Keith Anderson playing tonight at Tulsa's Cain's Ballroom
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Oklahoma native’s path may lead to stardom
Road takes Keith Anderson to Nashville
Standing on stage at Oklahoma City’s Zoo Amphitheatre, country singer-songwriter Keith Anderson starts talking about the time-honored tradition of cruising Main Street on Friday nights.
“It doesn’t matter where we go – New York, Florida, Nebraska … wherever – everybody knows about dragging Main if they’re from a small town,” said Anderson, before launching into his mischievous down-home hit “Pickin’ Wildflowers.”
The Miami, OK, native made his share of spins around Main and then took several strange turns on his way to Nashville, Tenn., and a life on the road.
For the past week, the up-and-coming country star has spent much of his time in his home state, playing shows last weekend at the zoo and Buffalo Run Casino in his hometown. He plays at 8 tonight at historic Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa.
“I wouldn’t change what I’m doing for the world,” Anderson said in a recent phone interview from Tampa, Fla.
Anderson’s path out of Miami first went to Oklahoma State University, where he played baseball and was scouted by the Kansas City Royals. When a shoulder injury ended his athletic aspirations, he earned his engineering degree.
He also rehabbed his shoulder by taking up bodybuilding, eventually placing second in the Mr. Oklahoma contest and earning a personal trainer certification.
Anderson, 40, landed out of college at a Dallas engineering firm, while continuing to work on his lifelong passion: songwriting. The desire to write and perform music led him to quit his lucrative career for gigs at Grapevine Opry, Six Flags Over Texas and even as a singing telegram.
He moved to Nashville in 1998 and worked as a bad waiter, eventually building a career and catalog as a songwriter. He got a big boost in 2001, when fellow OSU grad Garth Brooks and country legend George Jones recorded his song “Beer Run” as a duet. It not only was a hit, it was nominated for a Grammy.
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