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Guitarist Pete Anderson pulls some strings at the Moose

January 27, 2012|By Jonny Whiteside
  • Grammy-winning guitarist/producer Pete Anderson in his Glendale studio on Wednesday, January 25, 2012. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Grammy-winning guitarist/producer Pete Anderson in…

When guitarist Pete Anderson straps on his ax, it's a loaded, calm-before-the-storm moment. When he gets down to business, conjuring an eruptive musical cascade of flawless technique, seductive understatement and indigo-hued atmosphere, it's a transportive, exhilarating blast off into an artistic stratosphere very few others players can reach.

The longtime Glendale resident, renowned as both a guitarist and as the Grammy-winning producer whose decade-plus collaboration with country star Dwight Yoakam resulted in sales of more than 25 million albums, is a world-class talent and demanding perfectionist of the highest order. Nonetheless, Anderson and his outstanding three-piece band perform every Monday at Burbank Moose Lodge, a humble, neon-lit hotspot with no age limit, no cover and, now, one of the finest blues parties running anywhere.

“I've been at the Moose maybe 2 1/2 years, in between touring and doing different things.” Anderson said. “It's a free rehearsal, with an audience, and of course, it's a ‘Blue Monday,’ so it's a great time to play. There's always a few more tunes I need to work out with the band, so I take 'em into the Moose. It's not just a test run — it really welds the songs into your DNA.”

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Though best known for most of his career as a groundbreaking country music force (aside from Yoakam he's also produced country-Americana luminaries Lucinda Williams, Sara Evans, Jim Lauderdale, Michelle Shocked and Rosie Flores), the Detroit-born Anderson has always had a blues head, a musical romance that assumed soul-deep primacy after the youth attended the first Ann Arbor Blues Festival and experienced the raw power of blues titans Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, BB King, T-Bone Walker and Lightnin' Hopkins.

After he relocated to California in the mid-1970s, Anderson worked the honky-tonks, where his style was further influenced by California country guitar giants Don Rich and Roy Nichols. Melding all these together, Anderson developed a stupefying prowess, one centered around what he calls “The 3 Ts.”

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