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  • Writer's pictureNielsen Studios Inc

American Faces #69 - The Up-beat

The infectious smile and engaging enthusiasm of my American Faces #69 subject, Keith Anderson, is what caught my eye. But that is not the end of the story, nor is it actually the beginning. I first saw this incredible drummer bring songs to life with his vibrant personality and ridiculous drumming skills at a concert of my friend, Joel Hanson.

A little background on Joel: he is the worship leader at Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove, MN. In his former life Joel was the front man for a Christian rock band that had chart-topping hits in the early 90’s. So enough on Joel.

Let me get to the real story. Keith’s is the story of a man who has had friends like Joel walk alongside him as his life was being rebuilt. Success and strife often walk hand in hand, and that is what Keith went through. He was behind the making of Risen Drums, which was a custom drum maker here in Minnesota. Risen Drums created sets for Christian bands like Needtobreathe, Toby Mac, Audio Adrenaline, as well as mainstream music artists Sara Bareilles and Kelly Clarkson.

Keith’s rise in the drum making business was fast. But behind the scenes of that rapid rise Keith faced trials he was not prepared for. The fast growth was hard on him personally. He was battered by the storms in his life that came in the wake of Risen Drums’ rapid growth, so he sold the company. Keith leaned towards me when he shared how much it meant to have Joel and others walk through these storms with him. They didn’t walk away when it got tough. In fact, they pushed through the storm to help Keith find restoration, healing and perspective.

This is really the lesson to Keith’s story: We are made better by others, and our stories are never over. Keith’s story isn’t over. He’s a man whose heart is turned towards his family, cherished by friends and as he puts it, “I have the best seat in the house” when he brings music to life through the insane gift he has for drumming. You can see this man is where he belongs. Keith’s infectious enthusiasm has only grown in strength and sincerity through hardship. Keith, you truly are a gift to this world.

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