Pete Anderson: Guitar Wizard Chooses EV RE-1 Wireless/EVM-12L Classic Guitar Loudspeakers
June 13, 2006
The term “legend“ is too often bandied about when talking about musical artists. While he might dispute that categorization, Pete Anderson is one of the rare musicians to which that term aptly applies. After more than 30 years in the music business and countless hit records as a producer, guitarist, and songwriter, Anderson has earned a place among many of the significant figures who have influenced popular music. With his third solo album, DAREDEVIL, Anderson demonstrates his unique talent for melding a variety of musical genres to create a series of beautifully-crafted instrumentals - which, as a whole, come together to create an album of unsurpassed “cinematic“ scope. This is music in 3-D!
DAREDEVIL is an appropriate title for the album; it represents “risk-taking“ in the best use of the phrase. Unlike many respected guitarists who record solo efforts, this is not an album about guitar “pyrotechnics’ just for the sake of impressing other musicians. DAREDEVIL is really about the songs - using the guitar as the chief instrument to express the musical vision. Rich in texture and range, the album sounds like the score to a Fellini movie from the fourth dimension. Each track takes the listener to new places. “New World Cakewalk“ feels like a march down Bourbon Street after a number of high-octane hurricanes. “That Broken Heart Will Heal“ is a beautiful love song with the guitar “singing“ a melody for the angels. “Big Canyon/Little Bird“ takes the listener on a rocking romp complete with cool jams on trumpet (Lee Thornberg) and fiddle (Donny Reed).
“DAREDEVIL represents the latest musical offering from a dynamic artist who soars through the musical stratosphere - all without a net. Don’t try this at home.”
DAREDEVIL is the latest creative effort by a Grammy Award-winning artist/producer/businessman, who has blazed a number of musical trails, garnering both critical acclaim and sales success. As a producer, Anderson is responsible for recordings which have sold over 30 million units worldwide. His groundbreaking work with Dwight Yoakam helped ring in the “new traditionalist“ movement in country music - while crossing over to a wider audience in the rock, pop, and blues worlds. He has also been responsible for highly touted projects by such artists as Roy Orbison, k.d.lang, Flaco Jimenez, Buck Owens, Lucinda Wiliams, Jim Lauderdale, Rosie Flores, Michelle Shocked, the Meat Puppets, the Backsliders, the Lonesome Strangers and Thelonious Monster, among others. As a guitarist and solo artist, Anderson has been lauded as a world-class musician who has influenced a generation of axe-slingers through his melding of country, blues, honky-tonk, and jazz technique. With the formation of his own independent record label, Little Dog Records, over 10 years ago, Anderson proved to be prescient in recognizing the challenges the record business would eventually face by creating an environment where he could record truly talented artists without the financial pressures experienced by the majors.
Born in Detroit, Anderson was exposed at a young age to country and western music that his father would listen to. However, his life was forever changed when he saw Elvis Presley perform on television. A young man with a guitar swinging from his neck shaking up the status quo through rock and roll was a powerful image. The sudden death of his father left Anderson to be raised by his mother, who worked full time in one of Motor City’s factories. This gave him a unique perspective on the challenges faced by America’s working class - another element that would influence his musical vision.
At eight years old, Anderson, still under the “influence“ of Elvis, decided that he wanted to play guitar. The salesman at the music store convinced his mother to get him an old acoustic guitar set up to only be played as a Hawaiian slide guitar. That didn’t matter - despite being unplayable, it was still a guitar that he could hang around his neck to imitate Elvis. While he dabbled with a few other instruments, he really didn’t pursue music seriously until his close friend, William Norman Edwards (later a Little Dog Records artist) brought over a Bob Dylan album. As Anderson describes it, “I had never heard music like this. I listened to “Subterranean Homesick Blues’ and just went “what is this?’ Whatever it was, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.“ Shortly thereafter at 16, Anderson took his own money and bought a guitar and a Bob Dylan songbook and started working on music seriously.
Anderson continued to hone his craft by playing with a wide range of bands that included everything from rock to “jug“ music. However, it was the blues that really became his driving inspiration. Following high school, Anderson got a factory job and played music at night, supporting his young family. When his mother retired and moved to Arizona, he followed her, choosing to pursue music full time. However, he quickly realised that if he was going to follow his musical dream, he would need to move to a major city with a vibrant music scene. Anderson made the decision to move to Los Angeles in the early 70s. At that time, Los Angeles was a true musical melting pot, with many musicians drawn to the West Coast in the wake of the burgeoning rock music business that had exploded as a result of the youth movement of the 60s.
Anderson, now a blues and rock player of some skill, quickly made a name for himself in the local music arena, while also studying at the newly-launched - and now world renowned - Guitar Institute of Technology. Working with various bands, he found that he could best make a living by playing the country music that had meant so much to his father. Developing his own rapid fire style, Anderson became a staple of the Southern California country/roots music club scene.
In the early 80s, Anderson was introduced by a mutual friend to Dwight Yoakam, a struggling singer/songwriter who had a knack for writing insightful country songs. Needing a substitute guitar player for a club gig, Yoakam called Anderson. The two hit it off and starting working together, honing Yoakam’s style and sound. Borrowing money from a variety of sources, the two managed to record an EP of Dwight’s music (which would later become the basis for the multi-platinum “Guitars and Cadillacs“ album). At the same time, Yoakam, powered by the musical direction and fiery guitar playing of Anderson, quickly become a favorite of the alt-country/cow-punk crowd. With the growing popularity of Yoakam, it was becoming apparent that a large part of his sound and “vibe“ was a result of Anderson’s musical taste and vision. In the mid-80s, Anderson decided to showcase the new country music that was coming out of Los Angeles and co-produced the compilation “A Town South of Bakersfield,“ a landmark album which included the first recordings from such acclaimed artists as Yoakam, Lucinda Williams, Jim Lauderdale, and Rosie Flores. In 1985, Yoakam was signed to Warner Bros. Records - marking the beginning of a partnership that would span 20 years and include a multitude of awards and honors, resulting in the sales of millions of albums worldwide (all produced by Anderson).
The success of his work with Yoakam also gave Anderson the ability to follow his creative muse, allowing him to work with a wide variety of artists from many different musical fields.
In 1993, Anderson decided to establish his own label, Little Dog Records, which gave him the creative freedom to sign and develop artists that he believed in. With more than a decade in business, Little Dog has released records from a cross section of artists that represent a wide range of American roots music ranging from country, honky tonk, and folk to blues, rock and Latin. Anderson also released his highly-praised solo projects, “Working Class“ and “Dogs In Heaven,“ through his Little Dog label. His recent releases by Moot Davis, The Blazers, and Cisco have garnered national attention and critical reviews
With over three decades of music under his belt, Anderson shows no signs of slowing down. DAREDEVIL represents the latest musical offering from a dynamic artist who soars through the musical stratosphere - all without a net. Don’t try this at home.