When singer/songwriter Aaron Anderson was just a baby, his father died. And while Anderson wasn’t left with much in the way money, he did receive a far more valuable inheritance that he’s carried with him since childhood.
At Sunfest this year, that gift will be on full display when Anderson performs.
“I didn’t inherit any money but I got a bit of talent from the guy,” said Anderson. “My big [influence] would be my father, who was a musician. He was a country star just outside of Edmonton in Camrose, where I was born.”
His father, Randy Anderson, had a country band and even after his death, his son grew up in “that [country] lifestyle.” His father’s friends were uncles and mentors to Anderson as a child, and he was always encouraged to pick up a guitar and start playing.
“I shied away from it at first because there was a lot of pressure from my mom and everyone that wanted me to do that, it kinda just backed me off from music,” said Anderson.
But by the time he was 14 he could resist it no more. He started playing guitar and he hasn’t stopped since.
Anderson, who moved to Honeymoon Bay four years ago, said his musical taste is wide-ranging, his repertoire a mix of genres. In addition to his father, he cites artists like Elvis, Radiohead and the Beatles as musical influences.
Before moving to the Lake, he played with a rock band in Nanaimo that tended to focus more on heavy metal music, which Anderson grew tired of.
“I’m not a heavy guy generally,” he said.
For Sunfest, he said he’ll be focusing on country music.
“I’m super excited,” he said. “Now I’ve started writing my own original things and I’m really excited [for audiences] to hear what I’ve written.”
Anderson was the over-19 winner of RBC Cowichan Idol at this year’s Lake Days.
He said the Lake community is a supportive place for musicians. He cited the Tuesday Night Jams offered through Cowichan Lake Recreation at the curling lounge every Tuesday night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Bert Lambert is the volunteer facilitator for the name sessions, and said they’re open to drop-ins from any musicians, no matter their musical background.
“We’ve had quite a few good musicians come through there… We’ve had musicians from Chemainus, Mill Bay, Duncan that showed up. And we’ve had some conservatory-type people who came in with violins,” he said.
“We’ve had some awesome show-ups. It’s been quite successful.”
The event was launched two years ago. It’s on hiatus over the summer months, but will be start up again on Sept. 13.
For more information, people can check out the CVRD’s website (www.cvrd.bc.ca).
As for Anderson and his upcoming performances, he will be playing at Sunfest on Thursday, July 28, at 4 p.m. and Friday, July 29, at 2:30 p.m.