Once you hear Anya Hinkle sing you will want to hear her again. Add to that her band, Tellico, and original songwriting and you will be hooked. On her freshman recording with Tellico, Relics and Roses, her song Ever What You Say, gained her and her band recognition from the IBMA at its 2016 Songwriter Showcase. Her 2018 recording with Organic Records entitled Woven Waters includes Hinkle’s Ballad of Zona Abston which won the MerleFest Chris Austin Songwriting Competition and was a finalist in the Hazel Dickens Song Contest in 2019. Now just weeks away from returning to the studio to record their next album with Organic Records, she has embarked on a new chapter of her songwriting career. As a mature artist and woman, Hinkle has chosen to surrender herself to her own path and what she calls the hardest job possible, songwriting.
Now living in Asheville but originally from the mountains of Southwest Virginia, Hinkle has remained tied to both the mountains and the people living there. The namesake of her MerleFest competition winner, Zona Abston, has lived her entire 75 years in the mountains of Tennessee where Hinkle first met her. Hinkle explains, “Over her kitchen table, she told me the story of her childhood, her parents, siblings, and children and gave me a sense of a world view from someone that has only herself to rely on, and her community and family to some extent. Her perspective on life is something I tried to capture in this song.” It is with deep respect and gratitude that Hinkle sings this ballad. One critic says that Hinkle and her band Tellico, “reminds us we cannot abandon our own humanity, even when others try to grind it out of us.”
It has taken Hinkle more than a decade to develop full confidence in both her musicianship and songwriting. A critical source of that confidence comes from feeling connected to her listeners and knowing that she and her songs are not alone. After over a decade of recording and performing, Hinkle now knows that there are people who like what she does and want to be a part of it. She says, “I need them, and I guess that they need me.”
For the upcoming album Hinkle will have Billy Cardine on dobro, Julian Pinelli on fiddle, Thomas Cassell on mandolin, and Johnny Calamari on bass. Along with working in the studio, Hinkle will also be returning to Japan for a second tour, and touring the Netherlands, California, and Colorado.
She is embarking on a new chapter as Anya Hinkle with a de-emphasis on the band Tellico. Good timing as she returns to the studios at Organic Records next week, where she has recently signed an extended contract.
If you get a chance to see her perform, take it! If not, do yourself a favor and listen to Anya and Tellico’s performance at the 2019 IMBA World Of Bluegrass, where they played in the D’Addario and Fishman Showcase Room. You can also follow her progress on the new album under Anya Hinkle on Spotify.