Skip to main content

Lady Sings The Blues: Meet Nena Anderson

Local singer/songwriter Nena Anderson.

Credit: Photo by O

Above: Local singer/songwriter Nena Anderson.


Nena Anderson, local singer/songwriter.


Local singer/songwriter Nena Anderson has been singing all her life. But it wasn't until a few years ago that she decided to quit her day job and focus 100 percent of her time and energy on music. Not satisfied with singing and songwriting alone, Anderson picked up a guitar and taught herself how to play.

Whether she's playing solo shows or fronting her band, The Mules, Anderson is known around town for her lush, bluesy country-and-jazz-tinged vocals (think Neko Case meets Billie Holiday) and commanding stage presence. Last fall, Anderson released her debut record, "Beyond The Lights," which showcases her infectious blend of the blues, jazz, country and Americana. It's thoroughly modern music with lots of vintage charm.

"It’s a labor of love," says Anderson. "I consider myself successful if I can just make a living without struggling. I don’t need to be famous or do big tours. It would just be nice to make a living and just have music be my job."

KPBS Midday Edition speaks with Nena Anderson about her creative process, her first record and the challenges of being a musician today.

Nena Anderson performs two shows tonight: solo at the Encinitas Library at 6 pm, and at 9 pm with her band The Mules (opening for John Doe of X) at the Soda Bar in San Diego.

More upcoming shows:

Saturday, June 16: Java Joe’s (solo), Ocean Beach, 8 pm

Wednesday, June 20: Room 5 Lounge (solo), Los Angeles, 9 pm

Nena Anderson "I Fall In Love Too Fast"

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.