Beyond a Song: Anna Kline (part 1 and 2) Swift Silver

Beyond a Song host Rich Reardin interviews Nashville singer/songwriter Anna Kline. Anna is a songwriter and musician and freelance writer specializing in Culture & Heritage projects for tourism in the Southern and Southeastern regions of the U.S. and can also assist with your social media presence.

A self-professed Southern culture junkie, Anna Kline grew up in North Mississippi in the small town of Hernando, located in between Memphis and the Delta—an area with a complex history that yielded its famously vibrant food and arts culture.
Her freelance writing vividly captures the personality of place. She specializes in Southern culture research and content for websites, blogs, and travel guides—and, she can pitch and execute print articles for magazines. Her written content is insightful and authentic, crafted with your vision and brand image in mind.
Anna’s passion for promoting, celebrating, and preserving Southern culture traditions includes such projects as the Mississippi Culinary Trail for Visit Mississippi, story segment research for Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s The Choctaw Journey, as well as a historical travel guide, blog posts, and website content for the town of Prestonsburg, Kentucky in 2017. She most recently wrote the historically-focused web content and blog articles for Visit Jessamine in 2020.
Anna explores how a community distinctively takes its shape because no two communities are alike—oh, they may be similar—but it is a distinct mixture of circumstances that make up a community’s identity. From courageous, innovative minds to thought-provoking works of art and a deeply-rooted community spirit that makes every community, large and small, worth exploring.
She also collaborates with singer-songwriters and bands to write personal biographies and can assist with their social media.
She performed on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern with her partner, John Looney, and their acoustic roots duo, Grits & Soul, and she also performed on an episode of KET’s Kentucky Life with The Local Honeys’ Linda Jean Stokley.
Anna just released a new album with her new band, Swift Silver, a name inspired by one of the earliest Kentucky legends about John Swift and his lost silver mine.
As a proud Kentucky Arts Council Community Scholar and Kentucky Arts Council Performing Artist Directory member, she continues to explore the diversity of the Southern experience in the Appalachian region through teaching and writing opportunities, oral histories, and regional musical performances.
MEAT AND THREE
Anna studied music business and film at the University of Memphis and in 2004, decided to focus on gaining real life experience when famed Southern soul, blues and gospel label, Malaco Records in Jackson, Mississippi hired her to work in their music licensing department. Anna was exposed to the legendary Malaco and Muscle Shoals Sound song catalogs, drafting contracts for television and film. She also wrote blog posts full of everyday stories and news of the artists and songwriters that walked the halls.
Her freelance writing journey began in 2006 with regularly published articles in the Jackson Free Press and DeSoto Magazine, which all focused on local music, food, and Southern culture topics; and, not too long thereafter, she was asked to write a monthly food and restaurant feature in Portico Jackson Magazine.
In 2009, the Mississippi Development Authority, Division of Tourism hired Anna to research and write the Mississippi Culinary Trail, an online resource for visitors, highlighting the foodways traditions and local hot-spot eateries across the state of Mississippi. During her time at MDA, she worked on many special projects: she coordinated the first Mississippi music showcase at SXSW, was a location scout for the Mississippi Film Office, shot and edited a short documentary food film, and worked on numerous culture and heritage projects including the African-American Heritage sights along the Mississippi Freedom Trail.
In 2011, Anna had the opportunity to research story segment ideas for the Mississippi Public Broadcasting special television feature The Choctaw Journey, which profiled the history and cultural preservation of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
In 2012, her life went in a different direction when she took the plunge as a full-time musician and songwriter with her partner, John Looney, and their band, Grits & Soul. They relocated to Asheville, North Carolina where the duo immersed themselves in Appalachian culture, released an album, and extensively toured the Southeast as well as Europe.
In 2015, they moved to John’s native Kentucky, where they continue to perform regularly. The duo appeared on an episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (2017) on The Travel Channel which covered The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail in Kentucky and Virginia. Anna also recently performed on an episode of KET’s (Kentucky Educational Television) Kentucky Life with Linda Jean Stokley of The Local Honeys in a segment about songwriter Jim Ford.
Anna and John formed a new band project in 2020, Swift Silver, and just released their album in June.
Anna continues to write for tourism projects, and past projects include the town of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, where she wrote monthly blog posts and content for the town’s travel guide, and blog posts and web content for Visit Jessamine.
In October 2018, Anna completed her certification in the Community Scholars Program through the Kentucky Arts Council. This program “trains members of a community in documentation, interpretation and dissemination of their unique local cultural resources and traditional art forms.” She is also a co-coordinator for Mt. Sterling’s Small Town America festival (with her fellow Mt. Sterling Community Scholars, Tracy Pearce and Allen Blair) and is the program director for the Mt. Sterling Story Stage, a celebration of the community highlighting stories, songs, and foodways traditions.
When she isn’t writing or performing as Swift Silver, you can find her huddled in a group of late-night pickers, onstage with Don Rogers and The Apostlebillies, or playing square dances with The Local Honeys.

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