Clayton Anderson rocks Oxford again
Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 16, 2012 20:04
Brick Street Bar and Grill played host to two bar veterans Wednesday night. Rising country star Clayton Anderson and opener Chris Cavanaugh delighted fans with sets full of crowd-favorite original songs and a few surprising covers.
Opener Cavanaugh started the evening off with a 30-minute set including songs off of his debut album and current EP requested by fans and some covers, including Steve Miller Band’s The Joker. Cavanaugh played at Brick Street in September when he opened up for Chris Young.
“I thought it was a great crowd, definitely amazing,” Cavanaugh said. “The biggest difference between last time and now was that I looked out and saw several people singing my songs. People were coming up to me before the show asking me to play particular songs. I would love to come back.”
This was Anderson’s third time playing Brick Street but his first time headlining the show. Earlier in the academic year he opened for Justin Moore and David Nail on separate occasions.
This time he played an 18-song set including fan favorites Summer Sun and Shotgun Rider. His 90s-throwback covers were hits as well, performing Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’, Sister Hazel’s All For You and Third Eye Blind’s Semi-Charmed Life.
Anderson said he played songs like these for non-country fans who go to his shows. The bar was full of Miami and Oxford natives. The crowd also featured two special guests: Anderson’s grandparents.
During the show, Anderson paid the crowd a few compliments by giving some of his Twitter followers birthday shout-outs, saying Miami has the hottest softball team he has ever seen and choosing to videotape his set at Brick Street to use as a promotional tool when talking to television networks and prospective record labels.
Born and raised in the limestone capital of the world, the small town of Bedford, Ind., Anderson grew up listening to John Mellencamp, Elvis Presley, KISS and 90s pop music. He enjoys pop music so much he tried his hand at performing that before he realized that his true calling was country music.
Anderson describes his music as mainstream country with a Midwestern twist and said sometimes his fondness for pop music is evident in his songs.
In 2008, a couple years out of college, he was about to give up on a career in music when he won a contest to open for Kenny Chesney in Cincinnati. He said after that show he was hooked.
His debut record, Torn Jeans and Tailgates, came out in August and reached the top 10 country charts.
Anderson began performing for fun in college at various bars and for some fraternities and sororities at his alma mater, Indiana University. That is where he began his signature of serenading Greek organizations, a practice he still employs today when performing in college towns to draw a crowd.
He currently lives in Nashville, Tenn. playing shows mainly in the Midwest but some scattered gigs around the country. He is writing songs for his next album and talking to record labels in Nashville.
Anderson said he is thoroughly committed to his fans and has only good things to say about the Oxford community.
“If I blow up in another month and I’m on the radio, flying all over the country, I will still care about the people who show up to see me play, and I will still come to the college towns because I feel like it’s where all the fun is,” Anderson said. “There’s nothing like a great college town and this one is one of the top. Oxford and Miami University have made me feel like it’s my home. They’re investing their time in you and you’re trying to give them as much as you can back.”
Anderson said he is also very impressed by Brick Street.
“The people [at Brick Street] are incredible, absolutely top-notch. They have gone out of their way to help me. The stage is great, the sound is great and the lights are awesome. It’s a professional setup,” Anderson said.
Fans at the show Wednesday night were enthusiastic about Anderson and his show was well received. He agreed the concert was a success.
“It was way more epic than I thought it was going to be,” Anderson said. “I thought we’d have a good crowd and I thought they would sing along to a couple of my songs, but I had no clue that it was going to be slam packed. It was a great night.”
Anderson said he is eager to return to Oxford, which he described as “a great college town” with “great people and Midwestern charm.”
Brick Street is still set to host Yelawolf, Cris Cab and Timeflies before the end of the academic year. Event details and more information on these artists can be found at www.brickstreetbar.com.