The Most Energy in Country Music – Mr. Red White & Blue, Coffey Anderson
The record labels said he wasn’t ready, so he did it himself. He started his own YouTube channel, got noticed, and signed a reality show on Netflix with over 60 million views. His music is a mix of country, pop, R&B, hip hop, and worship, and his song honoring our military, “Mr. Red White & Blue” went crazy viral on Tik Tok. He is an entertainer through and through with a heart of gold. I’m proud to introduce you to Coffey Anderson!

Coffey Anderson: … This is why we do it. I had someone say, “Oh, well, look at you, you’re carrying on the legacy of black performers.” Listen, making it in country music is hard for anybody of any color of any gender. Get over that. Its good music. In the country, everybody’s so poor, we don’t have time to be mad about color. Everybody eating fried bologna on white bread. Everybody, they’re trying to make it. Can we get past that and get back to what makes country music special? It’s the people. It’s the stories.

Sue Bonzell: This is Up N Country on 93.7, The Bull. It’s powered by vLiveCast. I’m your host Sue Bonzell. Let’s get this show started.

              All right. We consider him Mr. Red, White and Blue. He’s got a Netflix show. He has so many things that are going on in country music and in entertainment, Coffey Anderson is here. Hello. How are you?

Coffey Anderson: I’m good, Sue. How are you? Good to see you.

Sue Bonzell: It’s good to see you too. Now, I was looking up all this stuff and I had found the song Mr. Red, White and Blue, and was blown away, went and started doing all this research, and I’m like, I got to meet this guy because-

Coffey Anderson: Oh my goodness.

Sue Bonzell: That song was so impactful, I think, for so many people. I found it on TikTok. Everybody was using that song. You have, with your music, that underlying, that patriotic kind of thing. Tell me about your songs.

Coffey Anderson: I get my inspiration for writing my music from the blue-collar community. I grew up in small-town Texas, Bangs, like your grandmama’s hair, Bangs, 1100 people counting sheep, I mean, small town, and those are my friends. Those are our stories. I think a lot of times, because we’re in Nashville or because we’re in New York or LA, the flyover communities are forgotten, but those are my people. That’s who I’m with all the time, probably three days a week with my live shows, so I know their stories.

              When I met Sergeant Craig Carp of the US Marines, when the National Anthem played too, it was a very different look in his eyes and everybody else in our room. I grabbed my guitar and I put my strap over my shoulder and I wrote Mr. Red, White and Blue, probably in 10 minutes. It just downloaded right [inaudible 00:02:26] art. I think if we can make music that people can live to, that they can love to, that they can cry to, we’ll always have a job.

Sue Bonzell: Absolutely. Like I said, I think that that song and many of your songs have really touched a lot of people in such a positive way. You are so much fun. Like I said, I’ve been so excited to do this interview because, I literally have two pages of notes. I usually have a half a page, and I’m like, there’s two pages here, because you got a lot going on. You’re like a media king. Okay? Seriously. I’ve got here, I’ve got a whole list. You’ve performed on Snoop and Martha’s show, you’ve been on CMT, you’ve been on NBC, Nashville Star. Is there some acting going on with Disney, Taco Bell, Blue Cross? What don’t you do?

Coffey Anderson: Okay. I did a Disney commercial, and I did a Taco Bell commercial. The woman, she said, “Hey, can you sing Lionel Richie, Hello?” I said, “Does it have a check?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “I’ll sing the phone book.” She said, “Can you sing it in Spanish?” I said, “Si.” This commercial runs, and I’m like, “Hola. [foreign language 00:03:41],” and they gave me a check, every time it ran. I was like, “Capitalism. Look at this. This is amazing.”

              Then, I played a joke on my wife, I posted it on Facebook with the E-S. I said, “Honey, what is Y-E-S spell?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “What does E-Y-E-S spell?” She said, “E-yes.” “It spells eyes.” She went to a public school, they don’t spell eyes at the school she went to. I thought it was funny, so did 57 million other people.

Sue Bonzell: Oh my gosh.

Coffey Anderson: Netflix gives us a reality show with the genius [Enroma 00:04:14] Downey, he was the angel on Touched by an Angel. It’s a 12 episode series on Netflix. It’s the only family-friendly reality show that you can watch with the whole family and not have one cuss word, not have one scene that you have to have a family conversation over the dinner table about, you actually can put it on, laugh, cry, and smile. Wow. [inaudible 00:04:35] used to do that. Remember that?

Sue Bonzell: See, it’s no wonder, because look at you, your energy, you are so funny, you’re so fun. It’s just infectious to be near you.

Coffey Anderson: Thank you.

Sue Bonzell: I’m so excited for that. Now, I know that you and your wife, she had some health things going on. Tell me about that. That must have been very difficult. You guys documented that whole thing.

Coffey Anderson: A lot of people tell different stories, and when you think of cancer, it was three steps away before it hit you directly, and now it’s not. So many people are directly hit either personally or with someone in their family, immediate family. For me, it’s the love of my life in Criscilla, and we told the whole story. Sue, I’ll tell you, the first day we were filming, she had a chemo infusion and she was very sick, nauseous, just a really rough day. I told the crew, I was like, “Y’all go home,” because I didn’t want them to see her hurting; I’m a husband.

Sue Bonzell: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Coffey Anderson: [inaudible 00:05:43] I want her to be seen that way. She literally put her hand on my leg and she said, “How are they supposed to tell the whole story if we don’t show them?” I think at that moment, we started using it as a way to let other people that were going through the same thing know that they are loved, they’re not forgotten and they’re supported.

Sue Bonzell: Wow. That’s powerful, and good for her. That’s amazing, how courageous of her and vulnerable and authentic to be able to share that with other people, like you said, to help others. That’s so amazing.

Coffey Anderson: Absolutely. It’s been a journey, and then Mr. Red, White and Blue goes viral and TV show hits, and so I have a new album that’ll come out in June. The pre-order is available right now with Come On With It. I signed with Riser House, so Riser House Records, and I did a joint venture deal. You know Riser House Records, because they put out Mitchell Tenpenny. They put out Ashley McBride years ago. They have Megan Patrick, and they also have John Pardi, I don’t know if you know who that is.

              He may have a hit or two. He has a future. He’s just getting started. He may be good at this after a while. You know John, he all right. It’s one of those things where they’re the right label for me, and I’m not everybody’s cup of tea. I know that. I know patriotism in some circles is not popular and Riser House lets me tell my story, so it’s a good thing.

Sue Bonzell: When you started, you were like, hey, I got to go get a record deal. That’s the only way I’m going to do it. You said, “You know what?” I think you talked to somebody who inspired you and said, “I’m going to do it on my own,” so you’re kind of like this self-made man. You went out and worked your butt off to get to where you are. Tell us about starting out in your music career.

Coffey Anderson: Oh my [Gora 00:07:34]. How much time we got? No. I started out singing in church. That’s the best place for anyone under 21, because you can practice on Sundays, Sunday nights and Wednesdays, and what they going to do? Throw tomatoes at you? It’s the house of God. They got to give you grace, so you can practice every week. I started out doing it that way, but I bumped into a rapper and it was a guy from Houston, and Houston rappers were independent.

              They weren’t in Atlanta, they weren’t in Los Angeles, and they were literally printing CDs on their own. They were making their own T-shirts, and I learned a lot of how to make records from them. I came to Nashville with a friend of mine, and I bumped into this steel player named Scotty Sanders. Scotty’s played on every big record you could ever think of. He was working a Lady Antebellums’ album at that time.

              The band plays the song flawlessly and he said, “Oh, just for a little bit of money they can demo your record,” but those demos sounded better than anything I heard on country radio. I said, “Well, could they do my album?” He goes, “Yeah, just hire us.” “Okay.” I borrowed money from a buddy that had just gotten drafted in Major League Baseball, Danny Duffy.

              He now plays with the LA Dodgers. He played with the Royals for years, and I got my album done that way, and I knew video. I knew YouTube, because that was my folks, and I made a video every day, for 72 days, whether it was a cover, whether it was my song. I said, “If you like what you hear, get my album. Pre-order my album in the link below,” and 12,000 people did.

Sue Bonzell: Oh my God. That’s so amazing.

Coffey Anderson: They joined the email list, and then I said, “Hey, I would love to come and sing at your event. Here’s my email.” I would get 17, 18 booking requests a week, and then I knew I had a business. I say that not to impress you, but to impress upon you, you can do it. It does take work, and a lot of artists wait on a publicist. They wait on some manager. No, you got to get out and sing. You got to get out and sing. You got to do it, and you have to make good material. A good song, no matter how it’s put out, will always be a hit.

Sue Bonzell: Absolutely. Now, even more exciting now, I understand you are going to be making your Grand Ole Opry debut in May. How big is that?

Coffey Anderson: Come on. Come on. Don’t get me hyped. I’m yelling at you right now. Everybody, all these fans are going to know I’m crazy. I’m playing the Opry. Listen, right now, the Grand Ole Opry, I grew up watching Hee Haw. These kids, they don’t know nothing about Hee … Minnie Pearl had the tag on the rags. Come on. You had Roy Clark, Rindercella, it was so ahead of its time. Calm me down. Calm me down. Calm me down.

              It was so ahead of its time, and to go to the Grand Ole Opry, and the circle is not just for country musicians. You have to think of, Houdini performed magic tricks on that circle. It’s bigger than me. It’s bigger than us. It’ll be here longer than me, after me, but I get to be a part of it now. Wow.

Sue Bonzell: That’s so cool.

Coffey Anderson: If that don’t give you chills, you in the wrong line of work. This is why we do it. I had someone say, “Oh, well, look at you, you’re carrying on the legacy of black performers.” Listen, making it in country music is hard for anybody of any color, of any gender. Get over that. It’s good music. In the country, everybody’s so poor, we don’t have time to be mad about color. Everybody eating fried baloney on white bread. Everybody, they’re trying to make it. Can we get past that and get back to what makes country music special? It’s the people, it’s the stories. Come on, y’all. Come on.

Sue Bonzell: Yes. I’m totally with you. I’m so excited for you. Your enthusiasm is just so infectious. Next time you’re in Nashville, you need to call me because we need to meet in person.

Coffey Anderson: I’m in. I would love for you to take me to dinner. I mean, I’d love for us to hang out.

Sue Bonzell: Fair enough.

Coffey Anderson: I’d love it.

Sue Bonzell: Now, I understand you have a connection to wine, and apparently there’s a big life size poster of you at Walmart because of it?

Coffey Anderson: Okay. We had a wine called Heroic Red, which, it’s no longer on the label now, it’s [sad 00:12:04]. They had a life size poster of me holding the bottle of wine, in Walmart. You know you’ve made it, and what’s crazy is, they couldn’t keep them, because people were stealing them.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, you’re kidding.

Coffey Anderson: Oh yeah. People will steal anything that ain’t nailed down. These folks, they need the Lord. They need Mary and Joseph, the whole family, in their heart. I’m like, okay. Now we’re working with Live Free Water, where 50% of the purchase goes to veteran charities that have been vetted, and it is a beautiful organization. Dr. Pepper’s partnering with us right now, and we also have a coffee through Community Coffee Partnership, and HEB stores are carrying it, it’s so much bigger than us. Do what you can. Blossom where you’re planted. It may not be the biggest pot, but blossom where you’re planted. It may not be the most beautiful garden, but can we blossom where we’re planted? I think we can.

Sue Bonzell: You are an inspirational speaker. Is that part of your show as well, because you really are.

Coffey Anderson: Absolutely.

Sue Bonzell: You’re very inspirational, not only your music itself, but just you speaking.

Coffey Anderson: When you think back to all you’ve overcame, a lot of people use it as a crutch. I think you should use it as gasoline. You’re still here. You made it, be an inspiration, love people to life. There’s so much stress. Hi baby. What time you got to go in there?

Speaker 3: I don’t know.

Coffey Anderson: You don’t know? What time is it? She can’t tell time. Why even ask this child? She don’t even know time. Okay. Well go ahead and go in. Go out. I think we can blossom where we’re planted and be a blessing. I really do. I’ll be there in a minute. Okay. Love you. Do not cut a flip with that sucker in your mouth, you might die. All right.

Sue Bonzell: That’s real life. That’s like, you’re dad. Okay?

Coffey Anderson: Listen, she be all right. She be all right. That may have scared 20 minutes off her life, just that statement. She be right. She’s fine. She’s fine.

Sue Bonzell: Oh my gosh. That is so fun. Now, you talked about your audiences and who you’re with and everything, and I’ve seen that you’ve literally played weddings, you’ve played funerals. I understand you love playing county fairs. Those kind of performances, what are your favorite things really to do?

Coffey Anderson: When the 13 were ambushed in Kabul, I got on TikTok, and I was angered, I was upset, I was hurt, I was frustrated. I was devastated, as you were, as everyone was, and I offered to sing at the funerals for the families. I said, “Message me, contact me, let’s talk,” and we had over 22,000 emails, DMs, people just getting in touch with us, and I ended up singing at nine of the funerals. I think the hardest part was seeing the mama’s bury their babies. Blossom where you’re planted. Come on, y’all.

Sue Bonzell: Yeah. I know that you were a blessing in their healing as well, to be there, so thank you for doing what you do.

Coffey Anderson: No. That’s why God gave me the gift, so out of that, okay, so short story long, when my mama went to heaven way too soon, I was really hurt. It was 17 days before my 11th birthday. My sister was with me, she was 15. My dad, combat veteran, air force veteran. I go to the county fair, it was the fall festival in my town, Bangs, and it was a cakewalk. Cakewalk is when they have numbers in a circle and they play on this old [jamba 00:16:13], “Heaven help us, baby’s got her blue jeans,” and the batteries are half dead. It’s just bad.

              I get in the line and I’m walking around and they stop it, and I win this cake. It was half jello, half cake, with coconut shavings. It looked like a dead opossum that was green, that they put on a plate, and I literally held the ugliest cake of my life. I held it and I started crying, because I felt like, finally something good happened to our family.

              When county fairs, they don’t get the budget, once an artist makes it big, they never go back, but I’ll always go back because there’s some kid that’s fell on a hard time, that doesn’t think anything good’s going to happen to them, and they may win the ugliest cake to my song. But when I saw Pat Green, when I saw Dwight Yoakam come to Brownwood, Texas to the theater, I knew that that’s what I wanted to do. If we can keep that going, man, job well done. Job well done.

Sue Bonzell: Yes. Absolutely. Okay. You got the new album, where can we get it? Tell us where to go to get the download [crosstalk 00:17:28].

Coffey Anderson: Everywhere.

Sue Bonzell: Everywhere.

Coffey Anderson: Everywhere. Go to iTunes, go to Apple Music, go to Spotify, go to Pandora, go to Amazon, go to your grandma’s house, open up her phone, download the album there. You see how many kids I got, I need all the sales. I need every one of them, and the album is phenomenal. Come On With It is the lead single that we’re going to go crazy with in May. John Pardi wrote that and gave it to me. It is a smash. He didn’t have to give me nothing. Most artists are stingy. You know this. The public doesn’t know. They don’t know that people fight over songs, big time, right?

              Pardi gives me the smash, Come On With It. Tyler Hubbard from Florida Georgia Line, one of the greatest country writers ever, ever, gives me Drive On Back. What? I’m like, okay. All right? All right. Phil O’Donnell. Philbilly comes into, we call him Philbilly, Philbilly, he comes in, he says, “Hey, we going to write a song about America?” I said, “Is the sky blue as water [inaudible 00:18:31]?” He says, “I don’t know about all of that, but we going to write something today.”

              We go in, I said, “Big bold stripes, the brightest of stars. Land of the free because of those brave hearts. Waves of grain and a farmer dragging a plow, America is my hometown.” He goes, “All right, hold on. Hold on.” He goes, “Come on, Jesus. Come on.” He’s all, praise the Lord. He’s country Pentecostal, they get excited. They get everything out but franks. He’s like, “Come on, Jesus. Come on.” He goes, “It’s dirt on a shovel or Semper Fi on a duffle. It’s pride when the boots hit the ground. It’s a bull under a buckle or a Hail Mary in a huddle. America is my hometown.”

Sue Bonzell: So awesome.

Coffey Anderson: Wow. I grab his shoulders, I go, “Phil, come on.” I’m grabbing him and he going, “Come on, Jesus.” “Come on, Phil.” “Come on, Jesus.” Me, Jesus and Phil wrote a smash. You got to hear it.

Sue Bonzell: That is awesome.

Coffey Anderson: You can get the song as an instant gratification when you pre-order the album.

Sue Bonzell: Okay. There you go.

Coffey Anderson: I know I’m loud. I’m sorry. I don’t know why-

Sue Bonzell: No. You do not have to apologize. I absolutely love it, love it, love it. I love who you are, I love your authenticity. I love it. I love it. Thank you.

Coffey Anderson: Oh my goodness. A woman from People Magazine, Trisha, she asked me, she said, “Describe your career.” I said, “Tuxedo T-shirt.” She said, “What?” I said, “Tuxedo T-shirt.” She said, “What does that mean?” I said, “I feel like I’m at the prom and I’m the only one without the tuxedo, because I wasn’t really invited and I won prom king. I’m in a tuxedo T-shirt and nobody’s thrown me out yet.” If we can live like that, we won.

Sue Bonzell: You’re not going anywhere, my friend. No.

Coffey Anderson: Oh, come on.

Sue Bonzell: You’re not going anywhere.

Coffey Anderson: They’re going to find me out-

Sue Bonzell: You’re going up, up, up.

Coffey Anderson: I appreciate it. We’re working for it. Thank you for having me.

Sue Bonzell: Absolutely.

Coffey Anderson: What other notes you got? Come on.

Sue Bonzell: I think we covered a lot of everything. We talked about your benevolence here, we got that. We got all your appearances on TV, and all of that: your Netflix show, your new album, Grand Ole Opry. What am I missing? Did I miss anything?

Coffey Anderson: No. That’s all of it, and it needs to be, it sounds tiring. It sounds tiring.

Sue Bonzell: I know, and you have all the energy in the world, which is amazing.

Coffey Anderson: I think I had ADHD before they diagnosed, and we sure didn’t have the money. That wasn’t going to happen. My daddy wasn’t handing me no pill. He handed me a Flintstone vitamin, that was about it.

Sue Bonzell: Oh man. This is so fun. Okay. I want to thank you so much for taking the time.

Coffey Anderson: No. Thank you.

Sue Bonzell: I know you are a busy dad, a busy artist, doing all of these things.

Coffey Anderson: Thank you.

Sue Bonzell: Thank you for your time and sharing with us. You guys go follow Coffey Anderson on all of the socials everywhere. Go get the album, you’re going to love this guy. You love this guy. We love you. Thank you so much.

Coffey Anderson: Thank you for having me, Sue. Appreciate y’all.

Sue Bonzell: Absolutely.

Coffey Anderson: When I’m in Nashville, we got to meet and eat. Come on.

Sue Bonzell: Yes. Yes, 100%.

Coffey Anderson: Thank you. God bless. Thank y’all.

Sue Bonzell: Yes. Thank you. Thanks for tuning in to Up N Country, where we have new episodes every Tuesday, and be sure to visit for all of the episodes and information about our VIP club, where you’re going to get exclusive backstage access. If you’re on Instagram or TikTok, make sure to follow me, Sue Bonzell. I’ll see you next week.