In music-industry years, Andy Grammer is about three years old. The Los Angeles native released his self-titled debut in 2011 and with it pretty much went from being a dude that busked street corners in Santa Monica with the occasional indoor gig (the Viper Room, for example) to something approaching pop stardom. That year, Billboard magazine pegged the 31-year-old singer/songwriter as one of their “artists to watch.” He’s sold more than 100,000 albums since, had a couple of singles go platinum and gold in sales, and gained a pair of BMI Pop Music awards. A good deal of Grammer’s fan love stems from a song called “Keep Your Head Up,” which he wrote after busking all day with his car battery–powered rig and coming up short, as the story goes. “Fine by Me,” the second single from his debut CD, made #10 on the Adult Pop Chart.
- Saturday, July 19, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
House of Blues,
1055 Fifth Avenue,
$20 - $45
Andy Grammer is the son of Red Grammer, a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter who works the children’s music angle. Andy began performing with his old man by the time he was six or seven. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the Jack Johnson vibe, or even the Kanye West vibe: Grammer mixes the whole beach thing with hip-hop, and he does it well. Crazy Beautiful came out last year, and it, too, did well as far as sales, but industry eyes (and ears) are tuned to Magazines or Novels, due out this August. What do I hear in the new music? An Arcade Fire-ish layering of sounds and a larger presence. But Grammer got his polish from the court of public opinion — meaning the street — and during his stage show, even though other musicians are now involved, he still comes off with that curious mix of affable and wary, as if at any minute someone might run off with his tip jar.