Songwriters are the gasoline on the fire when producing a hit song. Keith Anderson is a gifted artist and songwriter who I couldn’t wait to observe live! When Skooter’s Roadhouse in Shorewood, Illinois announced that on February 6, 2015, they were bringing Mr. Anderson, as well as locally adored band, Six String Crossing, I knew I had to be in attendance!
Skooter’s Roadhouse is one of my personal favorite venues and is, in my opinion the top live music venue in the Chicago suburbs. Every Friday and Saturday night, they have live bands ranging from local to Nashville up and comers. It’s truly a pleasure to have the promise of live country music every weekend in a comfortable, intimate environment! Six String Crossing, a talented local band based out of St. Charles, IL was the opener tonight. You may have heard their “y’allternative” music locally played on 98.3 WCCQ, but tonight they brought their lively set including original songs as well as well known covers. “Folsom Prison Blues”, “Right Where I Need To Be” and “Dirt Road Anthem” were some of the covers that got the crowd fired up. They also played their newest single “Whatchu Wanna Do” and other popular original songs such as “That’s My Girl”. Their music can be found on iTunes as well as their personal website. Six String Crossing closed out their set with the classic Hank Williams tune “I Saw The Light” which further hyped up the crowd as we awaited Keith Anderson.
Kicking off the night was the vivacious title track off of his 2008 album, “C’mon!” and immediately the crowd was cheering and singing along. After he finished up “C’mon”, Keith wore a monstrous grin as he addressed the audience, clearly passionate about playing music for his fans. He told a playful story about his past few weeks touring out in California, and how and how thankful he was to be back in the “country” atmosphere of suburban Illinois. According to his story, apparently many California locals don’t quite relate to pick up trucks! This story led into one of his new songs that asks, “Who needs a pickup line with you have a pick up truck?”
We quickly learned that Mr. Anderson has quite a sense of humor! A concert goer held up a picture of a baby with a full head of hair, and was waving it around trying to catch Keith’s attention. He pointed it out, squinted, and asked the farcical question, “That’s not my baby is it?” Then quickly stated, “No, too much hair to be mine!” As he took off his cowboy hat, revealing his bald head. Comicality set the tone for this show, as he then cheers’d his fans as well as a giant statue of Jack Daniel that was propped on stage.
Chicago is obviously known for our Blues culture, and it was very much appreciated that Keith Anderson and his band brought their blues to the stage! They played a few instrumental, bluesy tunes, before leading into a blues inpsired intro of his hit song “XXL”. Following, was 2006 Billboard Chart-topper, “Everytime I Hear Your Name” to ease the pace down while the audience slow danced and devotedly sang along.
A highlight of the show was when Keith Anderson spoke about his songwriting. He has had extensive success writing not only for himself, but for artists such as Love and Theft, Gretchen Wilson, Garth Brooks and Parmalee. Who could ever forget the jovial tune “Beer Run”? The famous duet was recorded by Garth Brooks and George Jones, but among the original songwriters was Mr. Anderson himself! What an honor for him, and fun for us to hear that old song live again. He told us a story about how one day he, along with songwriters Rodney Clawson and John Rich – three single guys – wrote the Billboard Chart’s Number One Hit song for Big and Rich in 2007, a wedding song called, “Lost In This Moment With You”. What a beautiful performance, as everyone belted out the all familiar words in perfect synchronicity.
New music is in the works! Keith shared some new songs that he has been recording, and announced that he had CD’s available for purchase at his merch table. His new single, “I’ll Bring The Music” is about small town fun, suggesting that if “You bring the music, I’ll bring the beer, we gonnna kick this thing in gear” and it can currently be purchased on iTunes or requested to Sirius XM The Highway!
Slowing it down once more, was the fan favorite, “I Still Miss You”, a song about how inescapable the feelings of lost love are, even when you try to avoid them at all costs. Just as the show had seemed to be closing out, the climatic moment we had all been anticipating had come about. Keith Anderson’s most well known, debut hit single, “Pickin’ Wildflowers” filled the venue with joy and excitement, closing out an altogether feel good night.
HUGE Thank you to, Skooter’s Roadhouse, Keith Anderson and Six String Crossing for an unforgettable night!