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Pop - Released June 19, 2020 | Earecords

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Rock - Released May 19, 2017 | Meyer Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Vanguard Records

Andersen's debut album presented him playing in a folkie style that was just starting to become passé upon its release in 1965. It's an inoffensive set of originals (except for a cover of "Baby Please Don't Go") in the early-'60s Greenwich Village style, accompanied only by his own guitar and harmonica (and, on two songs, by Debby Green on second guitar). Whether by coincidence or intention, or some combination thereof, it's highly reminiscent in spots of early Bob Dylan, although Andersen is gentler and more subdued. At times it especially recalls the Freewheelin'-era Dylan, or at least Dylan on that album's most reflective and low-key cuts, such as "Girl from the North Country." Andersen fills a lot of these early compositions with imagery of bumming around the country (hence the title "today is the highway"), adding some love songs. Certainly, however, it's not as forceful or original as the best singer-songwriter folk of the era, not just in comparison to Dylan, but also in comparison to others, such as his friend Tom Paxton. Nor is it as accomplished as his best material on subsequent 1960s recordings. The finest composition here is "Looking Glass," an elaborate first-person narrative-fantasy with a melody similar to folk tunes such as "Scarborough Fair." © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Released November 15, 1991 | Legacy - Columbia

Eric Andersen's long-thought lost album Stages features superior versions of six tunes which were reworked for Be True to You, as well as three previously unavailable tracks. The record's centerpiece, the 8½-minute meditation "Time Run Like a Freight Train," and is as good as anything Andersen has written, while "Woman, She Was Gentle" (with Joan Baez on backing vocals) and "Moonchild River Song" (presented for the first time on record with all three verses) are exquisite examples of his romanticism at its best. He also shows a tougher side here with cuts like the Beat-inspired paean to Patti Smith, "Wild Crow Blues," and the tongue-in-cheek rocker "I Love to Sing My Ballad Mama (But They Only Wanna Hear Me Rock and Roll)." Also included along with the nine original tracks, is the entrancing "Dream to Rimbaud," recorded around the time of Blue River, and three new songs -- the Band-inspired ballad "Make It Last (Angel in the Wind)" (featuring Garth Hudson and Rick Danko), the tender "Lie With Me" and "Soul of My Song," an English translation of a song by Norwegian singer/songwriter Jonas Fjeld. The new tunes which fit nicely on the record, also featured appearances by Fjeld, Shawn Colvin, Willie Nile and Eric Brazilian of the Hooters. Whether or not Stages would have boosted Eric Andersen into mainstream acceptance is anybody's guess, but it does give us a chance to hear a timeless piece of work by an artist at the height of his craft. © Brett Hartenbach /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Vanguard Records

Like numerous folk-rock singer/songwriters in the late '60s, Andersen went to Nashville to record country-rock-flavored material, using some of the city's top sessionmen. Charlie McCoy, Ken Buttrey, Norbert Putnam, and David Briggs are all on this record, which doesn't rate among Andersen's strongest '60s albums. The LP's not so much weak as meek, or pleasantly undistinguished. Even by Andersen's own low-key standards, the mood is mild, the songs drifting amiably without a great deal of force. The cover of Otis Redding's "(Sittin On) The Dock of the Bay" and the instrumental "Smashville Jam" seem like padding. The Salvation Army comedy of "Devon, You Look Like Heaven" could have hardly been more ill-placed in the running order, following as it does one of the better and most serious tracks, "Deborah, I Love You" (presumably addressed to his wife, Debbie Green). It's not that overt of a country-styled record, though Weldon Myrick makes his steel guitar heard often and Andersen takes a shot at the hit popularized by Hank Williams, "Lovesick Blues." The best song, though, is the concluding six-minute "Waves of Freedom," which is just as tranquil as the rest of the album, but a little more melodic and moving. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Vanguard Records

On his second album, Andersen took considerable strides toward finding his own voice as a writer, and establishing himself as a noted singer/songwriter. The record featured several songs that would endure among his most renowned compositions. The pretty "Violets of Dawn" was an obvious candidate for a hit record if it was given a folk-rock arrangement, though it never was a hit, in spite of several artists trying. "Thirsty Boots," inspired by the '60s civil rights movement, is one of the better known social commentary folk tunes of the period, although it wasn't that typical of Andersen's repertoire. "Close the Door Lightly When You Go" was one of Andersen's best bittersweet romantic tunes, and covered to good effect by Fairport Convention and the Dillards. At other points, Andersen still sounded a good deal like early Bob Dylan, but on the whole he was outgrowing that early persona, nonetheless often sounding like a gentler and more romantic counterpart to Dylan, with a more conventionally pretty voice. While Debbie Green added second guitar to a couple of songs and Harvey Brooks played electric bass on a couple of others, the album was otherwise just Andersen with his guitar and harmonica, which in 1966 was becoming an old-fashioned way of doing things among contemporary songwriters. Perhaps for that reason, the entire album was redone with electric arrangements and resequenced (although with the exact same 12 songs), and the results were released as Andersen's next album, 'Bout Changes & Things Take Two. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Released December 8, 2017 | Meyer Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Vanguard Records

On his second album with rock instrumentation (following 'Bout Changes & Things, Take 2, his electrified remake of 'Bout Changes & Things), Andersen was growing more comfortable with a folk-rock setting. Lingering comparisons as a gentler Bob Dylan remained inevitable, though, on tracks like "Tin Can Alley Part 1" and "Tin Can Alley Part 2" (which open and close the record, respectively) in both the vocal phrasing and the anxious strings of odd imagery. Similarities, alas, didn't end there. Several New York sessionmen that played on early folk-rock albums by Dylan and others filled out the sound, including Al Kooper, Bobby Gregg, Herb Lovelle, Paul Harris, and Paul Griffin, and "Honey" doesn't sound too far off the Highway 61 Revisited route, though the song isn't great. There was also some period Baroque folk production -- flowery vibes, peppy horns, light dramatic orchestration, and the like -- that add some color and dimension, but also make it dated. Andersen sounded best on his more tuneful and pensive ballads, like "Miss Lonely Are You Blue" and "Just a Little Something"; the more sardonic and lyrically vague outings just don't seem as in tune with his strengths and artistic personality. There are touches of bluesy vaudevillian honky tonk ("Mary Sunshine," "Hello Sun") and good-time pop (also on "Mary Sunshine," interestingly enough). Other tracks, like the lengthy "Rollin' Home (It's a Far Cry From Heaven but a Short Cry From Home)" and "Broken-Hearted Mama," sound rather like the Blues Project's folk-rock ventures. Ultimately it's a respectable but erratic album. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 29, 2018 | Eric Andersen

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Rock - Released August 1, 2014 | Meyer Records