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Eric Andersen - Blue River

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Blue River

Eric Andersen

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With mid-'60s gems like Violets of Dawn, Thirsty Boots, and Close the Door Lightly, Eric Andersen became the archetypal, literate romantic before the likes of James Taylor and Jackson Browne had even cut their first records, but at the same time seemed to lack direction from album to album. With his eighth album, Blue River, recorded in Nashville in 1972, he found the perfect setting for his gentle, poetic songs. After nearly seven years of dabbling in folk, folk-rock, pop, and country, Andersen found a smart, sympathetic ear in producer Norbert Putnam. Putnam, whose production here is rarely extraneous, utilizes subtle touches of bass, drums, accordion, and organ along with Andersen's own guitar, piano, and harmonica to frame the material. The record, Andersen's first effort for Columbia, also featured his best collection of tunes to date. Blue River, with its themes of uncertainty and struggle, is by no means a casual record, although songs such as the bittersweet "Is It Really Love at All" and the title track, featuring Joni Mitchell's ethereal supporting vocal, will draw the listener in with their sheer beauty. Andersen, then in his late twenties, was dealing with questions of love, life, and desire with a maturity matched only by a handful of songwriters at the time. Never overly precious or maudlin, nearly every cut resonates with eloquence and grace. Although continuing to grow as a writer in the years to come, Blue River remains Eric Andersen's masterwork and one of the true classics of the genre.
© Brett Hartenbach /TiVo

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Blue River

Eric Andersen

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1
Is It Really Love At All Album Version
00:05:20

Norbert Putnam, Producer - Mark Spoor, Bass - Andy Johnson, Electric Guitar - Deborah Green Andersen, Background Vocal - Deborah Green Andersen, Piano - GLENN SPREEN, Arranger - GLENN SPREEN, Woodwinds - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer - Eric Andersen, Composer - Eric Andersen, Background Vocal - Eric Andersen, Lyricist - Eric Andersen, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Andersen, Piano - Eric Andersen, Performer - Eric Andersen, Harmonica - Gerry Carrigan, Percussion

(P) 1972 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

2
Pearl's Goodtime Blues Album Version
00:02:21

Kenneth Buttrey, Drums - Kenneth Buttrey, Tambourine - Norbert Putnam, Producer - Norbert Putnam, Bass - David Briggs, Organ - Eddie Hinton, Electric Guitar - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer - Eric Andersen, Background Vocal - Eric Andersen, Composer - Eric Andersen, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Andersen, Lyricist - Eric Andersen, Piano - Eric Andersen, Performer - Eric Andersen, Harmonica

(P) 1972 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

3
Wind And Sand Album Version
00:04:28

Norbert Putnam, Producer - Norbert Putnam, Bass - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer - Eric Andersen, Background Vocal - Eric Andersen, Composer - Eric Andersen, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Andersen, Lyricist - Eric Andersen, Piano - Eric Andersen, Performer - Eric Andersen, Harmonica

(P) 1972 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

4
Faithful Album Version
00:03:15

Kenneth Buttrey, Drums - Norbert Putnam, Producer - Norbert Putnam, Bass - David Briggs, Organ - Deborah Green Andersen, Background Vocal - Deborah Green Andersen, Piano - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer - Eric Andersen, Composer - Eric Andersen, Background Vocal - Eric Andersen, Lyricist - Eric Andersen, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Andersen, Piano - Eric Andersen, Performer - Eric Andersen, Harmonica - Grady Martin, Guitar

(P) 1972 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

5
Blue River Album Version
00:04:45

Mark Spoor, Bass - Kevin Kelly, Acordeon - Weldon Myrick, Steel Guitar - Deborah Green Andersen, Background Vocal - Andy Johnson, Electric Guitar - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer - Norbert Putnam, Producer - Eric Andersen, Composer - Eric Andersen, Lyricist - Eric Andersen, Background Vocal - Eric Andersen, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Andersen, Piano - Eric Andersen, Performer - Eric Andersen, Harmonica - Kenneth Buttrey, Drums - Joni Mitchell, Background Vocal

(P) 1972 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

6
Florentine Album Version
00:03:30

The Holidays, Background Vocal - Kenneth Buttrey, Percussion - Kenneth Buttrey, Drums - Norbert Putnam, Producer - Norbert Putnam, Bass - GLENN SPREEN, Organ - GLENN SPREEN, Harpsichord - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer - Eric Andersen, Composer - Eric Andersen, Background Vocal - Eric Andersen, Lyricist - Eric Andersen, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Andersen, Piano - Eric Andersen, Performer - Eric Andersen, Harmonica - Grady Martin, Guitar

(P) 1972 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

7
Sheila Album Version
00:04:36

Norbert Putnam, Producer - Mark Spoor, Bass - Andy Johnson, Electric Guitar - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer - Eric Andersen, Background Vocal - Eric Andersen, Composer - Eric Andersen, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Andersen, Lyricist - Eric Andersen, Piano - Eric Andersen, Performer - Eric Andersen, Harmonica - Jim McKevitt, Drums

(P) 1972 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

8
More Often Than Not Album Version
00:04:51

Norbert Putnam, Producer - Norbert Putnam, Bass - David Bromberg, Dobro - Andy Johnson, Electric Guitar - Richard Schlosser, Drums - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer - Eric Andersen, Background Vocal - Eric Andersen, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Andersen, Piano - Eric Andersen, Performer - Eric Andersen, Harmonica - David Wiffen, Composer - David Wiffen, Lyricist

(P) 1972 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

9
Round The Bend Album Version
00:05:39

Deborah Green Andersen, Background Vocal - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer - La Verna Moore, Background Vocal - Norbert Putnam, Producer - Norbert Putnam, Bass - David Briggs, Celesta - David Briggs, Organ - SOnja Motgomery, Background Vocal - Eric Andersen, Composer - Eric Andersen, Lyricist - Eric Andersen, Background Vocal - Eric Andersen, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Andersen, Piano - Eric Andersen, Performer - Eric Andersen, Harmonica - The Jordanaires, Background Vocal - Kenneth Buttrey, Percussion - Kenneth Buttrey, Drums - Florence Warner, Background Vocal

(P) 1972 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

10
Come To My Bedside, My Darlin' Album Version
00:04:58

Various, Producer - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer - Eric Andersen, Background Vocal - Eric Andersen, Composer - Eric Andersen, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Andersen, Lyricist - Eric Andersen, Piano - Eric Andersen, Performer - Eric Andersen, Harmonica

(P) 1972 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

11
Why Don't You Love Me Album Version
00:02:44

Hank Williams, Composer - Hank Williams, Lyricist - Various, Producer - Chris Athens, Mastering Engineer - Eric Andersen, Background Vocal - Eric Andersen, Acoustic Baritone Guitar - Eric Andersen, Piano - Eric Andersen, Performer - Eric Andersen, Harmonica

(P) 1972 Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

With mid-'60s gems like Violets of Dawn, Thirsty Boots, and Close the Door Lightly, Eric Andersen became the archetypal, literate romantic before the likes of James Taylor and Jackson Browne had even cut their first records, but at the same time seemed to lack direction from album to album. With his eighth album, Blue River, recorded in Nashville in 1972, he found the perfect setting for his gentle, poetic songs. After nearly seven years of dabbling in folk, folk-rock, pop, and country, Andersen found a smart, sympathetic ear in producer Norbert Putnam. Putnam, whose production here is rarely extraneous, utilizes subtle touches of bass, drums, accordion, and organ along with Andersen's own guitar, piano, and harmonica to frame the material. The record, Andersen's first effort for Columbia, also featured his best collection of tunes to date. Blue River, with its themes of uncertainty and struggle, is by no means a casual record, although songs such as the bittersweet "Is It Really Love at All" and the title track, featuring Joni Mitchell's ethereal supporting vocal, will draw the listener in with their sheer beauty. Andersen, then in his late twenties, was dealing with questions of love, life, and desire with a maturity matched only by a handful of songwriters at the time. Never overly precious or maudlin, nearly every cut resonates with eloquence and grace. Although continuing to grow as a writer in the years to come, Blue River remains Eric Andersen's masterwork and one of the true classics of the genre.
© Brett Hartenbach /TiVo

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