Monday, February 21, 2011

'Bout Changes & Things - Eric Andersen

'Bout Changes & Things
Eric Andersen
Vanguard VSD-79206

Of the countless folkies of the mid-1960's, Eric Andersen was one of the best male singers.  I really like his voice and his phrasing, only Tom Rush and Ian Tyson appeal to me more.  He was a good writer too.  In an era of heavy-handed protest songs, "Thirsty Boots" addresses the Civil Rights Movement with grace and poetic understatement.  He also wrote nice love songs, "Cross Your Mind" speaks about a lost love in a manner I find very compelling.  "Violets of Dawn" is one of the prettiest songs of its era, I especially like the folk-rock covers of it by the Blues Project and the Daily Flash, but Andersen's acoustic original is quite good as well.  "Close The Door Lightly When You Go" is an excellent kiss-off song, it was one of the highlights of Fairport Convention's "Heyday" compilation album but Andersen's original is very appealing also.  Andersen's voice is a little too sweet to be effective in a bitter song like "Blind Fiddler" but it is still a very powerful song.  I like the rollicking "The Hustler" and "I Shall Go Unbounded" which are full of evocative imagery.  I suppose by 1966 this album might have sounded a little dated, maybe that's why he remade it as folk-rock album the following year, but it sounds timeless to me, classic really.  It has aged a lot better than many other folk albums of the period.  Recommended to Judy Collins fans looking for something a little more earthy and challenging.

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