Pete Anderson hasn't worked with Dwight Yoakam since 2002, but his association with Yoakam was so successful and visible he may never shake free of that shadow.
"We had such a great run," says Anderson from his Little Dog home studio in Los Angeles. "That gig was a guitar player's dream. But after 42 years, I finally realized I just wanted to work for me."
After years traveling with Yoakam, Anderson and his wife Sally Browder, who is also a recording engineer, also wanted to simplify their lives.
"I was either on the road or in some studio all the time," says Anderson. "One day I just decided a home studio was the way to go. So I turned half of my four-car garage into a studio that is perfect for what I do."
Since parting ways with Yoakam, Anderson has become what he prefers to call "a guitar player who produces records."
"All I've ever wanted to do is get up in front of people and play guitar in a great band," Anderson explains. "After working with and producing Dwight, other people began to ask me to produce records. But in my mind, I'm still just a guitar player who happens to produce records. I'm not a record producer the way most people mean it. "
For a while, Anderson worked with another Southern California twanger, Moot Davis.
"After Dwight hit so big, I'd talk to people in Nashville about Lucinda and they'd go, 'no, bring us another Dwight Yoakam.' Honestly, those people don't have a clue. There's only one Dwight.
"Then Moot came along and I got behind him, producing two records, doing his tours. And he had it all, good songs, good voice, good musical head. Of course, right as we finished his second album he up and moves to New Zealand. Damn musicians," Anderson laughs.
Anderson is passing through town promoting his latest project, a blues record titled Even Things Up.
"I'm from Detroit originally, and you don't grow up in Detroit without the blues getting inside you," says Anderson.
"We're making our way over to the Blues Awards in Memphis to shake some hands and network with the blues community for this record, hopefully get some notice for it next year," Anderson explains.
"We were so happy Bob at Dan Electro's jumped on our show on Monday night because I felt like a blues town like Houston is a place we need to play with this record."
7 p.m., Monday, May 2, Dan Electro's Guitar Bar, 1031 E. 24th St., 713-862-8707.