroken, but I feel that relationships still bring about their own challenges, and you'll hear a little of that in there. It's about me not allowing myself to totally let go in the relationship. I've always been pretty much on my own, and this one is for the long haul."
It sounds like your describing growing pains, so to speak.
"That's why you do what you do, you know how to word things. Growing pains,yeah...you need conflict to grow; If there's no friction and everything's perfect, you'll never get to a place where you fully know yourself."
Since I'm married to a 'country man' myself, I've gotta say you all are some sincere brothers---when you're in it, you're in it.
"We'll mess around and will break the axle off the car with our bare hands if you try to leave---'Told you I loved you Girl!' (laughs)
You've really raised your profile lately, doing all of these soundtracks and cameos....are you ready for the mainstream, or does it have to get ready for you?
"Whereever I'm comfortable, I'm gonna make room for myself I'm not gonna shave away who I am or what I do as an artist. I'm already where I need to be, and those who gravitate toward me, those are the ones who are supposed to fit."
One last question, thanks for chatting with me Anthony: since you've gone against the grain in your career over the years and its still worked out for you, what advice do you offer anyone just entering the biz?
"Just be raw and honest about yourself, about who you are. They're (the industry) gonna try to tell you that that's not what you want to do, but people want to believe who are you are through your music. If you give them those raw moments, a glimpse of where they want to be, or say what they want to say, man... they'll ride with you til' the wheels fall off."