Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Pete Anderson brings his life’s craft to Maumee


Pete Anderson.


The day that Pete Anderson announces his retirement from playing music will probably be the same day you read his obituary.

Barring a physical malady that is so dire he can’t pick up one of his signature Reverend guitars anymore, expect Anderson to be on a stage somewhere playing his signature blend of blues, jazz, country, rhythm and blues, and rock no matter how old he is.

His heroes are musicians such as Ray Charles and B.B. King, artists who never let age stop them from having a good time on stage.

“I’m a baby boomer, so I grew up in a golden age of music in the world,” Anderson said in a phone interview. “I think back on the guys that are my idols, blues country jazz guys, all of them, they all played. Some of them died on stage. Some of them died going to a stage or leaving a stage.

“I just think the real cats, the real musicians — that’s their dialogue, that’s how they breathe and that’s how they speak. They play music until something happens that they can’t play anymore and it has to be a traumatic physical impairment.”

He will be in Maumee on Monday night at the Village Idiot with his band playing songs from his new release “Birds Above Guitarland” and other material from his solo career.

Anderson is best known as the guitarist for Dwight Yoakam during his rise to stardom in the ’80s. He was the master of the twangy honky-tonk Telecaster guitar sound that was at the heart of Yoakam's music, and he also did production work with artists that included Roy Orbison, Michelle Shocked, and Jackson Browne.

When Yoakam started taking breaks from touring, Anderson got antsy and began the process of carving out what has become a thriving solo career. "Birds Above Guitarland" is the fifth release for the Detroit native and it marks an evolution in his sound from a blues/​jazz foundation to a horn and guitar-driven emphasis on rhythm and blues.

"Even Things Up," his 2011 release featured a number of subtle tributes to his guitar idols such as Albert Collins and King, but "Guitarland's" songs — all which were written by Anderson, are more singular, which came out as the music developed.

"We were doing things that in a good way that I couldn't really draw comparisons to," he said.

His concert repertoire is now comfortable to him and allows for a fair amount of improvising and jamming.

"I know this show in my sleep. I can get up and recite the show without a guitar and beat a tambourine and do bob poetry and go here's my show," Anderson said, laughing.

Monday's show begins at 7:30 with a performance by Ken Haas and Kevin Murnen of The Zimmerman Twins, affectionately known as "The Zimmerman Twins Lite." The Village Idiot is located at 309 Conant Street in Maumee. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Contact Rod Lockwood at: rlockwood@theblade.com or 419-724-6159.

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