After well over a decade in New Orleans, Theresa Andersson developed her one-woman show.
After well over a decade in New Orleans, Theresa Andersson developed her one-woman show. Patrick Jarenwattananon/NPR
Snare drum, rack tom, floor tom. Acoustic guitar. Violin. Tambourine. Portable turntable. Two microphones. At least 10 pedals.
Theresa Andersson isn't the first to create full, artful pop out as a one-person show, precisely looping her voice and multiple instruments and gutsily emoting atop of it. It certainly commands your attention, though. And on a sunny Sunday at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, she packed a rapt crowd at the Fais Do-Do Stage as full as it was the entire weekend.
Though raised in Sweden — she still has a very faint tinge to her accent — she's been based in New Orleans now for about two decades. She's used that time to integrate herself into the tight-knit musical community here. (Allen Toussaint appears on her latest album and concert DVD.) And some bluesy flavor came out in her gritty, complex take on "Blue Skies," alternately scatted and belted with energy.
But she's capable of catharsis too. So captivated was the crowd that Andersson was obliged to take an encore, an a cappella take on "Find The Cost Of Freedom." Of course, she was Crosby, Stills, Nash and herself all at once.