Paige Anderson Re-Emerges in Two Runner, Wins Gems on VHS Contest

Emily Rose (left) and Paige Anderson (right) of Two Runner

There are few things more satisfying that getting in on the ground floor with an artist, and watching them rise as their music finds an audience and begins to spread like a wildfire through the grassroots. It’s not just talent that determines who takes off, and who doesn’t. Timing is a huge part of it, along with a little bit of luck. For every artist we’ve seen shoot from an unknown to the stratosphere such as Zach Bryan and Sturgill Simpson, there are others that our internal compasses tell us should be stars, but sometimes they struggle to even make sustainable careers of from their music. Or sometimes it just takes time for them to find they traction they deserve.

One such artist has been Paige Anderson, who Saving Country Music first began touting in 2012 when she was in her family band called Anderson Family Bluegrass where she started performing at the age of 9. Paige was a flatpicking guitar phenom, and if you don’t believe it, check out her playing “Cross Eyed Cricket” in 2010. Though you will struggle to find it on streaming services, the band’s Live From Grass Valley is a great bluegrass album recorded in the family’s hometown of Grass Valley, California.

Paige also started a band with her sister Aimee on fiddle, and brother Ethan on mandolin, and later youngest sister Daisy called The Fearless Kin who released an EP in 2012, and an album 2014. Some videos for both Anderson Family Bluegrass, and later The Fearless Kin racked up well over 1 million views as they garnered a following online. As the Anderson Family children grew, the band eventually dissolved amicably.

Since then, Paige Anderson has been somewhat adrift, searching for her place in music. She toured around with the band Family Of The Year for a while, started a full band project called Foxymoor, but nothing really stuck. One of the hardest transitions in all of music is from prodigy musician to professional. The novelty of being young and talented fades, and you must replace that with originality, and honest appeal. Again, talent isn’t always enough. Life experiences must lend to insight through songwriting, while timing and other intangibles still play such an important role.

But perhaps Paige Anderson has finally found her place, at least for now. As Saving Country Music has covered, the independent country revolution has relied significantly on a few dedicated YouTube channels seeking out authentic music and highlighting it, specifically Gems of VHS, and Western AF, who’ve been very directly responsible for the improbable rise of artists such as Colter Wall, Sierra Ferrell, Nick Shoulders, Riddy Arman, and so many others that in previous eras we’d strongly question if there was anything more than a niche audience for. People are seeking out authenticity, and finding it through these channels.

Recently Gems on VHS concluded their third annual “Gems in the Rough” contest, with over 800 hopefuls sending in videos to attempt to capture the attention of the video channel that now has over 180,000 subscribers. Paige Anderson and her current project called Two Runner happened to win the contest. She is joined in Two Runner by fiddler and vocalist Emilie Rose who grew up going to fiddle camps, and was trained in traditional Scottish tunes. The honor earned them not just a video feature on Gems on VHS, but on Western AF as well.

Paige Anderson started Two Runner a couple of years ago as a more straight ahead electric band, but it has now morphed into a primitive country/old time-style duo with Paige playing a lot of clawhammer banjo, as well as guitar, and singing her original songs accompanied by Emily Rose. They played in Nashville in June, and have been touring all around the West Coast this summer.

We’ll have to see where this project goes from here, but it’s a great start for this incarnation of Two Runner to be featured on these two important YouTube channels, and great to re-connect with Paige Anderson, who our predictions of being one of the big hopefuls for the future of roots music may come true after all.

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