Jimmy Anderson
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Jimmy Anderson

Friendship, Tennessee, United States

Friendship, Tennessee, United States
Solo Americana Singer/Songwriter

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Bio

Finding music at a very early age, Jimmy got the bug to start playing guitar when he was a young teen-ager. His dad bought him a cheap electric guitar and amp at an auction. He was hooked and needed something better to learn on, so his dad and uncle visited the local music store and returned with an electric-acoustic Alvarez and a solid body Gretsch.

Jimmy took lessons from a local teacher. After several weeks he was discouraged when she informed him, "there's no need in you coming back - I can't teach you any more." Heartbroken, he asked her if she he had any hope at all of him ever learning the instrument. She replied, "no, you misunderstood - I can't teach you anymore. You have done so well that you've learned all I can teach you and you've done it in a very short time. Now you need to explore your own abilities and see where it takes you."

First it took him back home, where he would spend many an hour playing along with Johnny Cash records and learning all the licks that Luther Perkins could teach him via vinyl. Then he started jamming with a guy up the street for hours at a time. His talent was discovered at his home church, where he began playing for the youth group to sing to on Wednesday nights and the occasional Sunday morning special music.

The youth director was also a local performer and she gave Jimmy the opportunity for his first public performance. Local talent Hee Haw shows were very popular at that time and Cindy was scheduled to play a song. She invited Jimmy to play along and joined her on stage for a Rosanne Cash song. Jimmy played "lead strumming" on his Gretsch and picked the basic lead "turnaround." He was nervous, but it was a thrill he would never forget.

He went on to play with a local Bluegrass group (The Anderson Family - no relation) and learned even more about music and playing in front of large audiences. Still hooked, he eventually formed his own bluegrass band - The Bare Basics.

His next step took him into Southern Gospel where he felt the calling of the Lord to join the ministry. He joined Heavens Echos on rhythm guitar as well as the occasional lead, mandolin and bass. He cut several albums with them and even worked as a local session musician. When the Heavens Echos had a free weekend, he and his wife would travel with The Barnett Family, The Dills, The Jones Family, Gospel Edition, and others. He was serving the Lord and gaining immeasurable musical experience.

He spent several years with music as a background hobby, but not an active pursuit. Now he's in his forties and his kids are all but grown. His wife and he still enjoying singing the church hymns and the occasional special music but he has also begun pursuing the dream again. He started doing more and more jamming, getting back to his bluegrass roots, and wound up with a country band called NashVegas. He spent almost a year playing bass guitar and providing lead vocals for two-steppers and line dancers. Saturdays and Sundays often find him and his wife once again on the bus with The Barnett Family, where he provides rhythm guitar in his same inimitable style of "picking rhythm."

He has begun another chapter of his musical career as well by becoming a singer songwriter. When asked what his style of music is, he replies, "old school country, but it's not a copy of anything." He attributes a part of his style to something Don Schlitz told him, "write what you want to hear, not what you think others want to hear. Write it first for yourself. It will come from the heart and face it, you may be the only person that ever hears a lot of it!"

He has more recently been a part of the Texaco Country Showdown competition as well as being a featured performer at the weekly open mic in Jackson. He has branched out to the Nashville area where you will find him dropping into Pucketts Grocery or the Bluebird for open mic. He continues to be booked for Commodore Grilles "in the round" singer-songwriter nights. He is also planning a CD project of original songs to be recorded between other local shows.

With more than 30 years of musical experience under his belt, he's come a long way down that road that others only dream about. When asked if he thinks he'll ever be successful, he smiles and says, "I already am. I'm making music and writing songs and making people smile on a regular basis. I'm living the dream."

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