Keith Anderson celebrated his first gold album Wednesday evening (Dec. 6) by returning to the 3rd & Lindsley Bar & Grill, the Nashville nightclub where he snagged his deal with Arista Records. The gold designation — awarded for Anderson’s Three Chord Country and American Rock & Roll — signifies that retailers have ordered 500,000 copies of the album.
Joe Galante, chairman of Arista’s parent company, Sony BMG Nashville, set the scene by telling the crowd of the extraordinary effort that had gone into making the album a success. Noting the CD had been released nearly two years ago, he said, “The easiest part of this process was the music.” He explained that Anderson had brought so many good songs to the table, the only argument was about how many of them should be put on the record.
Although Anderson scored well with his first single, “Pickin’ Wildflowers,” the terrain grew a bit bumpy after that, according to Galante. “It [became] a matter of staying with it,” he said. “Nobody gave up.”
Anderson was visibly ecstatic when he took the spotlight. Holding a notebook filled with names of people he wanted to thank, he said, “I’ve got a big list. I may go with it, or I may not.” With that, he began reeling off the names and contributions of friends, family and supporters, a process that went on for several minutes.
Looking at the crowd overflowing the bar, Anderson quipped, “There are more people here today than there were at most of the shows we did here.” (Anderson and his band played 3rd & Lindsley regularly in his early days in Nashville, and it was the site of the showcase that cinched his connection with Arista.)
“My mom and dad are here,” the singer announced, gesturing toward a beaming couple in the front row. “They always believed in me — whatever I wanted to do. If I were a chess player, they’d be here yelling, ’Checkmate!'”
Anderson continued by thanking — individually — the major players at his record label, music publishing company and booking agency. He thanked his fellow songwriters, his band members, his publicist and his bus driver. Just when it appeared that his gratitude might be getting out of hand, he ended his remarks by thanking ProTools, the recording enhancement system, for “making me sound good.”
Then it was time for the pictures.