QUINCY — Country singer-songwriter Clayton Anderson feels the outdoors and country music go hand in hand.
Growing up in Bedford, Indiana, about 30 miles south of the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, her family spent many hours in nature.
“We would always go down to Salt Creek or the White River and fish around my corner of the country,” Anderson said. “And we have a national forest there, so lots of hunting, lots and lots of big deer. I never really liked deer hunting.. too cold there.
“I’m not very good at keeping quiet. So a great rabbit hunter and a bird hunter, a fairly good squirrel hunter. But I hate being cold and I hate being quiet.
Anderson will headline August 20 at On the Rail as part of the Gem City Music Festival.
And his love for the outdoors runs deep in his family.
“He took me fishing and hunting,” Anderson said of his grandfather. “Dad, we got bird dogs and became great bird hunters, and it was so much fun and I love it. I will always have a connection to the outdoors, no matter what.
This relationship with his grandfather led to the creation of the song “Show Me Your Fish” which took off earlier this year.
“I wish my grandfather was still here,” Anderson said. “I wrote the song ‘Show Me Your Fish’ for him. But man, if he could have seen all the guys we’ve seen growing up on the fishing shows on Saturdays and Sundays, have them in the music video , he would have gotten a big kick out of it.
Clips of Bill Dance and Jimmy Houston are part of Anderson’s music video, and the idea for the song came from social media posts.
“All these girls were making fun of guys on Tik Tok for showing their fish, holding a fish, and taking a picture of them and their fish on their dating profile,” Anderson said. “Like why the girls don’t respect the fact that he’s a hunter and gatherer?” You catch it. You show it. It’s a proud moment to brag a little. They always say write what you know. And it took us about 45 minutes to write this song. Really quick and easy.
Anderson has also incorporated her love of the outdoors into COVID-friendly shows. He brought his music to his fans by creating Lake Tours, where fans could stop in their socially distanced boats and enjoy live entertainment.
“The first year we played (the Lake Tour) in Indiana, but the last two years we’ve been everywhere,” Anderson said. “We played in the Ozarks all the way to Ohio. We’ve played all over the Midwest. So that was really, really cool. We thought that was the safest thing, having a little fellowship with the fans and having fun on the water. We wanted to get together because we didn’t want to stay away from people. It was an absolute blast.
All those hours of crappie fishing and drift fishing with perch stayed with Anderson.
“The outdoors goes hand in hand with (country music),” he said. “So it’s great to meet local people and see local places, and that’s one of the big things that I enjoy touring, doing local things, eating at local places and to go to these secret places where you play to go hunting or fishing.
Click here for ticket information for the Gem City Music Festival.
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