Indiana Daily Student

Clayton Anderson to perform at IU Auditorium tonight

After getting to college, Clayton Anderson needed a new way to talk to girls.

In high school, he played basketball. In college at IU, it was a little harder without that ability, he said. Thankfully, his roommate played guitar, and Anderson learned from him.

They started playing at fraternity houses on campus and eventually spread to other Big Ten schools.

“All of a sudden, one day it was time to graduate and grow up,” ?he said.

Since graduation, Anderson has moved onto a successful career in country music, one that has brought him back to IU.

Anderson will perform at 8 p.m. tonight at the IU Auditorium.

Tickets are still available at the IU Auditorium box office and ?online at .

If audience members purchase tickets online and use the promo code IUDM, the group will donate money to IU Dance Marathon.

“It’s my favorite campus charity, and so we wanted to participate as much as possible,” Anderson said.

Anderson participated in the dance marathon as a student at IU. He graduated in 2007 with a degree in business.

However, his musical experience while in college was ?something he couldn’t ?ignore.

He entered the Kenny Chesney Next Big Star Competition and won.

“I thought, ‘If I don’t try, I’ll be a grumpy old man one day,’” he said. “No regrets. Leave everything to chance.”

Since then, Anderson has been recording albums and performing around the country, opening for ?big-time country musicians.

He released his album “Right Where I Belong” in February, and it rose to No. 2 on iTunes. He said he hopes to have a single out soon and is working on record deals in Nashville, Tenn.

“In the meantime we’re playing shows like crazy — Dave Matthews-style,” he said. “Playing a lot of shows and having a lot of fun.”

Anderson plans to go on an even bigger tour next year.

“I’m a huge fan of travel and seeing new things,” he said. “I like experiencing what the local people do. You get to meet so many people. It’s unreal.”

Local country singer Sheila Stephen will serve as Anderson’s opening act. Stephen has been playing since the age of 13 and is well known as a radio personality on WHCC 105.1 “Hoosier Country” in Bloomington, according to an IU Auditorium release.

Performing at the IU Auditorium is like coming home, Anderson said. Seeing familiar faces and experiencing IU again is something he can’t wait to do.

“There’s no college like IU,” Anderson said. “I’ve been to a lot of them, and it’s the best by far. Now that I get to play it, it’s a really cool feeling.”

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