Special to the Mirror
MONTROSE—(February 4, 2014) On the wall of John Anders’ SunnyDaze Productions recording studio on Spring Creek there is a picture of his late son Ryan, a talented young musician, playing guitar.
“I really started this studio for him,” Anders said. “After he died I didn’t come out here for long time. Finally, I decided I might as well come out here and do something myself.”
And in the picture of his boy, Anders points out a second image below and just behind Ryan himself.
“This picture has an angel in it,” Anders said. “I like that.”
One could point out that the studio has an ‘angel’ in it as well—Anders himself. A lifelong musician who started playing at age 10, he sometimes sits in with the Ghost River Band and with his younger brothers, twins Larry and Jerry of the Anders Brothers Band. Lining one wall of the studio are a variety of string instruments, obviously well-used.
“We play a little of everything here,” Anders said. “I’ve been in the music business since age 10—we got our start as a band in the 1960’s, though we really didn’t get it going until the 1970’s. I taught my brothers a few chords, and they had such great ears they just started to play.”
The first equipment he ever purchased came from Herbert Music of Delta.
“I bought two guitars, a bass, two amps and a Bogen P.A.,” Anders said. “It cost $3,500, and I financed it. My parents almost freaked out. But we started a band, though at first we almost had to pay people to let us play. I told my brothers when we got started to just play like we were at home, throwing a party for these folks in our living room. We got to make ‘em happy, and play the music they want to hear.
“Our first gig was in Ridgway, at a place called Fats-n-Slats,” he said. “We earned $50, and we split it,”
After a while, the brothers decided that playing music for high school proms and other events was a good idea, if they could get the gigs.
“We had an uncle who flew an airplane,” Anders said. “We had decided, let’s see if we can get some proms to play, and pay all this stuff off.”
The group made a cheap demo recording, and decided to go after the Nucla Prom.
“We got our uncle to fly us over there in the Super Cub,” he said, “and when we got there, all these kids were standing there, watching! They hired us right on the spot, and we started playing proms.”
The band took time off while the twins were in college, he said.
“They went to college in Oklahoma, baseball schools,” John said. “They had a little group and toured the Northwest, making good money and having lots of fun. But when that got old, they settled back down here, and we played together again.”
In addition to plenty of ski area gigs, Anders Brothers once opened for Flash Cadillac at CSU.
“Someone there wrote a review afterwards,” Anders said. “They weren’t too pleased with Flash Cadillac, but they really liked the Anders Brothers.”
Today, Anders makes his living as a realtor with Coldwell Banker, where he specializes in farm and ranch sales.
“I sell real estate so I can buy equipment,” Anders laughed. “To get good recordings, you need good equipment.”
Anders said that he bases his own recording work on what he has to offer–knowledge, experience and sound.
“It’s fun, and it’s a challenge too,” he said. “I work on a Mac Computer, with Pro Tools. It has taken me a little while to learn—these young kids pick things up real fast, but when you’re a little older you’re a little slower.”
Picking up the little things that others don’t hear is essential, even more now than in the past, he said. He begins a recording with the rhythm tracks, and adds vocals last. There is a separate booth in the studio for drummers.
“The whole secret to recording is to isolate,” he said. “In the 70’s I had a recording studio, but everything was analog. Now, with digital, it is much simpler to edit.”
SunnyDaze Productions is the only recording studio in Montrose, he said. Local musicians Kurt Isgreen and Bob Becker often serve as backup players, and Anders finds himself mentoring younger musicians like Emma Cooper, Brea DeJulio and Ethan Cooke.
“I really like to work with the young folks, and help get them started,” he said. “It’s great to see them progress.
Montrose Realtor and mom Denece Crowe is among the gifted adult musicians who have shared their talents with SunnyDaze Productions.
“I was honored when Emma Cooper asked me to sing on her album,” Crowe said. “Having known John Anders for years, I knew it would be a fun experience as well. John has such a love for music and a passion for supporting the artists he works with. Recording with Emma and John turned out to be more than just fun.
“It was truly inspiring.”
For Anders, a gifted singer and entertainer, sharing music with others appears to be the greatest gift of all.
“This weekend we had 29 people in here,” he noted. “Three rows of chairs, and food too. It was crowded, but we sure had a good time.”
To reach SunnyDaze Productions, call Anders at 970-209-5156.