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Keith Anderson

Three Chord Country and American Rock & Roll – 2005 (Arista)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Keith Anderson

Keith Anderson is apparently another one of those musicians that consider it in vogue to emphasize their well trodden small town Southern roots as if that were a name check to entering the country musician's union. Anderson does just that on the title track, co-written with John Rich of Big & Rich fame, one of several they penned together. Anderson's bent really is southern rock meets Lonestar as he gives indications of wanting to be Mr. Everything as he sings of "crankin' everything from Brooks & Dunn to Aerosmith."

What Anderson, who co-wrote "Beer Run," a hit for George Jones with Garth Brooks, delivers is melodically friendly songs steeped far more in a blues-tinged rock with a touch of country. That's certainly the case in the lyrically silly "XXL." And he also seems to think if something works once, while not try it again - the intros to "Wrap Around" and the single "Pickin' Wildflowers" are very similar. Same writers (Kim Williams, Rich and Anderson, so that's not a surprise). The guitar playing is heavy throughout, and Anderson opts to go for non-country sounds time and again, gussying up the sound. When he softens the sound, Lonestar comes readily to mind ("I'll Know When I Get There").

Anderson sings well enough, but this disc has the feeling of d+jē vu all over again.