Anita Cochran did well for herself in the country music major label world, with a pair of releases and a chart-topping hit duet with Steve Wariner, "What If I Said," in 1997.
Now, however, the South Lyon-born singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist is an independent artist. And loving it.
"I can do more stuff now," says Cochran, 45, who was born Anita Cockerham. Her last album, "Serenity," came out in 2009 on her own Staybranch label. "I feel like when I'm writing now I'm not so focused on what is a commercial country record that's going to be successful. It's more about the songs I write or hear that are just great songs.
"I'm working on a new project right now and there might be a song that sounds like the Mavericks or k.d. lang, and another song that sounds like Patti Loveless. It's opened up the door for me to have more variety. I can't write something that's bluesy and something that's traditional country and they can both be on the same project. I don't feel like I just have to do a certain kind of song."
Cochran may offer a sneak peek at some of her new material this weekend as one of the performers at the Operation Injured Soldiers Motorcycle Ride in New Hudson. She'll be the Grand Marshall of the event, riding her customized Harley Davidson Sportster while thumping the drum for a good cause.
"I'm a big fan of our soldiers, and I love what Operation Injured Soldiers does -- not just raising money but actually taking them out on hunting trips and things like that," Cochran says. "They help them do the things they liked to do before they went overseas. I'm proud to be part of an organization like that."
Anita Cochran and Jay Jolley will perform as part of the Operation Injured Soldiers Motorcycle Ride at noon Saturday, July 21, at James Atchison Park in New Hudson. Tickets are $20 for the ride and concert, which begins at 7 p.m., $15 for the concert only. Call 248-437-1144 or visit www.injuredsoldiers.org.
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