Theresa Andersson — a New Orleans roots rock musician

Published 12:24 am Sunday, December 16, 2007

Don’t let her pixie face fool you. Theresa Andersson, a New Orleans musician, is a confident woman who knows her place in the music industry. From the moment she walks onto the stage, you know you are about to hear something special.

I recently sat down with Theresa just before her performance at Hard Rock Cafe in New Orleans, and despite the fact that she was just about to go onstage, she calmly shared with me some of the reasons her music is so unique.

Theresa Andersson originally hails from Sweden, a small island called Gotland in the Baltic Sea. She moved from Sweden to America in 1990, bound specifically for New Orleans, at the age of 18. The reason, in her words, “for music and love.”

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Although she did not elaborate on the latter part of that statement, she knew she wanted to be in New Orleans specifically for its musical culture, and she added that she could not imagine living anywhere else.

Theresa describes her music as a collage of sounds. She joked that she was once described as ‘Mary Poppins’ one man band meets big foot’ as she flashed her radiant smile.

I asked her about influences for her music, and she started to laugh. “You would ask that?” she said. She then shared that she currently has more than 300 songs recorded on her ipod, each one gives her a different musical flavor with which to spice up her own sounds.

“I take influences from everywhere,” she said. “Reggae, New Orleans, Jazz and vocals including Belgium female choirs. And then there’s Mary J. Blige, of course, whom I also love.” Well, who doesn’t?

Theresa plays a host of instruments including the violin and the guitar. All of the sounds in her solo show that evening were recorded earlier by her, so she could harmonize and play along with herself.

Currently, Theresa is signed with Basin Street Records. In the spring of 2007, she released her solo album “Shine” under the label. She is currently working on another album set to be released at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, 2008.

After our chat, Theresa followed me down the stairs of the Hard Rock, and proceeded to go backstage to get ready. I watched her take off her shoes and tape up her toes. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure why she was doing that. I quickly found out.

When Theresa took the stage, all bets were off.

She has a kewpie doll look, a 1000 watt smile and a sexy, chocolatey voice that will blow you away. Then the violin came out and magic happened. I was hooked. I was a fan. From the reaction of the crowd, it’s hard to imagine I was alone.

While she was playing I heard all of the musical influences we had discussed earlier. I was reminded of grass roots folk songs at times and spirituals at others. I mostly enjoyed her plucky, sweet rendition of “Blue Skies” with its fun off beat rhythms all done by Theresa.

By the way, the taped toes were for manipulating the sounds that were prerecorded, and the “wah-wah pedal” for her violin.

It is hard for me to put Theresa and her eclectic style into a box. I like to think of her as the soloist AND the whole gospel choir.

New Orleans is lucky to have this adopted daughter as their own.

To read more about Theresa, keep up with her tour schedule, or get on her mailing list, go to, or visit