Andersen, Eric - Beat Avenue

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Appleseed Recordings
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 86:57:00

On Beat Avenue, the Bob Dylan-meets- Tom Waits vocal style of Eric Andersen pushes every story he tells into something beyond categorization. Not only are the words he writes prolific in the sense of ordinary man relating to what he communicates, the music that backs his emotional vocal style gives it all an air of preponderance and wanting. With a folk backbone anchored by rock, country and roots, every track is a walk down the road of life. Some of these tracks really rock, and I at first wondered why he fell into the realm of folk. It did not take long to understand why this poet/singer/songwriter/musician belongs amongst the higher echelons of poets with a guitar. Once a few tracks finish you then begin to see the big picture that this awesomely talented man is painting.

Have a look at this verse and tell me if these are not the words of on honest to goodness poet?

I sat beauty on my knee
you can't relive the past
I ran my guns for Robert E. Lee
you can't relive the past
One lesson learned from poetry
you can't hide behind a mask
No mask could hide your liberty
you can't relive the past

Those are some powerfully effective words written by Andersen and another rock poet named Lou Reed. If you like Dylan, Reed, Mitchell, Guthrie, Gram Parsons, and like performers, then listening to Andersen's music will be a like taking a weekend vacation to a honky-tonk beat poet reading in a country coffee shop in a remote village in the hills. I know that explanation may sound a trifle odd but it is the best way that I can attempt to convey what the color and sound of this CD really is. Don't get me wrong, this is not redneck get drunk, got divorced and my-dog-got-run-over music, it is all about songs of the heart coming from deep thoughts and equally expressive musically accompaniment.

Andersen warns that "Rains Are Gonna Come" whether you are ready or not because life is like that, sometimes it sprinkles and sometimes it comes pouring down in torrential sheets. Yes, circumstances, experiences, and all of our lives are somehow inexplicably connected and Andersen's music has a way of triggering the emotions of a lifetime within in one song.

His story-filled title track "Beat Avenue," which runs over 26 minutes, is a slow motion stroll along an endless avenue of characters, events, and all the emotions encompassing our humanity. It is one of the most emotive and thought provoking compositions that I have ever heard. The music changes dependent on the different moods of the song, at one point you will hear bluesy harmonica then the next moment a few acoustic country flavored licks, it purposefully creates the ambiance while the lyrics bring it on home where the heart lives.

This may be one of the very best albums that you will hear all year so do not miss it.

Disc One: Ain't No Time to Bleed (3:53) / Before Everything Changed (4:55) / Salt On Your Skin (4:45) / Song of You and Me (6:18) / Shape of a Broken Heart (3:52) / Great Pyramid (4:47) / Under the Shadows (3:43) / Rains Are Gonna Come (3:21) / Runaway (4:34) / Stupid Love (3:34) / Still Looking for You (4:42) / Feel Like Comin' Home (3:25)

Disc Two: Beat Avenue (26:12) / Blue Rockin' Chair (10:34)

Eric Andersen - vocals, harmonica
Eric Bazilian - guitars
Phoebe Snow - vocals
Lucy Kaplansky - vocals
Garth Hudson - keyboards, accordion and sax
Robert Aaron - various instruments
Mark Egan - bass
Shawn Pelton -drums
Sari Andersen - supporting vocals
Joyce Andersen - violin

Today Is The Highway (1965)
'Bout Changes & Things (1966)
'Bout Changes & Things, Take 2 (1967)
Tin Can Alley (1968)
More Hits From Tin Can Alley (1968)
A Country Dream (1969)
Avalanche (1969)
Eric Andersen (1970)
The Best Of Eric Anderson (1970)
Blue River (1972)
Stages: The Lost Album (1973/1991)
Be True To You (1975)
Sweet Surprise (1976)
The Best Songs (1977)
Ghosts Upon The Road (1989)
The Collecion (1997)
Memory Of The Future (1998)
Violets Of Dawn (1999)
You Can't Relive The Past (2000)
Today Is Highway Plus (2001)
Beat Avenue (2003)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: February 1st 2003
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 1191
Language: english


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