||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2013)|
February 14, 1943 |
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
|Genres||Folk, Folk rock, Blues|
|Instruments||Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals|
Eric Andersen (born February 14, 1943, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an American folk musician and singer-songwriter. His best-known songs from the 1960s folk era are "Violets of Dawn", "Come to My Bedside", and "Thirsty Boots" (the latter recorded by Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, amongst others) while the Blue River album and the song "Is It Really Love At All?" are popular from his work from the singer-songwriter movement.
- 1 Personal history
- 2 Musical career
- 3 Musical legacy
- 4 Awards
- 5 Writings
- 6 Discography
- 7 Filmography & DVD appearances
- 8 Sources
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Eric Andersen's grandfather immigrated from Norway. Eric Andersen was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and he grew up in Snyder, New York, which is a suburb of Buffalo. Elvis Presley made an impression on him when 15-year-old Andersen saw him perform. He moved through Boston and San Francisco, where he met Tom Paxton, finally settling in New York City at the height of the Greenwich Village folk movement.
Andersen was a resident of Woodstock, New York between 1975 and 1983. After Woodstock, Andersen moved to Oslo, Norway and maintained a residence in New York City. He currently lives in The Netherlands.
1964–1969: Folk breakthrough
In 1964, Andersen made his debut at Gerdes Folk City in a live audition for Vanguard Records. In 1965 he released his first Vanguard album Today is the Highway. In 1966 he made his Newport Folk Festival debut. The Beatles manager Brian Epstein was in the process of becoming his manager when Epstein died.
1970s: Singer-songwriter era
Andersen signed with Columbia in 1972 and issued his most commercially successful album Blue River. The master tapes of his follow-up album Stages were lost before the album could be released, resulting in the loss of much of the momentum he had gained with Blue River.
Andersen parted ways with Columbia and recorded sporadically for a number of labels throughout the remainder of the 1970s and into the early 1980s. In 1975 he performed with Arlen Roth at the opening show of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue at Gerde's Folk City and again in Niagara Falls.
Andersen fell into obscurity for a number of years for audiences in United States. After moving to Europe, he recorded three albums, including Midnight Son, Tight in the Night and Istanbul. Andersen established his own company, Wind and Sand Records, to sell his music through mail order.
Andersen reemerged in 1988 with a new album, Ghosts Upon the Road. Though the album only did modestly well, it was widely praised and placed on a number of critics' year-end "best of" lists. The title track was a 10 1/2-minute autobiographical song that Andersen wrote about when he lived in Beacon Hill, Boston and moved to New York City in 1964.
Stages: The Lost Album
The Stages tapes were found nearly two decades after they had been lost. Forty boxes consisting of the original master tapes were found October 1989 in the vaults at Columbia Records in New York. The album recorded after Blue River and it featured guest artists such as Leon Russell, Joan Baez and Dan Fogelberg. It was issued in 1991 as Stages: The Lost Album.
1990s: Danko/Fjeld/Andersen Supergroup
At this time in his career, Andersen was living in Oslo, Norway, and, in the early 1990s, Andersen joined the trio Danko/Fjeld/Andersen with Rick Danko (The Band) and the Norwegian singer-songwriter, Jonas Fjeld. The trio recorded three albums and performed together for nine years.
1998-Present: Late solo work
In 1998, Andersen released his first solo album in a decade, Memory of the Future. Praised as "dreamy and introspective", the album was followed two years later by You Can't Relive The Past, which included original blues numbers as well as a selection of songs co-written with Townes Van Zandt.
A double album Beat Avenue followed in 2003. Besides mostly rock-dominated ballads, the album's 26-minute title track was a jazzy beat poem relating his experiences among San Francisco's beat community of artists on the day of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
Andersen's next albums, The Street Was Always There in 2004 and Waves in 2005, were both produced by multi-instrumentalist Robert Aaron. In addition to covers of his own songs, the albums featured new versions of classics by his sixties contemporaries and friends, including David Blue, Bob Dylan, Richard Fariña, Tim Hardin, Peter La Farge, Fred Neil, Phil Ochs, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Paul Siebel, Patrick Sky, Tom Paxton, John Sebastian, Happy Traum, Lou Reed, and Tom Rush. His next album Blue Rain, released in 2007, was his first live album. It was recorded in Norway and contains a blend of blues, jazz and folk.
In 2011, Andersen released his second live album The Cologne Concert featuring Michele Gazich on violin and Eric's wife Inge Andersen on backing vocals.
In 2013, Andersen performed in the Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation, a feature-length documentary about the Greenwich Village music scene, which was issued on DVD in November.
Andersen has completed the recording of his new album Dance of Love and Death. The album is mixed by Steve Addabbo (Suzanne Vega), other musicians are Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group), Larry Campbell (musician) (Bob Dylan band; Phil Lesh and Friends, Levon Helm Band), Michele Gazich (Mary Gauthier, Mark Olson (musician), Michelle Shocked) and Inge Andersen. The record is expected to be released in 2014.
In his lengthy career, Andersen has issued more than 25 albums to which many artists have contributed, including Joan Baez, Dan Fogelberg, Al Kooper, Willie Nile, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, Leon Russell, Richard Thompson, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Eric Bazilian, Arlen Roth, Tony Garnier, Howie Epstein, and many others. His songs have been recorded by artists all over the world, including the Blues Project, Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Peter, Paul & Mary, John Denver, The Dillards, Ricky Nelson, Fairport Convention, Grateful Dead, Ratdog (Bob Weir), Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Gillian Welch, and Pete Seeger.
Richard Harrington, music critic for The Washington Post, wrote, "No other songwriter born in the generation between World War II and Korea has better explored the insistence of love, whether it be sensible or hopeless, beseeched or betrayed."
In 2003, Andersen won the it:Premio Tenco award with Patti Smith in San Remo, Italy. It is an award given to outstanding songwriters. Previous awards have gone to Jackson Browne, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Randy Newman.
In 2009, Andersen contributed an essay titled The Danger Zone to the Naked Lunch @ 50: Anniversary Essays, a book volume edited by Oliver Harris and Ian MacFadyen devoted to William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, considered one of the landmark publications in the history of American literature.
- Today Is the Highway (1965)
- 'Bout Changes 'n' Things (1966)
- 'Bout Changes 'n' Things Take 2 (1967)
- More Hits From Tin Can Alley (1968)
- Single: "Think About It" / "So Hard To Fall" (1968)
- A Country Dream (1969)
- Avalanche (1969)
- Eric Andersen (1970)
- Blue River (1972)
- Be True To You (1975)
- Sweet Surprise (1976)
- Midnight Son (1980)
- Tight In The Night (1984)
- Istanbul (1985) original soundtrack
- Ghosts Upon The Road (1988)
- Stages: The Lost Album (1991) mostly recorded in 1972-73, with three brand new tracks
- Danko/Fjeld/Andersen - Rick Danko, Jonas Fjeld & Eric Andersen (1991)
- Ridin' on the Blinds - Rick Danko, Jonas Fjeld & Eric Andersen (1994)
- Kerouac: Kicks Joy Darkness - Various Artists (1997)
- Memory Of The Future (1998)
- You Can't Relive The Past (2000)
- One More Shot - Rick Danko, Jonas Fjeld & Eric Andersen (2001) (2 CD's)
- Beat Avenue (2002) (2 CD's)
- Street Was Always There: Great American Song Series, Vol. 1 (2004)
- Waves: Great American Song Series, Vol. 2 (2005)
- Blue Rain - live (2007)
- So Much on My Mind: The Anthology (1969–1980) (2007)
- Avalanche (2008, reissue)
- The Cologne Concert - live (2011)
Filmography & DVD appearances
In 1984, Andersen appeared as a guest in a film documentary about Phil Ochs called Chords of Fame and sang the Och's song, "When I'm Gone".
In 1985, Andersen wrote original music for the movie Istanbul, starring Brad Dourif.
In 2012, the filmmaker Paul Lamont (Toward Castle Films) started the production of The Songpoet, a documentary film, which is expected to be ready for global distribution in 2014.
- Judy Collins Wildflower Festival - Judy Collins, Eric Andersen, Tom Rush & Arlo Guthrie (2003) (2 DVDs)
- Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind (2003)
- Festival Express - Various Artists (2004) (2 DVDs)
- Greenwich Village: Music that defined a generation (2013)
- —,"Eric Andersen", The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001).
- James Ketchell, "Review: So Much On My Mind by Eric Andersen", Rockbeatstone (August 2007).
- "Paul Lamont", "Documentary: The Eric Andersen Story" (April 2012).
- "Greenwich Village: Music that defined a generation" (January 2013).
- "Greenwich Village: Music that defined a generation, DVD" (November 2013).
- "Dance of Love and Death" (January 2014).
- Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 22–23. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
- Roxon, Lilian: Lilian Roxon's Rock Encyclopedia (Grosset and Dunlop, Universal Library Edition, 1972) p3 ISBN 0-448-00255-8
- DeCurtis, Anthony (April 27, 2003). "Eric Andersen distills the present from the past". New York Times.
- Babad, Michael (November 8, 1985). "'60s folk singer returns to the road". United Press International.
- Elder, Bruce (January 16, 1990). "Good Voices, Great Songs, Wrong Attitude; Folk". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 11.
- "Eric Andersen 1999 Inductee Buffalo Music Hall of Fame". Buffalomusic.org. Retrieved 2014-02-21.
- MacInnis, Craig (June 24, 1989). "Eric Andersen starts over". Toronto Star. p. J3.
- Ruhlmann, William. "Biography: Woodstock Mountain Revue". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- MacInnis, Craig (November 14, 1986). "Will pillow power pay off for songwriters?". Toronto Star. p. D10.
- "Album reviews". Billboard. June 14, 1991.
- Holden, Stephen. "The Pop Life". The New York Times. p. C13.
- Howell, Peter (July 26, 1991). "Preston horns in on Band's latest waltz". Toronto Star. p. D12.
- Lamey, Mary (March 8, 1997). "A world of women's voices". The Gazette (Quebec).
- Harrington, Richard (October 14, 1978). "Eric Andersen". The Washington Post. p. B2.
- Maslin, Janet (February 16, 1984). "Film: Phil Ochs, A Short Biography". New York Times. p. C23.
- Naked Lunch @50