al stewart

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

beach full of shells
Eric Andersen
The Street Was Always There


“If anyone qualifies to do a classy retrospective of songs from the great Greenwich Village songwriters of the 1960s and early ’70s, Eric Andersen must be at the top of the list. A true survivor and still a vibrant, active artist, he has delivered a gem in this album subtitled Great American Song Series Vol. 1. . . Eric has proved the title of his 2000 album You Can’t Relive the Past wrong. Here he relives it and makes it as current as today’s news.” 
Sing Out!
“Having continued to turn out a body of consistently brilliant – if recently overlooked – if original work since the 1960s, Andersen here decides to cover tunes from that fertile era. The period saw a spate of songs written to effect social change, like Buffy Sainte-Marie’s ‘Universal Soldier,’ Phil Ochs’s ‘I Ain't Marching Anymore,’ and, more elliptically, Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall.’ Other artists covered, like Tim Hardin, Paul Siebel, and Fred Neil, dealt with more personal realms; radio play and ‘hits’ were not an issue. These still relevant tunes prove that Andersen and his cohorts set a songwriting standard that has yet to be beaten – and is rarely equaled." Editorial Review
“Eric Andersen knew the writers he salutes on this superlative collection, both the celebrated (Bob Dylan, Tim Hardin) and the obscure (Paul Siebel, Peter La Farge). The power of these interpretations comes from Andersen’s knowledge that he and his comrades on the storied ’60s folk scene crafted songs beyond time or classification . . . Each piece is illuminated by Andersen’s intimate understanding of its strengths. Many of these writers are now gone, but this loving tribute reminds us that the songs live on. (Four stars)”
“Considering the contentious political spirit of the era, it was only a matter of time before politically astute songs of conscience from the Vietnam era (or earlier) were dusted off and tested for resonance in the new social landscape . . . Andersen brings a knowing warmth to material by Tim Hardin, Peter La Farge, Buffy Sainte-Marie and others. Pete Kennedy’s luminous guitar provides intuitive, empathetic texture throughout . . . Respecting the timelessness and conscience of these songs, but coaxing them into new contexts, Andersen puts an entirely new spin on the tribute album concept.”
No Depression
“What is first evident on this CD is the commitment to the spirit of the message in the songs. Andersen chose not to cover artists’ best-known songs for the most part but songs that 40 years on still have some relevance . . . One of the great things about this CD is that Andersen features songs by artists who deserve to be heard. Peter La Farge’s ‘Johnny Half-Breed’ is a brilliant song about racism. Fred Neil’s ‘Little Bit of Rain’ perfectly meshes Andersen’s reedy voice in a steady bluesy setting. ‘Many a Mile’ by Patrick Sky is straight folk-blues . . . Perhaps the most interesting and successful inclusion is David Blue’s ‘These 23 Days in September.’ Blues has recorded the song twice, but Andersen really nails it, giving the lyric about a relationship that has hit hard times a sinewy, ominous feel. The only new song on this collection is the title song written by Andersen, a meditation on what inspired him and the songwriters he knew at the time, their commitment and honesty to their vision. It ties the CD neatly into its message, giving it that much more meaning . . . For someone who has been recording for 40 years, he can still make riveting albums . . . What I hope Andersen succeeded in doing is introducing these truly talented songwriters to a new audience. The ’60s in Greenwich Village were fertile ground for the creativity displayed here. That some of these songwriters are now deceased and their records have been unavailable for decades also makes their inclusion on this CD a truly great experience . . . A welcome addition to Andersen’s rich, changing and ever-expanding legacy.”
“A wonderful collection. . . . It’s about memory, a throbbing memory that cannot be set aside in these ‘masters-of-war-ruled’ days” 
World Music Magazine
The Street Was Always There is a magnificent compilation of cover songs encompassing the most powerful names of 1960s songwriting - covering topical anti-war pieces (Dylan’s ‘Hard Rain’ and Phil Och’s often over-looked ‘I Ain’t Marching Anymore’), personal introspection (David Blue’s ‘These 23 Days in September’) and cultural separation (Peter La Farge’s classic ‘Johnny Half-Breed’) . . . Like Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, Andersen instinctively knows how to twist a line around his tongue until the words come to life and bleed . . . Absolutely riveting, immersing us in the deepness of each lyric, slipping deep inside the soft jackets of music, winding the melodies around the edges of our consciousness, imprisoning his listeners in the absolute newness of the moment.”
– John Aiello, The Electric Review (copyright John Aiello. All rights reserved.)
“A folk veteran at the top of his game, Andersen revisits and revitalizes material from his Greenwich Village contemporaries Dylan, Fred Neil, Phil Ochs, Tim Hardin, and some lesser-known names (David Blue, Paul Siebel) deserving of wider recognition. (One of the year’s best CDs)”
– Ben Edmonds, Detroit Free Press