A Taste Of Americana With A Serving Of Heart

Americana — the term broadly describes all the various musical styles that form together to create the musical landscape of America, including but not entirely limited to: folk, country, blues and rock. Alternative Country is also another term for this style of music, or “alt- country.” To be fair then, classifying a musician in this vein is to essentially say you can’t really fit them into one specific niche. But since most of us want to identify with the type of music we listen to, and this landscape is relatively broad and welcoming, we can safely find room here in “Americana” and say hello to Rob Anthony.

Hailing from Appleton,Wis.,Rob Anthony has been performing professionally since he was 18 years old, after being signed to a major label with his band Acrophet. After years of touring as a lead guitarist, he abandoned his heavy metal roots in exchange for the “Americana Acoustic” style he’s claimed as his own for the last 13 years, and of which he is currently showcasing on an acoustic tour.

Not necessarily drawing upon specific things for song ideas, Anthony said, “Everything inspires me. The world inspires me. People’s lives and what’s going on in the world.”

A key moment for Anthony was during the time he wrote his album “While the World Sleeps,” which was all acoustic music inspired by things he saw going on in the world.

“I think I considered myself a singer- songwriter after songs started meaning something to other people,” he said.

Growing up a self-proclaimed introvert, Anthony said people have often misconstrued his shy demeanor as being something he’s not, whether that would mean being egotistical or unfriendly. He said his silence comes out of shyness, which is something people probably don’t realize about him.

“My music actually helps me overcome that so I can connect with people,” Anthony said.

When I met him at á’Bravo Bistro & Wine Bar in Green Bay, Wis., I quickly realized he was a down to earth guy. It clearly takes someone like him to be able to look inside himself and write such heartfelt songs such as “When You’re Feeling Blue,” and the more lighthearted but nonetheless warm “I Don’t Need Much”…two of my favorites that he performed with expressive emotion that night.

A strong marker of Anthony’s songs is the simple fact that people relate to them; so much so that it’s led to his involvement in various charities within the community. The best example of this would be Anthony’s song “Down the Road,” which is a tribute to families of truck drivers and people in the trucking industry. He’s helped with charity work for driver appreciation efforts around the country by performing this song and sharing the story with everyone.

“The cool thing about this song is that it opened my eyes to getting involved with my community more,” Anthony said. “[It] helped raise awareness.”

He’s proud to offer this song as the ‘emotional canvas’ that paints a backdrop for the World’s Largest Truck Convoy for Special Olympics Wisconsin. He’s also aided the community work of The American Red Cross Northeast Chapter in Green Bay by giving concerts.

“Anything to use music to bring awareness to something,” he said.

Anthony tries to strike a balance between being true to his integrity as an artist and being a businessman. Explaining further his experience with community involvement, he said he learned there’s a business there that can really help a lot of people through music.

Rob Anthony has four CDs worth of original material, the most recent one being a two-disc set of the last decade of his music, which showcases his journey as a songwriter. The CD is titled “Is This The Plan, The Essential Rob Anthony.”

Anthony will be performing at these venues in the near future:

• Beckets in Oshkosh – Nov. 2

• Ledgestone Vineyards in Greenleaf – Nov.8

• WinePremiereinGreenBay–Nov.14

• Deja Vu Martini Lounge in Appleton – Nov. 15

• Special Event at Green Bay Distillery w/Kip Winger & Jeff Stoeger – Nov. 16

• Saint James Cocktail Lounge in Appleton – Nov. 23

Check out Rob Anthony’s website at www. robanthonymusic.com for two free song downloads.

By Justin Pearson, Green Bay Scene Newspaper

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