Lucy Angel: Two Sisters, a Mom, and the family that creates their country sound

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As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 4.

Lucy Angel is a country music trio consisting of Mother Kate and Sisters Lindsay and Emily. The entire Anderton family is behind the trio with the help of Dad, known as the G-Man, and brothers Jake and Fletcher. With lots of family support and band commitment, hard work, desire, oh, and talent, these ladies have been on one heck of a journey over the past ten years, and things are really heating up.

Pictured LtoR: Lindsay, Emily, and Kate
Photo credit:  Jake Anderton

With their debut album Lucy Angel (2015), followed by singles “Yard Sale” and “Public Pool Party” in 2017, a 2015 TV docu-series entitled Discovering Lucy Angel, a brand-new single “Boyz II Men,” and fresh off the CMA Fest, it is an exciting time for the trio for sure. “Boyz II Men” is the first in a series of singles set to release in the coming months.

Country pop tunes and catchy lyrics blended with the trio’s signature harmonies create upbeat and light-hearted melodies that will have you singing along in no time. Singles “Got Country” and “Yard Sale” have already garnered over 179K Spotify streams.

We had a chance to get to know more about Lucy Angel from Kate’s beginning in music to how her daughters followed in her footsteps to create the trio. Family dynamics play an essential role in the band from music writing to touring and beyond. They shared with us how they overcame challenges, what guitars Emily and Kate love, touring, Jammie Jam, and what advice they have for aspiring artists.

Kate, you began your career in country music as a solo performer. Tell us about your background in music, who were your musical influences, and why country music.

I started singing and doing solo work at an early age in church and continued on in school and then musical theater productions in the San Francisco area. Music was always a huge part of my life growing up. My father sang with the San Francisco Opera before his military career. There was always music on in our home and particularly when we were stationed in Germany where there was no American television.

I feel I was fortunate in having had a wide variety of musical influences growing up; from opera, classical, Broadway, Barbra Streisand, Carole King, to the Beatles. In college at Brigham Young University, I was one of four female vocalists in the touring group called The Young Ambassadors. It was there that I met my husband and we married that following year.

I began my country music career when my husband introduced me to Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, and Loretta Lynn. Listening to the country classics inspired my love of country music. Shortly after I began singing country, my husband entered me in the Wrangler Country Showdown. I won for the state of Utah and traveled to Nashville for the finals where I had the amazing experience of singing on the Opry Stage.

I started lessons in my early teens, and my first instrument was actually piano. I picked up guitar and mandolin about 16 years ago.

Lindsay and Emily, I’m sure you were both influenced by your mother and growing up in a musical environment. How did each of you “join” in on the family venture? Lindsay, let’s start with you as you’re the older sister.

Lindsay:  Yes, I was very influenced by my Mom. She always sang while we were growing up and would involve us any way she could. I joined another trio that my Mom had when I was 12 where I had a crash course in 3-part harmonies via the Andrew Sisters and such. That segued us into having a duo together for several years and moving to Nashville. Emily finally decided to join in on the fun shortly after we moved to Nashville.

Emily:  We grew up singing as kids, and I always loved every minute of it. When we were young, Mom and Dad filmed 120 episodes of a children’s tv show (they acted and sang) and us kids made occasional cameos. Singing and performing was just the way of life. I watched Lindsay and Mom sing as a duo for several years prior to moving to Nashville and joining the band. Funny enough, I told Lindsay via text message that I wanted to join the band, and we’ve been singing together as a trio ever since.

Emily, you play guitar. When did you start playing guitar and what inspired you to pick that instrument?

When I was 19, my parents got me an acoustic guitar for Christmas, and I think I started taking lessons that next week

Do any of you play other instruments?

Emily:  Lindsay plays harmonica and a little guitar. I play guitar and ukulele. Mom plays mandolin and guitar.

So, the band formed naturally?

Emily:  Yes, absolutely! Both Mom and Dad grew up performing and singing as kids and then, naturally, met in a singing group in college! They were married a year later and had Lindsay nine months after that. When we were young, Mom was offered a record deal but turned it down to stay at home with all of us kids. She still sang in bands and performed in plays, but she would always find a way to bring us along even if that meant getting us kids cast in the play. We put on Christmas shows at the mall with another family who had kids the same ages as us and loved every minute of it. When Lindsay was 12, she joined Mom’s trio called “Jasmine” and got her first experience singing harmonies. A few years later, Lindsay and Mom started singing as a duo. While I was still in high school, Lindsay and Mom performed six nights a week at The Damn Bar and Grill in Paige, AZ. It wasn’t until we made the move to Nashville that we became Lucy Angel.

What’s the meaning behind the name Lucy Angel?

Emily:  The name comes from a World War II plane’s nose art! Mom is an Army brat, so the name is a nod to her military upbringing.

You’ve been releasing several new singles lately, the latest of which is “Boyz II Men.” Tell us about the inspiration behind that song.

We wrote this song with our brother Jake and Summer Overstreet. Jake is very observant because he had the title. We call it our public service announcement to women everywhere. Don’t waste your time trying to “fix/change” someone. We wanted to reference the ‘90s, but also speak truth over a cool melody. “You know he ain’t the one,” “You can’t turn boys to men.” We also may have had some personal experience to draw from!

On your Facebook page, you posted a video of the three of you playing “If This Was A Beach.” Loved it!

Awe, thanks for watching the video! We had a lot of fun recording that acoustic video. We have been writing and collecting songs over the past year and are really happy with this little group of songs. I think every artist thinks their newest stuff is the best stuff they’ve ever written and performed, but we feel exactly that way about our new stuff.

It’s always good to be open-minded and open to good ideas and suggestions, but also have a solid vision of who you are as a band.

What’s the songwriting process for Lucy Angel?

Lately, we have been writing a lot with our brother Jake and Summer Overstreet. Five people writing one song could get a little crowded at times, but we have had so much fun and really love the vibe of the songs we are writing.

AXS TV aired a docu-series Discovering Lucy Angel which gave viewers a “behind the scenes” look into your family, the music industry, and some of the struggles and challenges bands face. Can you share with us one major challenge you all met in your career and how you overcame that challenge?

One of the biggest challenges we’ve overcome is learning to trust ourselves, believe in our ideas, and find our voice as a band. It wasn’t easy and honestly took years of gaining experience as writers, musicians, and singers to realize we can do this and don’t need to rely so heavily on other’s opinions. It’s always good to be open-minded and open to good ideas and suggestions, but also have a solid vision of who you are as a band.

With all the challenges, there have also been many positives. You’ve traveled the world – all the way to China – and shared the stage with so many great artists. Is there any one particular moment that stands out in your mind?

We have been very fortunate that our music has taken us on so many unforgettable adventures around the world. That being said, collectively, one of our greatest experiences so far is singing with Ronnie Milsap on his soon to be released duets album on our label G-force Music Group. We grew up listening to Ronnie’s music, and his records were the soundtrack to our family vacations. The first time we met him was at private rehearsal around his piano in his living room. As soon as he started singing, we all cried. It’s something we will always remember.

Be YOU! Don’t let other
people crush your dreams.

The band had some cool gigs this year. The Melissa Etheridge Cruise being one; how was that? It looked like such a blast. Did you ever feel like you were working?

The Melissa Cruise was such a cool experience! It’s hard to beat playing music on the pool deck in the middle of the Caribbean. The lineup of artists on the boat was insane! We were running around trying to catch everyone’s shows. One of the highlights was watching Melissa and Sarah McLachlan sing “In The Arms Of An Angel.” It was so beautiful. Honestly, it felt more like a vacation than work. The whole family was able to be there (minus our brother Fletcher), so that was a lot of fun, too!

Fresh off of CMA Fest where the energy is so high, how was your experience at the show this year?

CMA Fest is the best week of the year in Nashville! Country Music truly has the best fans on the planet. This was our first year playing inside with AC. We must say it was pretty amazing – haha! It kind of felt like we cheated a little, but we’ll take it. The crowd was amazing, and we loved chatting with everyone after the show. We already can’t wait for next year.

Before going on stage, does the band ever perform any pre-show rituals?

We just realized that our pre-show ritual with the three of us is a group hug and a pat on the derriere followed with “have a good show, girls”!

To celebrate the release of “Boyz II Men,” you had a giveaway on your Facebook Jammie Jam group where you gave away a Taylor Guitar. Tell us about Jammie Jam.

Jammie Jam is our twice weekly live stream that we’ve been doing for the past year, every Wednesday and Friday mornings, on Facebook. It’s crazy that we just celebrated our 100th episode. We sing songs, drink coffee, and chat with our viewers in our Jammies. It’s become one of our favorite events because you can interact with so many people at one time from all over the world from our pink couch.

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That brings me to my next question. What brand of instruments do you play?

Emily:  I play a Taylor Guitar, 614 GB Gerry Beckley (one of only 32 built). I absolutely love everything about this guitar. The way it feels in my hands, how easy it is to play, the size of the body, the special star inlay on the ebony fretboard. It’s my perfect, dream guitar.

Kate:  I play an Epiphone mandolin that was specially detailed by singer/songwriter and artist, Anthony Smith. He actually set the instrument on fire before he painted and bejeweled the whole thing. I think it plays better after the fire! I also have a Taylor. I love the action and tone of Taylor Guitars. I also have a modest 12 string guitar, BUT I do have my eye on a Taylor 12 string!

Working together as a family and band must take a lot of team effort. Tell us how Lucy Angel makes it work.

Honestly, it takes every single member of the Anderton family to keep the Lucy Angel dream alive! Our Dad, the G-Man, is our biggest fan/believer/champion and we couldn’t do any of this without his support. Our brother Jake is a super talented Director/Photographer/Writer, and he is an integral part of Lucy Angel. We call him the silent angel! And last, but not least, our brother Fletcher is our road manager and traveled to Switzerland, Japan, and China with us. His support throughout the years has been so important.

What advice would you offer to young women wanting to pursue a career in music who might be struggling and facing challenges?

Be YOU! Don’t let other people crush your dreams. Surround yourself with positive people who are doers. If this is what you want, you have to be willing to go out and fight or it. Never ever, ever give up, and although it’s always good to have “other skills,” if you have a plan B, you will probably end up with plan B.

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