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6/18/2012 9:03:00 AM
Singer-songwriter Ezra Anderson returns to Bent River stage Saturday
Cottonwood's Ezra Anderson just turned 15. Hes written more than 60 songs and is quickly establishing a reputation as one of the most captivating singer-songwriters in the Verde Valley.
Cottonwood's Ezra Anderson just turned 15. Hes written more than 60 songs and is quickly establishing a reputation as one of the most captivating singer-songwriters in the Verde Valley.

If You Go ...
• What: All-original music featuring Ezra Anderson

• When: June 23, 6 p.m.

• Where: Bent River Books & Music, 1010 N. Main St. in Old Town Cottonwood

• How Much: Free, donations suggested

• More Info: (928) 634-8332


Cottonwood singer-songwriter Ezra Anderson will return to the Bent River Books & Music stage June 23, 6 p.m.

Anderson last performed at Bent River May 12 and dazzled the audience with an all-original set list, primarily from his latest CD.

Anderson just finished his freshman year at Sedona-Red Rock High School. He just turned 15. He's written more than 60 songs and is quickly establishing a reputation as one of the most captivating singer-songwriters in the Verde Valley.

Cornville's Dan Engler will open for Anderson.

Anderson first began playing street-side in the Jerome Art Park and later began attending open mics at Quince's in Jerome and at the former La Bella Café in Old Town Cottonwood. Most often, he was carrying piles of paper with songs he'd written and a dog-eared copy of an old Bob Dylan songbook.

If he saw another musician who had a guitar styling that piqued his interest or sang songs in the genre to which he gravitated, he was quickly picking their brains and asking for advice.

In particular, at the Thursday open mics at Quince's, Anderson became captivated with Sedona musician Karl Jones. Jones is the master of a Celtic-jazz hybrid and one of the most skilled musicians in the Verde Valley. Anderson also cites the influence of local musicians Mark Hemleben, Matt Dupont, and Brice Woods.

"Basically everyone. I've learned something from everyone. Whenever I jam with someone or watch someone new play, I always learn something," Ezra explained. "But more than anyone else, I learned quite a lot from Karl. Just watching him. Everything about him is so professional: His guitar technique, the different tunings he uses, his singing and song-writing and his style of performing. He's a remarkable musician."

Anderson said his song-writing most often is birthed in simple guitar doodling. He'll discover a riff, a chord progression or just a sound and expand on that until he has a composition. The lyrics, he explained, come later.

Jerome-based recording engineer Steve Botterweg of Ghost Town Studios recorded Anderson's CD and says the teen singer-songwriter is "very mature in his approach to music and life ... His versatility is also impressive. He's a very interesting kid in that he's not doing hip-hop, but writing songs in a genre of music that is classic Americana and strongly influenced by blues. You don't run into very many kids his age who are into the blues."

Bent River Books & Music, 1010 N. Main St. in Old Town, features live all-original music every Saturday at 6 p.m.

Call (928) 634-8332.


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