Photo by Ofer MosesRusty Anderson
We first became aware of Rusty Anderson's masterful fretwork in May 2002, when he played in Paul McCartney's touring band at the Arrowhead Pond. The La Habra High grad sang heavenly harmonies on "Eleanor Rigby" and jumped around and plucked sizzling riffs from his Gibson guitar during "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Coming Up." Anderson not only blew away previous Macca tour axemen, but also made us wonder when we could hear some of his own tunes. The answer is "now" (and "you already have," or at least his playing—turns out Anderson's been a much-sought-after session musician for years, and has popped up on everything from "Livin' la Vida Loca" to Jewel's "Intuition"). Anderson just released his solo debut, Undressing Underwater, and the opening track, "Hurt Myself"—featuring Macca and his entire live band—is the clear standout; it's prime ear candy that recalls Jellyfish and New Radicals (if there's any justice, we'll hear it in heavy rotation on something like Star 98.7 FM soon). Then there's the spacey, psychedelic "Coming Down to Earth," which blissfully floats around as Anderson sings about facing personal demons. Another highlight is "Electric Trains," where Anderson uses a claustrophobic-sounding vocal effect, as a beat-box rhythm and string section propels the infectious, poppy melody forward. Later, Anderson shifts into '70s classic rock overdrive (think Queen meets ELO) for "Ol' Sparky," and Zeppelin-esque territory on "Devil's Spaceship." Former Police man Stewart Copeland even adds drums to the arresting surf rock/reggae instrumental "Catbox Beach." All told, Underwater is a real keeper.
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