In times of crisis, it’s more important than ever to check in on your friends and loved ones. Here at XPN, we’re Checking In With our extended musical family to see how they’re holding up during the Coronavirus quarantine…and what music has kept them grounded. Today, Dan Reed chats with Courtney Marie Andrews.

“It was a perfect storm of events,” says singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews of the back-to-back calamities that struck her home base of Nashville this year: first the tornado, then the pandemic. “It’s been really sad month for the town, and usually in times of grief you want to gather together and try to rebuild, but the pandemic happened and it’s impossible to do that.”

Still, Andrews has used her downtime during the health crisis to work on writing songs and poetry. “Some days are better than others,” she says, and tells us she’s tried gardening as well. “I think in our oversanitized world, getting your hands very dirty is very therapeutic.”

Andrews’ latest album, Old Flowers, comes out on June 5th, and though she isn’t sure when she’ll be able to head out on the road to promote it, she tries to keep from worrying. “It’s a crazy time, but we’re all in the same position and we have to do what we can, make what we can of it, because there’s no other option.”

We also chatted about keeping connected with livestreaming gigs, finding inspiration and solace in songs by Joni Mitchell and Lucinda Williams, and more. Hear it in the player below.

Checking In With Courtney Marie Andrews

Favorite Song of All Time: “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell

“It sort of encompasses the great mysteries of life all in one song.”

Song that Raises Your Spirits: “Are You Alright” by Lucinda Williams

“It’s the perfect question that all of us are asking our friends and families. In your quarantine, are you doing okay? We’re all going through this catastrophic, grief-inducing experience together, and I think that’s a perfect question.”

Song You’re Most Proud of Working On: “Burlap String” by Courtney Marie Andrews

“It’s a song that encompasses grief, and the first stage of grief when you really wish you could go back and change things. I’m proud of it because I was able to memorialize this specific relationship and say exact what I wanted to say at the time. I feel like [it made me] personally able to say it simply and poignantly and in a way that I hadn’t been able to earlier in my career.”