Declaring oneself “The Optimist” is a bold move, especially on an album with as many songs of murder, heartache, and South American gunslinging as Grover Anderson’s 2014 release. Even interweaved with the songs about growing old together or how much fun it is being the big spoon, there’s always a thorn or two hidden somewhere in the lenses of Grover’s rose-colored glasses. A long-held belief that the darkness leads us to appreciate the light permeates his songwriting and informs his mission to celebrate life in all its ups and downs through songwriting and performance.
Grover was raised in the historic gold rush town of Murphys, CA. The rich culture of the area (along with lifelong immersion in fiction, theater and 90’s country music) instilled a storytelling nature that is evident in Grover’s writing. He assembled a bar band while attending UC Santa Barbara, put all of the tips from his restaurant job into a jar, and used it to record a pop/rock album.
After some layovers in LA and Oakland, where he formed the folk duo Freight with Jimbo Scott, Grover and his family returned to Murphys to reconnect with the small mountain atmosphere that provided such inspiration as a youth. Living in California’s vastly varying environments provided ample material for his next two albums, which Grover self-produced. “Moonshine”, the opening track on the mostly-acoustic Tourniquet (2011), has grown into a fan favorite since its original recording as a duet with LA artist Samantha Free. While recording The Optimist (2014), which includes love songs like “Little Spoon” and “Sick of You” and more tragic ballads “The Lampolier” and “Grindstone“, Grover assembled the musicians from all over the state to create a diverse collection of country, rock, bluegrass, and jazz. His 2017 acoustic album, From the Pink Room, is a collection of songs that Grover recorded at his home studio deep in the Sierra Nevada foothills, and was named the #2 album of the year by music site Independent Clauses.
While he loves sharing his recorded music (he currently has over 1.7 million streams on Spotify), Grover’s true passion is live performance. Whether performing solo with his acoustic guitar or with the full band behind him, he channels musical heroes like Garth Brooks and Josh Ritter, leaving everything he has on stage. He is a passionate performer who grows his fanbase with every gig, be it for a wine bar of thirty or an amphitheater of thousands.
Josh Ritter, The Tallest Man on Earth, Stephen Kellogg
Ironstone Amphitheatre – Supporting America & Creedence Clearwater Revisited (2018)
Brice Station — Supporting Birds of Chicago (2018)
Eckert’s Summer Concert Series — Belleville, IL (2017)
Red Dirt & Gold Dust Festival – Main Stage (2016)
Napa Uptown Theatre – Supporting The Charlie Daniels Band (2016)
Phoenix Festival — Butte Fire Benefit – Main Stage (2015)
Lost Sierra Hoedown Music Festival – Main Stage (2014)
Poster Room at The Fillmore — San Francisco (2014)
Rock Napa Music Festival — Main Stage (2013)
Mueller College, San Diego, CA — Supporting Tristan Prettyman (2012)
Multiple US tours, with shows in 19 states
KALX 90.7FM — Berkeley, CA (Chart Peak #14, 5/5/14)
KJEE 92.9FM — Santa Barbara, CA
KKBN 93.5FM — Sonora, CA
WDBX 91.1FM – Carbondale, IL
WWUH 91.3FM – West Hartford, CT
WZBT 91.1FM – Gettysburg, PA