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Anderson East is part of an elite group of artists who are an integral part of redefining today’s Nashville sound. On Friday (Jan. 19) — night one of his sold-out two-night stand at Nashville’s 3rd and Lindsley — he made a woman weep in the front row.

The song that moved her to tears was the ballad, “Cabinet Door,” the final track on his sophomore album Encore. Armed with just an acoustic guitar, East hushed the entire room to pin-drop silence as he sang its sorrowful lyrics honoring the memory of a loved one who had gone to the other side. The moment showed East as not just an artful lyricist, but as one of music’s next great interpreters of the human condition.

That night, East brought the room to its knees with his fiery blue-eyed soul and his signature gravelly voice. The 15-song performance was pure power and had him leading a group of masterful musicians including a two-piece horn section, a string quartet and blistering keys by Wetumpka, Ala.’s Philip Towns. The set list included Encore’s seductive “All On My Mind,” “Girlfriend,” “Surrender” and a few selections from East’s 2015 debut Delilah.

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