Kristin Andreassen Lets Love Grow on “Azalea”


Singer-songwriter (and clogger) Kristin Andreassen says she’s fascinated by Cajun culture and long-lasting relationships. She combines the two in delicate beauty on “Azalea.”

Also a member of the folk trio Sometymes Why and stringband Uncle Earl, her new solo album Gondolier comes out Feb. 17.

At the wedding of two friends in Eunice, Louisiana, Andreassen was struck by the way the whole community celebrated — elders and young folks alike. There was something connecting them to their collective past.

“Cajun music and food may travel the world, but what I really love about both is the way they still function in the community where they come from,” she tells CMT Edge via email. “When a fiddle and an accordion come out of the case, couples of all ages will get up and dance to the music.”

That gave her the central insight of “Azalea”: “Change like a tree, slow and even.”

“As I’ve grown older, I’ve made a hobby almost of studying what helps a good marriage last,” she says. “One thing I know is that all people change with time, and that fact can be a major test for a relationship if two people are changing quickly in different directions.

“Trees, on the other hand, can change quite radically and still stand their ground. A tree can grow new branches, it can flower and grow leaves and lose its leaves, and it can even generate new life right at the center of its being while presenting this essential ‘sameness’ in its outer skin. It does all this while moving slowly, but steadily.

“Maybe the best image I can muster for a marriage right now is a tree-lined street in an old part of town. Nobody really remembers the trees growing, so you have to dig up the black-and-white pictures to remember the saplings and realize how much more substantial they are now.”

Backed by a gentle accompaniment of woodwinds and framed by an opening line that draws listeners in, a sleepy, contented feel makes this track just right for quiet moments with the ones you love.

Check out the CMT Edge premiere Kristin Andreassen’s picture-perfect “Azalea.”