For Jawsh Anderson and the other members of Santa Cruz’s own Orangegoose, the formation of the band was a long time coming, even if the band members didn’t know it. “We all started out as friends after we met in junior high in a P.E. class,” Anderson says. “We were all music lovers at the time, but we never actually played music together. Then 20 years passed and we all just happened to reconnect in the last few months and started to make some music together.” The band injects a heavy dose of grooves into its infectious brand of rock music. “Shut Up” is a lively, funky number, there is a tinge of the blues on “I Like It That Way,” and “Maybe We Can Make It” was literally made for the dance floor.
Anderson, who prior to the formation of Orangegoose mostly wrote acoustic folk songs, says “Maybe We Can Make It” was quite a challenge to create, but the process was ulimately rewarding. “That was an exercise in trying to write dance music because I had been criticized for creating music that was very storytelling-oriented, but didn’t necessarily get you on your feet,” he admits with a laugh. “So I was really trying to tell a good story and get people on their feet at the same time.” Whether or not Anderson was able to accomplish his lofty goal will be up to those who attend Orangegoose’s show at Moe’s Alley on Thursday to decide. The reason behind Anderson’s unwavering dedication to developing his craft is a meaningful one. “Music is a direct connection to my dad,” he says. “My dad passed away when I was a year old and the only thing I have left of him is his music recordings and an old guitar he owned, so for me, it’s a real connection to him. And the drummer (Rodney Trujillo) grew up playing music with his father, and so that kind of connection has something to do with what it means to be a man on some level—following in your father’s footsteps.”
INFO: 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14. Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz. $5. 479-1854. For more information about the band and to listen to some of their music, visit reverbnation.com/orangegoose.