Boys are back in town

Home-grown: Matthew Curry, right, and Edward David Anderson share the stage of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts for the first time Saturday night.

If there are two names that embody the Twin Cities' lively home-grown music scene of the post-millennium era, Matthew Curry and Edward David Anderson are at the top of the list.

Curry, by virtue of his youth (22), has been at it less longer, but with no less success, headlining shows since his teen years and touring with the likes of Peter Frampton, the Steve Miller Band, Journey, the Doobie Brothers and Foreigner. 

Anderson's longer run, by virtue of his elder status (late 30s), encompasses a large swath of the local music scene of the past two decades, from his fronting several key bands (Brother Jed and, most indelibly, Backyard Tire Fire) to his solo career to his current project, the Black Dirt Revival.

Though both men have crossed musical paths before, they'll be sharing one of B-N's most coveted stages for the first time this weekend: at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

To mark the occasion, GO! recently brought young turk and elder statesman together to compare career notes, and other assorted other musical thoughts, in an informal back-and-forth conversation.

Here is a portion of it:

Curry: So how did you get into playing music?

Anderson: We listened to a lot of music in my house growing up. Lots of Beatles and Stones. There was an acoustic guitar that would come out every now and again and my Dad would tune it up and play Ritchie Valens songs.

One time when I was 16 he showed me the basic major and minor chords on that guitar and I never put it down. Later in my 20s my Mom encouraged me to start writing my own songs.

Curry: I got into playing because of my Dad. He used to sit around the living room and pluck on his acoustic. I immediately found the guitar fascinating because of that.

The first few bands/artists I remember him playing for me, that really caught my ears, were the Beatles and James Taylor. Him and my Mom bought me my first guitar when I was 4.

So I consider myself very lucky that my parents were both so supportive of it right from the start.

Anderson:  You've chose to remain in Bloomington. What keeps you here? And what are your thoughts on the growing scene?

Curry: Bloomington feels like home to me. I like the people here, I like the scenery out in the country. All of my family and best friends live here. I think the Midwest in general seems like more of a relaxed place to live. I always find myself starting to miss Bloomington after we've been on the road for long periods of time.

My thoughts on the music scene here are overall pretty good. I think Bloomington is very lucky to have places like the Castle Theatre, the BCPA, and the Arena to bring in acts from all over the world.

Anderson: I love Bloomington. It's home. I've been here the better part of two decades. Not a huge fan of the winters, but other than that it's pretty ideal. The music scene is thriving with lots of great venues bringing in local, regional and national acts.

Curry: What have you learned about the business of music?

Anderson: Really, just to keep doing what I'm doing. Just focus on the songs and making meaningful records and playing interesting shows. Take things in stride. It's a weird business and you can't overthink it.

Curry: I've really learned a ton about the music business in the last five years. It's definitely not an easy career choice, ha-ha.

Some of the best advice I got was from Steve Miller, who told me that being in the music business is like riding a wave. There's high times and low times. And I've found that to be 100 percent true.

But also in the past few years, I've really learned how other parts of the business work. In other words, management, booking agencies, labels, etc. I think we're in a time where all of the weight is put on the artists shoulders.

It seems like if industry folks don't see instant dollar signs in an artist, they won't work at their full potential to help build and develop them. Which can really make it tough.

But, it's not all necessarily horror stories either. I think the music business is a lot like any other business... If you work hard, stay persistent, and put out quality product, then people will see and hear that. And things will work out.

Anderson:  So, Matthew, who are your favorite guitar players?

Curry: Hard choice, but I'd have to say: Jimi Hendrix, Billy Gibbons and Duane Allman.

Anderson: Man, this is tough ... way too many to list. OK, here are a few, in no particular order ... Mike Campbell, Freddie King, Dickey Betts.

Curry: What does it mean for you to share the BCPA stage together?

Anderson: I'm a big fan of yours. You're a hell of a guitar player, but also a writer and singer beyond your years. An old soul, if you will. It's been fun watching you grow and evolve as a musician and a person.

You're in it for the right reasons and it shows. It's been a while since I've played the BCPA stage and I can't wait to make some more memories!

Curry: For me, it's always a great pleasure getting to play shows together. I've always admired your musicianship and songwriting abilities. And, of course, I always dig chatting and catching up any chance we get. 

Oh, and stealing your guitar licks ...

This show in particular is special for me, because it will be my first time hearing the new band! And my band's first time playing for a live audience at the BCPA.

We have done rehearsals on that stage, so I'm aware of how great that room sounds, and I'm really looking forward to having a great night with you there this Saturday.

I think it's a great pair-up ... and I hope that we get to do this kind of thing a lot more often!

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