With a Red Dirt, Classic Country and multi-genre influenced style, Zander Rodriguez brings a unique blend of well-known covers and a host of original songs that have the town of Prescott buzzing.

Rodriguez is performing with a full band at Matt’s Saloon, 112 S. Montezuma St., Prescott, from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, Dec. 23. The band’s members are Rodriguez on guitar and vocals, Nick Canuel on drums and vocals, Jordan Brambila on fiddle and Scott Barritt on bass.

Rodriguez spoke with Across the Street staff ahead of the band’s upcoming performance. The following interview was edited for length and clarity.

How did the band get started?

We got started jamming, like, late July, early August. I moved to Prescott in early May. I was living in Wickenburg, in Scottsdale at the time and I kind of threw a mattress on the back of my van and then just decided to come out. I was like, “I’m going to stay here for a couple of weeks and, you know, figure that out,” and ended up getting an apartment and then started playing shows really frequently, kind of solo. Then when Whiskey River Tavern acquired Montezuma’s Tavern, they were looking for a Wednesday act and they offered it to me. I was thinking I was going to do it solo, but then I looked at it as an opportunity to get some of the guys together and just start a band and have a weekly thing. We played the first one and that just kind of jumpstarted everything.

What do audiences respond to the most when they see you perform?

Depending on where we play, you know, you kind of you get a different audience. What’s been nice is, I feel that with the sensibilities of the musicians, we can play to different rooms. So we can play for a rowdy crowd at Matt’s. We can play ‘til two in the morning and have a good time doing that. We can also play a quiet, intimate evening at Whiskey River, or Whiskey River before wintertime, outdoors you can play a packed house. So, I think that if the crowd wants to dance, they’re able to. If they want to listen and feel the music, they’re able to. And if they just want to tune out and have, you know, something enjoyable to just fill the space, I think we can accommodate that as well.

What do you like most about performing with this band?

Just the sensibilities. What’s kind of cool with the main four-piece is that we can play music and we can put on a show but then we’re hanging out, having beers afterward, just shooting the shit. We’ve developed a cool friendship and we’re all within, say, five years of age with one another. So, it’s nice being able to play music with people that you respect, people that you enjoy, but then afterward being able to just hang out. We don’t even have to talk about music. We talk about life and what’s going on and it’s cool to be able to play music with your friends, especially at the level that we’re doing it.

For more information about Zander Rodriguez, visit www.zanderrodriguez.com.

Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at jbertel@prescottaz.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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