The Essential Eric Anderson
Review by David Bowling
Eric Anderson has just turned 75 and in celebration of this milestone, he has released the 2-disc, 33 track CD titled The Essential Eric Anderson.
Anderson was an original member of the Greenwich Village folk revival movement of the 1960’s. While not as well-know as some of his contemporaries, his songs have been covered by the cream of American music including Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Pete Seeger, The Grateful Dead, Linda Ronstadt, and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
Anderson is a folk singer and songwriter deluxe who has that rare ability of putting his thoughts and visions to music. Always living and performing as a member of the American counter-culture, his lyrics have recorded and challenged American life and culture for the past half-century.
His latest release is drawn from all phases of his 45 year recording career. Included are tracks from his long lost Stages album, which was recorded in 1973 but whose master tapes inexplicably disappeared for nearly 20 years. Live versions, recorded at The Bitter End, of “Violets Of Dawn” and “Thirsty Boots” highlight the album. Add in “Everything Ain’t Been Said,” “Come To My Bedside, My Darlin,'” “Trouble In Paris,” “Come Runnin’ Like A Friend,” “Listen To The Rain,” ” I Shall Be Unbounded,” and “Ghosts Upon The Road” and you have a nice taste of his style and of American folk music.
Andersen engaged in a number of duets and many voices are resurrected from the great beyond. “Turn Like A Freight Train” with Dan Fogelberg, “Keep This Love Alive” (Rick Danko), “You Can’t Relieve The Past” (Lou Reed), and “Plains Of Nebrasky-O (Phil Ochs), open up time periods long past. The likes of Richard Thompson, David Bromberg, Joni Mitchell, Maria Muldaur, and Joan Baez also make appearances.
Extensive liner notes by New York Times writer and Lou Reed biographer Anthony DeCurtis plus Anderson himself are included.
Eric Andersen’s ballads are some of the best folk music of the last 50 years. They are also a history of our nation in song. A true essential listening experience for any follower of folk music and its history.