There must be a lot of hats in Pete Anderson’s closet. In the past he has worked overtime as guitarist, producer, and arranger for such diverse talents as Dwight Yoakum, Michelle Shocked, and Jackson Browne. With the release of his new solo album, Working Class on his own label, Little Dog, Pete has stepped out of the shadows with tremendous vision and feeling for his beloved roots music. His songs and playing encompass the blues, country, rock and roll, as well as some other influences we’ll just call strange. Listen to the album, you’ll like it.
Vintage Guitar: How difficult was it for you to get this solo album made?
Pete Anderson:It’s something I’ve been trying to do for quite a few years. I’ve had a few aborted attempts at it, but nothing ever clicked. Making records for other people is really easy for me. Being objective about someone else’s career is something I have a talent for, but to be objective about myself, and what I should be doing as an artist was hard to unlock.
Approaching this project as I would one for another musician seemed pretentious. There were some false starts, where I’d set up the sessions the way I would for any other artist, rehearse, do the click tracks, and cut the tune …but I was feeling like I wanted to bring someone else to sing on it. I’d think, “Hmm, this tune would be good for Robert Cray.” It was hard to be objective and pull my own personality out of the songs.
Being a guitarist, producer, and artist would seem to be almost a handicap, then.
Yes! Then I broke into a completely different direction. I did a couple of album projects back-to-back last year, and I sat down with Dusty Wakeman and turned myself over to him. We did things I wasn’t doing before