Used with permission of CMA Closeup News Service
By Amanda Eckard
Before he signed with Arista Nashville, Oklahoma native Keith Anderson earned an engineering degree, caught the eye of a scout from the Kansas City Royals baseball club, placed second in the Mr. Oklahoma bodybuilding competition, started a singing telegram service, and learned to play guitar from his rocket scientist brother. To call Anderson an overachiever may be an understatement.
He earned an engineering degree at Oklahoma State University. An all-star baseball player, Anderson was approached by the Kansas City Royals until a shoulder injury ended his sports career. On a Christmas visit back home, Anderson asked his brother to teach him some chords on the guitar.
Looking for ways to make a living while pursuing his dream, Anderson began modeling and started a Country Music singing telegram business called the Romeo Cowboys. He visited radio stations with demos in hand trying to make contacts.
In 1998, Anderson moved to Nashville and songwriter George Ducas introduced him to the local songwriting crowd. Anderson and Ducas, along with songwriters Kent Blazy and Kim Williams, wrote the Garth Brooks/George Jones duet "Beer Run." It was Anderson's first cut.
Buoyed by his songwriting success, Anderson formed a band in 2000. They won the Jim Beam Country Band Search in 2002 and landed an opening slot on Montgomery Gentry's tour, an endorsement deal and the attention of Arista Nashville.
Anderson's debut album, Three Chord Country and American Rock & Roll, featuring first single "Pickin' Wildflowers," hits record stores on May 3.
Anderson is scheduled to appear at 2005 CMA Music Festival that takes place in Downtown Nashville, Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12.
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
What song do you wish you had written?
"'The Heart Of The Matter' by Don Henley. I've painfully lived every word of that song."
Do you have a lucky charm?
"I have a St. Christopher necklace that my girlfriend gave me that I never fly without."
What kind of album, other than Country, would you like to make?
"None. The music I make is already a combination of all my favorite musical influences. I just wanna make great music that people can feel, not just hear."
What instrument do you wish you could play?
"Lead guitar. I just play well enough to write songs. Just ask the guys in my band!"
When they look back on your life in 50 years, what do you hope people say about you?
"He enjoyed EVERY second of his career! I tend to stress out a little too much at times."