So the other day I wrote about David Ackles, and while he lacked commercial success his music impacted many musicians like Elton John, Well another one of those forgotten artists (at least by the general population, not us old folkies) is Eric Andersen. Andersen’s songs have been covered by a number of artist and once Eric said the following:
“Leonard Cohen once came up to me and said ‘I’m a poet and never thought of writing songs until I heard ‘Violets of Dawn’ and then I began to write songs…Kris Kristoffersen liked my sexy songs, my love songs…It helped him write the kinds of things he did in Nashville like ‘Help Me Make it Through the Night”
That’s two pretty good songwriters to have influenced!! Anyway here’s one of the early posts on this blog about Eric……
Eric Andersen – was one of the artist that I listened to in the 1970’s. He was one of the early members of the Greenwich Village folk scene, along with other artists like Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Fred Neil, Judy Collins, etc. I think the first Eric Andersen album I bought was Blue River, released on Columbia Records in 1972. My favorite song from that album was “Is It Really Love at All”. By that time Eric had recorded five albums on Vanguard Records. I caught up with those songs by purchasing The Best of Eric Andersen – favorites on the album include the great “Thirsty Boots”, “My Land is a Good Land” and “Violets of Dawn”. After Blue River. I bought his first of two albums on Warner Brothers his 1969 self-titled album. Like Blue River to be released three years later the session men on this album included some of my favorites Guitars: Andy Johnson, Eddie Hinton, Grady Martin. Bass: Norbert Putnam, Mark Sporer. Drums: Kenny Buttrey, Jim McKevitt, Richard Schlosser.Perussion: Gerry Carrigan, Kenny Buttrey B- 3 Organ: Glenn Spreen, David Briggs.Accordian: Kevin Kelly. Steel Guitar: Weldon Myrick. Dobro: David Bromberg.Vibes: Andy Johnson, Farrel Morris.Piano: Deborah Green Andersen, David Briggs Woodwind and string arrangements: Glenn Spreen. Background vocals: Joni Mitchell, Eric Andersen, Deborah Green Andersen, Florence Warner, The Jordanaires, The Holidays with Temple Riser.
Norbert Putnam, Kenny Buttrey, David Briggs, Weldon Myrick aside from playing with Kris Kristofferson and John Prine joined with other session man like Mac Gayden and Charley McCoy and formed Area Code 615. A country-rock band whose self-titled album got plenty of plays when I was in college. The next Andersen album I bought was his 1974 release on Arista Records Be True to You
Eric moved to Europe in the 80’s and spent many years in Norway releasing several albums. I did not hear of him again until the 1988 release of Ghosts on the Road. The next album I have in my collection is 1998’s Memories of the Future a dark and beautiful CD. Since then he has released four CDs on Appleseed Records. You Can;t Relive the Past, Beat Avenue, The Street was Always There and Waves. the last three were mainly covers of great songs from the Sixties folk scene. His most recent releasing include Blue Rain-Eric Andersen Live and So Much on My Mind The Eric Andersen Anthology 1969-1980 Both released in 2007.
And tonight I listened to “Is it Really Love at All” once again…. the lyrics never fail to blow me away!