Declaring oneself “The Optimist” is a bold move on an album with as many songs of murder, heartache, and South American gunslinging as Grover Anderson’s 2014 release has. 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 Grover’s rose-colored glasses. A long-held belief that the Darkness makes us appreciate the Light permeates his songwriting, and informs his mission to celebrate life through 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 recently formed 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-funded and 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, with over 500k streams on Spotify. 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 finest musicians he could find to create a diverse collection of songs, from country, rock, bluegrass, jazz, and alt-indie. His most recent project, From the Pink Room, is a collection of acoustic songs that Grover recorded at his home studio deep in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Grover’s true love 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.