Three months after earning a roster spot with the Americana Showcase, Paul Anderson readies for his debut.
Anderson, Brandon Sampson and the Sawtooth Brothers will perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Rochester Civic Theatre, in the second Showcase of the season.
Sampson, who helped start the intimate, singer-songwriter-focused Americana shows, was one of the judges who picked Anderson after the newcomer auditioned in July.
Anderson has been playing open mic at the Viking Lounge for years. One night, a few other musicians on the bill talked about trying out for the Americana Showcase. Anderson decided to throw his hat in the ring, too.
“I really thought it would be a lot of fun to play with Brandon,” Anderson said. “I just wanted an opportunity to play my songs in the round with other songwriters. I’m excited to play them in front of 200 to 300 people who are actually listening to you. These are really great events that Brandon has put together.”
Anderson, who grew up in Minnesota but lived in Alaska for years, plays original tunes, such as his song “Sunshine,” that were written with the Great North as the inspiration.
It was there, inspired by the natural beauty, honest community and raw power of life on the last frontier, that he truly fell in love with playing music live.
Anderson will play about six songs during the show. He said his music has some country rhythms and hard-driving folk. The song “Perfectly Painted” even incorporates some hip-hop.
Sharing the bill with Anderson will be the Sawtooth Brothers, a bluegrass act from the Twin Cities.
The five-man band is rooted in traditional bluegrass instrumental and harmony work and is influenced by the modern acoustic sounds of Nickel Creek, the Punch Brothers and the Steep Canyon Rangers.
Along with bluegrass staples, the band draws inspiration from the surprisingly eclectic listening habits of its members, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Eric Church to the Who.
Additional showcases also are planned for Nov. 12 and Dec. 17. Brittany Bly, Steve Mack, Sarah Monson and duo Cole Ebertowski and Bailey Williams also passed auditions and will be part of the upcoming showcases.
Tickets for Wednesday’s show are $17.50 in advance and $22 day of show. Season passes can be purchased by calling 507-282-8481.