Looking for a safe way to celebrate the spring season with friends? Try booking a private pickup truck concert.
Murphys singer-songwriter Grover Anderson is now preparing for his second season of socially distanced performances, playing to small audiences anywhere from the bed of his truck.
“Pickup truck concerts have been such rewarding experiences,” Anderson said in a press release. “A big part was the opportunity to safely feel social after the shutdown, but I think another major component was the ‘concert’ aspect. Here in Calaveras County we hear a lot of ‘Music while you …’ (insert ‘drink wine,' ‘dance,’ ‘eat,’ ‘talk to your friends,’ ‘drink and pretend to be Irish,’ etc.), but we don’t have as many opportunities to attend a real concert. Even Ironstone concerts are often a big party. I’m happy to play music anytime, but I’m happiest when I’m connecting an audience with stories and emotion, and these truck concerts have been a great opportunity to do that.”
A high school teacher by day and folk-crossover musician by night, Anderson weathered the cancellation of 33 house concerts, festivals and summer gigs in five different states in 2020. He attempted to soldier on with virtual livestream concerts but quickly realized that playing to a camera couldn’t replace “the magic of the true audience experience.”
Anderson’s wife, Katie, suggested that he find a way to bring the music to the community via his own pickup truck. Soon, he was parking in driveways throughout Calaveras, Tuolumne, and Alpine counties as groups of friends gathered with lawn chairs and refreshments. The musician performed 37 private concerts in 2020.
In 2021, he hopes to expand his reach to the Central Valley, Bay Area and more.
“We view our annual shows at Murphys Irish Days as our unofficial kickoff to the busy season, and when I saw that this year’s festival had been postponed, I knew I’d need to continue the truck shows,” he said.
Anderson’s concerts are free-of-charge, but donations are encouraged. Bookings for the spring and summer season are now available at groveranderson.com/truck-concerts.