written by Ariana Assaf
Tucked away behind an unassuming alley in Hollywood lies the renowned Hotel Cafe, a hotspot for creatives of all kinds and the live music that keeps them going. Last night, Melbourne native Hamish Anderson took the stage to treat us to several songs off his debut album in a back-to-basics performance that felt more like a family gathering. His parents had just flown in from Australia, his manager proudly live streamed the whole thing, and I couldn’t help but think that it was exactly how rock n’ roll should feel.
Kicking off with the title track set the perfect tone for the evening, and certainly heightened everyone’s excitement for the release of Trouble on October 21. The music video gives fans a look inside the very blues-meets-feng shui recording studio of living legend/seven-time Grammy Award winner Jim Scott (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Wilco, Grace Potter), complete with tapestries and plenty of vintage looking instruments.
Scott referred to working with Anderson and the band as, “a piece of cake”, which makes sense when you consider each member’s individual successes. Steve Berlin on baritone sax comes from east LA rock band Los Lobos; drummers Frederik Bokkenheuser, Aaron Sterling, and Johnny Radelat have worked with Ryan Adams, John Mayer, and Gary Clark Jr., respectively…the list goes on. But the point is, wonderkid Anderson has the support and faith of some of the best in the business, and that doesn’t come easy.
“We wanted to do the majority with very few overdubs,” notes Anderson of the recording process. “Get a really great band together and have it be about the songs, not about spending so much time on how the bass drum sounds. It was capturing, warts and all, the live thing. Rock and blues music shouldn’t be perfect, and I’m really proud that there’s no auto-tune on it, that nothing was done to a click track.”
That proudly anti-perfectionist mentality shines through Anderson’s music in the best way. He’s not a packaged presentation, he’s a real artist with real talent, and October 21 is the perfect time to check him out if you haven’t quite gotten around to it yet.