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Review: Eric Andersen's 'Great Song Series'

GUEST 10 Apr 14 - 01:24 PM
Greg F. 10 Apr 14 - 02:30 PM
GUEST 10 Apr 14 - 03:54 PM
Hagman 11 Apr 14 - 04:03 AM
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Subject: Review: Eric Andersen's 'Great Song Series'
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 01:24 PM

The two "brand new" albums from 21st century saw Eric Andersen becoming the most experimental singer among all those 60's Greenwich residents - including Dylan.

The two albums, both produced by hip-hop multi-instrumentalist Robert Aaron, features Eric Andersen revisiting the greatest hits from his old acoustic friends - Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Patrick Sky, Tom Rush, Fred Neil, pre-plugged Bob Dylan - all with very modern-sounded electric arrangements.

A particular highlight is the Phil Ochs cover "White Boots Marchin' in a Yellow Land" from the first volume. It contains a lot of hip-hop scratching sounds and two brand new verses of raggae-style rap, duet with young Haitian singer Wyclef Jean. Though not influential at all, this is probably the first time folk revival meets modern hip-hop. Wyclef, it turns out, is a longtime fan of Phil Ochs, having also recorded a completely altered cover of "Here's to the State of Mississippi" for a TV show against racism.

The Tom Paxton cover "Ramblin' Boy" on the second volume is also impressive, with drums and electric bass as main instruments. So is the the early Dylan classic "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall", as it spans almost 10 minutes. The second volume also contains lots of DJ scratching sounds, but unlike those on the Phil Ochs cover, these noises are so disharmonious that they would make you suspect your CD player has broken down!

Personally, I still quite enjoy listening to these familiar old songs sung by a familiar old man with weird modern hip-hop-style arrangements. But they might as well bring controversy - after all, except for the last live track, I can hardly hear any acoustic sound in this 2-CD set. Actually, someone on Amazon has already given it 1 star, saying that he "can't imagine anything worse"!

So now, mudcatters - what's your opinion towards these two experimental albums?


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Subject: RE: Review: Eric Andersen's 'Great Song Series'
From: Greg F.
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 02:30 PM

Have always been an admirer of Andersen's, but these are new to me. Will give 'em a listen, for sure.


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Subject: RE: Review: Eric Andersen's 'Great Song Series'
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 14 - 03:54 PM

Haven't heard it so presently have no opinion.


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Subject: RE: Review: Eric Andersen's 'Great Song Series'
From: Hagman
Date: 11 Apr 14 - 04:03 AM

Well, Andersen's always been interested in odd rhythms so it wasn't a real surprise - albeit these CDs were released in 2004 and 2005. The "Afghanistan" refrain on "Yellow Boots" is apposite for the time. Didn't hear a lot of "scratching" sounds, though. And EA's update on "Hard Rain" sure beats the hell out of Bryan Ferry's....!

They're a fine tribute to his long friendship with Ochs, and long may we be listening to both these major artists.

(Eric shares one dubious honour with Loudon Wainwright III - they both deserve a Grammy for Most-Mispelled-Name-in-Reviews-and-On-Header-Cards-in-CD/LP-Racks-in-Music-Shops....)


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