If you happen to follow Rob Anthony on social media, you have likely seen a handful of old ‘throwback’ photos ripe with quintessential 80’s hair, bleached out down his back with a clean-shaven face.
“I started playing electric guitar in the 80’s,” Anthony said “a far cry from where I am now. I learned to play guitar from popular metal bands of the day from likes of Metallica, Slayer, Iron Maiden, and the list goes on.”
It’s hard to imagine the bearded Anthony, a musician best known for his solo acoustic shows and recent tour experience with the BoDeans, started his career in a metal band at age seventeen. Four years passed before Anthony picked up an acoustic guitar and branched out into songwriting.
“It wasn’t until I matured a bit,” he said “that I heard what people were saying in songs and how they spoke to me instead of just the musicality of the guitar parts. When I started playing acoustic guitar, I started writing Americana almost country-alternative acoustic songs which ultimately led to my first solo album release, and it opened a whole new world for me.”
Since then he has released six albums, each with a slightly different sound than the next.
Anthony did not initially set out with the intention of creating another album, though encouragement from fellow musician friends gave him the nudge he needed to record his newest material. The result is his latest release, “Where We Are.”
“I can’t speak highly enough about the guys in the band,” Anthony said. “The cool thing about recording is you always want to be challenged while being true to what you’re doing and saying. We experimented with a lot of ideas for the songs, and I trusted the guys to push me in the direction that it ended up going to.”
One listen through the album and you can hear his sound is still ever-evolving.
“I had this vision of it being a very roots-rock album,” he said “but it just wasn’t turning out that way. In the end it was good because it challenged me to get past something that wasn’t there and ultimately it’s the album I’m most proud of.”
How does Anthony describe what his latest effort has become?
“I think I’d have to say it’s an acoustic driven adult-contemporary meets Americana album, with a sprinkle of Caribbean flair…it’s definitely open to interpretation.”
The album was recorded at Marc Golde’s Rock Garden Studio in Appleton where Anthony will be showcasing his newest songs for a storytellers-style live recording with a full band. The studio seats about ninety people with the audience surrounding the band for an intimate musical experience you can’t find in a bar or theater.
The best part?
“Everybody in the room is there for the music,” Golde said. “There’s a different connection and energy between the musicians; the audience is hanging on every word and note.”
Performing his music live has always been an important facet to Anthony’s career.
“Songwriting has always been my most honest way to connect with others and express myself,” Anthony said “shed my shell so to speak.”
Of the upcoming Rock Garden show, he adds, “It gives a nice look at what we’ve worked so hard on in between touring and performing over the past couple years. As a band, with the songs I wrote, we’ll reflect back to what the songs truly meant at the time they were recorded. It’s a spiritual moment when energies connect on a musical level and I want others to feel that experience when showcasing the talent everyone brought to the table because they’re really good, the songs are really good and the stories are really good.”
Visit www.robanthonymusic.com for more details and your chance to attend.