Eric Andersen Blue River

Eric Andersen Blue River

Eric Andersen Blue River

Eric Andersen Blue River

Though Columbia released Eric Andersen’s Blue River in February 1972, it is a January album for my wife and me. In our home, 1972 was both a vinyl and 8-track house. The vinyl remains, the 8-tracks disintegrated long ago.

Late January 1973 was the due date for our first child. On our pre-dawn drive to the hospital we slipped “Blue River” into our car’s portable 8-track player.  As we turned onto the highway the album’s third track came on: Wind and Sand.

All alone a father sits
thinking of his son
Far away a mother sleeps

Her baby yet unborn

Rain and wood and fire and stone
magic all across the land
Seasons come and time will go
right through your hand,
like wind and sand

In awhile a child will grow
a bird will learn to fly
Pretty soon a child will know
what it is to make a life

Long before the river goes
far from where it was
Long before it meets the sea
a child will know of love

Eric Andersen Blue River

A Child Will Know of Love

While not literally describing our life at that moment, it was close enough to always remember. Later that day our son was born.

Blue River , Andersen’s  8th album, remains his best known and most successful. Unfortunately, Columbia lost the master tapes of his next album, so it was three years before his “next” album and by then Blue River’s momentum was gone.

And it was not until 1990 that the tapes to that 1972 follow-up were found.  Columbia released Stages: The Lost Tapes album was released in April 1991.

Eric Andersen Blue River

Greenwich Village

Andersen was part of the original Greenwich Village folk scene in the early sixties and eventually moved to Woodstock, NY in the mid-70s. I’ve often wondered,  but never found an answer, why Woodstock Ventures did not include him on their invitation list.

Bob Dylan (as often the case) had led the way to recording in Nashville by previously recording his John Wesley Harding (1967) and Nashville Skyline  (1969) there.

Among the many musicians who were on Andersen’s  album were Joni Mitchell (sang on the title track), David Bromberg, David Briggs, Norman Putman, Eddie Hinton, Kenneth Buttrey, and the Jordanaires.

Eric Andersen Blue River

Tracks

The track listing for the original album (2 additional tracks were later added for a CD release) is as follows. Anderson wrote all songs except where indicated:

  1. “Is It Really Love at All”
  2. “Pearl’s Goodtime Blues”
  3. “Wind and Sand”
  4. “Faithful”
  5. “Blue River”
  1. “Florentine”
  2. “Sheila”
  3. “More Often Than Not” (D Wiffen)
  4. “Round the Bend”

While Andersen was not part of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, he was part of the famous movable festival known as the Festival Express in 1970.

Surprise Phone Call

In 2004 our daughter was  waitressing at the Stone House Music Club, a now defunct venue in Englewood, NJ. Eric Andersen was playing. My wife and I were unable to attend, but we (likely again) told her the Wind and Sand story.

That particular night, our daughter was assigned to the green room and so met Eric. She told Eric the story.

My wife and I were already asleep and the phone rang. My wife answered and someone at the other end asked “Joyce?” It was Eric to say hello.  A red letter day…or night.

Nowadays

Eric Andersen continues to regularly tour in the US and Europe and release albums. ( Eric Andersen site)

Here is a his January 22, 2020 performance at the Paste Studio in New York City. Steve Addabbo (guitar), Eric Lee (mandolin, fiddle), and Jagoda (percussion)

Woodstock Under the Stars

In June 2020, Andersen release a 3-CD collection. Woodstock Under The Stars features songs from concerts, studio sessions and webcasts recorded 1991 – 2011.  The 36 tracks include 35 songs plus an introduction track.

Special Guests include: John Sebastian, Eric Bazilian, Garth Hudson, Happy Traum, Artie Traum, Inge Andersen, Joe Flood, Rick Danko, Jonas Fjeld, Gary Burke and Robert Aaron.

There are two live versions of six of the same titles recorded at different venues with different musicians accompanying Eric. The songs on this album feature Eric’s early works as well as more recent ones.

Like all things, the collection is available through Amazon.

Eric Andersen Blue River
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