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E r i c... A n d e r s e n

the street is always there
Eric Andersen
The Street Was Always There

(Great American Song Series Vol. 1)



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track listing

1. Little Bit of Rain itunesbuy
2. These 23 Days in September itunesbuy
3. Universal Soldier itunesbuy
4. Johnny Half-Breed itunesbuy
5. Waves of Freedom itunesbuy
6. I Ain't Marching Anymore itunesbuy
7. Louise itunesbuy
8. Misty Roses itunesbuy
9. White Boots Marching in a Yellow Land itunesbuy
10. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall itunesbuy
11. Many a Mile itunesbuy
12. The Other Side of This Life itunesbuy
13. The Street Was Always There itunesbuy
14. :Phil Ochs Speaks itunesbuy

Eric Andersen, one of America’s premier singer-songwriters for almost four decades, puts aside his original material (for the most part) to “sing as freshly as possible the songs I first heard sung in the streets, cafes, and clubs by certain performing songwriters in the 1960s Greenwich Village” on The Street Was Always There. On this new CD, the first in a planned multi-volume series, Andersen presents passionate new versions of classics and forgotten gems written by the pantheon of his ’60s elders, contemporaries, and friends – Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Fred Neil, Tim Hardin, Peter La Farge, Patrick Sky, David Blue, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Paul Siebel.

When Andersen was “discovered” performing in San Francisco in 1963 by Tom Paxton and persuaded to move East, the Village was a hotbed of folk clubs and the talented singers, songwriters and performers to fill them. Eric was one of the first of the musicians to concentrate on creating personal, poetic songs, rather than penning topical protest anthems, updating traditional tunes or writing folk-oriented urban blues. His original compositions such as “Violets of Dawn” and “Thirsty Boots” helped point the way toward the late-’60s singer-songwriter movement that flourishes to this day.

On The Street Was Always There, Andersen presents the many creative facets on the ’60s Village-based songwriters, spanning the protest and personal approaches to what was lumped under the heading of “folk music” and proving the timelessness of both. With vibrant production and arrangements by longtime Andersen associate and multi-instrumentalist Robert Aaron (whose usual gig is leading international hip-hop/rap star Wyclef Jean’s band), Andersen applies his time-seasoned baritone to all-too-relevant anti-war songs – Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier,” Ochs’s “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” and “White Boots Marching in a Yellow Land” – the latter featuring an explosive reggae-flavored closing rap by guest Wyclef Jean, who also plays electric guitar and bass on the track – as well as Fred Neil’s deep-running, bluesy ballads (“Little Bit of Rain,” “The Other Side of This Life”), a shimmering bossa nova take on Tim Hardin’s “Misty Roses, an angry reading of Peter La Farge’s “Johnny Half-Breed,” and a gliding, unsettling version of David Blue’s “These 23 Days in September,” among others. Andersen also revisits his own poetic “Waves of Freedom” (from 1969’s A Country Dream album), and provides the newly-penned title track, a tribute both to the tightknit Village community of the ’60s and to the endless options for expression and experience provided by the metaphorical street of independent-minded people, real-life encounters, and the mysterious possibilities of the open road. The CD closes with a ghostly spoken collage of brief, still-topical statements by the late Phil Ochs.

Joining Andersen (vocals, electric guitar) and Aaron (bass, guitar, keyboards, melodica, woodwinds) are special guests (the afore-mentioned) Wyclef Jean, former Lovin’ Spoonful leader and longtime solo artist John Sebastian, fellow ’60s Village songwriter Patrick Sky (whose “Many a Mile” is covered on this CD), Pete Kennedy of the roots/pop duo The Kennedys (fellow Appleseed artists) on guitar, longtime Woodstock based folk musician (and another Village graduate) Happy Traum (acoustic guitar), and a supporting cast of top-flight sidemen. The CD booklet includes three sets of liner notes by Andersen, Aaron, and well-known journalist Glenn O’Brien, as well as numerous historic photographs of the songwriters whose work is brought back to the public ear on this CD.



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