Pete is best known as Dwight Yoakam’s guitarist and producer of many talents. He enlivened many a Dwight tune with solos that didn’t fit convention. He also released a couple of fine solo records on Little Dog, his own label, that were among the best of their era. Here, he takes a different tack.
Daredevil is about as stripped-down as it can be. “Homemade” would be as good term. Anderson plays guitars, drums, bass, banjo, dobro, piano, harmonica, and various other instruments. He has a bit of help, but handles pretty much everything himself. Another unique element is that all 10 cuts are all instrumental. The tunes are also pretty laid-back; “Baby Done Something Wrong” is vintage Pete – twangy guitars and swampy licks are everywhere. Bluesy double-stops and chicken pickin’ mix with strangled notes and odd note jumps to make it a very interesting tune. As you’d expect, there’s a lot of that. Pete’s playing is nothing if not interesting. If you’re looking for hot licks, beware. The guy who enlivened Yoakam’s version of “Little Sister” with flying guitar solos that made your jaw drop is not on this record. The playing is wonderful, but in a different way.
It took me a couple of listens to get into it. At first, the homemade feel is a bit offputting. But it grows on you. The subtleties of Anderson’s playing and compositions are a reward unto themselves. Any fan of his will love this one.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Dec. ’03 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.