Tag Archives: Anders Osborne

Supper time! Southern Soul Assembly at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

Southern Soul Assembly
The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
Virginia Beach, VA
March 15, 2017
Photographer/Writer: Mark Robbins

In 2014 Southern root greats, Luther Dickinson, JJ Grey, Marc Broussard and Anders Osborne came together to form the side project Southern Soul Assembly. The sound was a colossal joining with Broussard’s “Bayou Soul”, Grey’s Florida blue collar funk, Osborne’s rugged blues from New Orleans and Dickinson’s smooth casual Beale St storytelling.

Once in a blue moon audiences have the opportunity to see collaboration projects like that of the Southern Soul Assembly. The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, VA, provided such an opportunity on March 15th when the southern quartet, SSA, cascaded on to the stage. Continue reading Supper time! Southern Soul Assembly at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts

Flood City Music Festival

Flood City Music Fest 2016
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Aug 4 – Aug 7, 2016
Photographer/Writer: Bob Adamek

The 8th installment of Johnstown PA’s, Flood City Music Fest, managed by Lucky Dog Productions was a solid success. Placed amongst the mountains of western Pennsylvania, Flood City Music fest has been growing steadily every year, producing a lineup for this year’s event that wowed festival goers. The fest made a move to open on Thursday night, and put up Grace Potter to headline the main stage.

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Grace Potter showed her considerable range from slow and thoughtful acoustic ballads to raging rock and roll, leaning more heavily on the latter. The packed crowd was left buzzing from the set in which Potter mixed her powerful voice with a well-honed front woman’s craft, energetically running around the stage while playing guitar and keyboards.

Friday of the festival had many treats in store including main stage headliners, The Revivalists. As the Revivalists have been doing in towns on their first visit all over the country for the last several years, they asked for a show of hands of those who have never seen them before. This was most of the crowd. Then the band did what they do best, made fans. By the end of the set the crowd was passionately hooked, screaming for an encore.

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Another festival highlight took place earlier on the pavilion stage when Samantha Fish sat in with Tab Benoit for two songs. Fish had crushed her set beforehand, opening many eyes and Tab was doing the same, but when the two blues guitarists played together, the energy was incredible.

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The breakout band The Record Company also played a good set, as did the New York artists London Souls. The Pittsburg punk-meets-Irish band, Bastard Bearded Irishmen, capped the night in the Oil House. Their high energy set was perfect for the late night crowd, showing you should never miss a band that has three guys wearing kilts.

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Saturday saw even more top shelf acts, headlined by the potent New Orleans musician, Anders Osborne. Osborne has played in Johnstown many times and has garnered a huge following there. He mixed songs from his newest release Flower Box, like “Different Drum,” “Fool’s Gold” and the title track, to go with well-worn staples like “Road to Charlie Parker” and “Sarah Anne.”

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Preceding Osborne was fellow Louisiana musician, the blue-eyed soul singer, Marc Broussard. It was another set that turned heads as Broussard wove through his catalog of funk and soul originals, such as “Home” and “Come Around” as well as covers like Al Green’s “Love and Happiness.”

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Earlier in the day Love Canon played their unique take on 80’s pop hits in the style of bluegrass, creating plenty of laughs and loud sing-a-longs. Local favorites Derek Woodz Band, Jimmy Adler Band and the R&B powerhouse Commonheart also raged on the festival grounds. The night was finished off by the amazing light show and music of TAUK.

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Flood City Music Fest is growing quickly. It is well run and is in a beautiful location, well worth the effort to get there. The lineups have gotten stronger every year with “A” list headliners and a solid and worthy undercard. Put this one on your radar for the first weekend in August next year!

Preview of the Flood City Music Fest

Preview of the Flood City Music Fest
Photographer/Writer: Bob Adamek

The Flood City Music Fest begins its 8th year August 4-7 in Johnstown PA. There is a great vibe at this uniquely western Pennsylvania festival. Gorgeous forested mountains meet early 20th century steel work factories and dozens of beautiful old churches, giving a startling urban-meets-nature backdrop, framing a variety of major acts.

web Anders Osborne

The festival has a Thursday night kickoff, which features Grace Potter. On Friday and Saturday the festival has a four-stage format, with two bands playing at a time. The hard rising New Orleans rock band, The Revivalists headline on Friday, while Daptone Records star, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires headline on Saturday.

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The Flood City lineup also features a wide variety of styles from blues, bluegrass, Rock-n-roll, jam band and folk in a something-for-everyone offering. A couple of top blues acts roll into the festival this year on Friday when Tab Benoit follows rising star Samantha Fish. Blue-eyed soul singer Marc Broussard plays on Saturday, as does the brilliant songwriter and guitarist Anders Osborne.

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web Marc Broussard

Another band on a rapid rise hits on Friday when The Record Company plays, followed by the NYC power duo The London Souls. The Pittsburg Celtic-meets-punk band Bastard Bearded Irishmen play the late night set on Friday, as does the amazing jam band TAUK on Saturday night.

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Folk singer songwriter Chris Smither plays on Friday and Virginia based Love Canon bring their super fun bluegrass take on 80’s pop music on Saturday. The rest of the schedule is filled by top quality local favorites, regional bands that have worked through western PA and beyond for many years.

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Flood City Music Fest offers on site camping at a very reasonable price with flush bathrooms. There are a good variety of food vendors as well. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the fest is the low-key vibe. Getting up front to see a band isn’t difficult and many bands hang out long after their sets, watching the other acts. If you have never been to this little jewel, you shouldn’t miss it this year, the lineup is killer.

For more information check out http://www.floodcitymusic.com/

NMO: Freedom & Dreams

NMOWhen veterans of the music industry get together in the studio you know that something special is going to occur. Growing up with a deep appreciation for the delta blues and rock, Anders Osborne and The North Mississippi All-Stars (Luther and Cody Dickinson) are the perfect fit to work together and create an album.  Freedom & Dreams is a powerful statement from the Osborne/ All-Stars collaboration (NMO – North Mississippi Osborne) and brings out a wealth of emotions that listeners can relate to in their lives.  With decades of live performances and studio releases under their belts this is the first time that Anders Osborne and The North Mississippi All-Stars have had the opportunity to come together as one on an album.

 

Opening with “Away for Too Long,” Osborne’s soulful voice rings through brightly, as Luther Dickinson’s recognizable guitar and his Brother Cody’s drums provide a steady juke-joint style swing.  “Back Together,” the second track follows with a nice slow groove that is an emotional journey as Osborne sings of a long-lost love that has been rekindled.  Guitarist Dickinson adds an absolutely flawless solo that highlights Osborne’s heartfelt lyrics and reminds why Dickinson is quite simply one of the most inventive guitarists around today.

 

On “Shining (Spacedust)” the inter-play between the three musicians is at the forefront and it is easy to hear how the trio compliments each other so well.  With Osborne’s lead vocals on this slowed down tune you can hear the Swedish born singer/songwriter speak from his heart with the lyrics, “You’re shining and you’re beautiful today/ You’re radiant right now in every way.”  The Dickinson brothers accentuate Osborne’s heartfelt lyrics with a subtle taste of guitar and shimmering dose of tambourine and brushes on the drums.

 

The addition of the classic Osborne track “Katrina,” is the definition of the blues.  Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans and the surrounding area bringing sorrow to millions. Many musicians at the time, including Osborne and the Dickinson’s, came together to lend a helping hand by playing benefits to help people get back on their feet. With the lyrics “You pushed me and you pulled me/ You tore my heart apart,” the powerful lyrics are near and dear to trio who saw so much of the destruction up close in their New Orleans and Mississippi homes.

 

Freedom & Dreams shows the wide-range of this multi-talented trio.  One of the many highlights is “Many Wise Men,” an acoustically-driven tune that finds the band switching gears to a slower-mellow paced groove that is like floating on a cloud. Multi-instrumentalist Cody Dickinson, on washboard and drums, leads the way, while Osborne and Luther trade sweet, lilting guitar licks back and forth.

 

The album concludes with the long-time blues and New Orleans staple “Junco Pardna,” which proves the perfect capstone to this collaboration of southern-blues-rockers.

North Mississippi Allstars + Anders Osborne = NMO: Tour and album announced

NMOHernando, Mississippi’s North Mississippi Allstars and New Orleans’ Anders Osborne have collaborated on a new album entitled Freedom & Dreams and early this month.  The two artists have teamed up to tour in support of the new album.

Freedom & Dreams Track Listing:
1) “Away for Too Long”
2) “Back Together”
3) “Lonely Love”
4) “Dyin’ Days”
5) “Shining (Spacedust)”
6) Brush Up Against You”
7) “Annabel”
8) “Katrina”
9) “Kings & Peasants”
10) “Many Wise Men”
11) “Junco Pardna”

They will be hitting the road together starting February 18 at Ponte Vedra, Florida and concluding in Kansas City, Missouri on April 11. Dubbed the North Mississippi Allstars and Anders Osborne Present N.M.O., the 25 date tour — which includes stops at such storied venues as San Francisco’s Fillmore and Port Chester, New York’s Capitol Theatre — will feature separate sets from Osborne and the Allstars, and bring them together onstage.

NORTH MISSISSIPPI OSBORNE TOUR DATES

• Thurs., Feb. 19  PONTE VEDRA, FL Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
• Fri., Feb. 20  WILMINGTON, NC Ziggy’s By the Sea
• Sat., Feb. 21  CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA Jefferson Theater
• Mon., Feb. 23  ALEXANDRIA, VA Birchmere
• Wed., Feb. 25  BOSTON, MA Paradise Rock Club
• Thurs., Feb. 26 WESTBURY, NY The Space at Westbury
• Fri., Feb. 27  PORT CHESTER, NY  The Capitol Theatre
• Sat., Feb. 28  ARDMORE, PA The Ardmore Music Hall
• Sun., Mar. 1  HUDSON, NY Club Helsinki
• Tues., Mar. 3  MUNHALL, PA Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead
• Thurs., Mar. 5  GRAND RAPIDS, MI The Intersection
• Fri., Mar. 6  CHICAGO, IL Thalia Hall
• Thurs., Mar. 26  BATON ROUGE, LA Varsity Theatre
• Fri., Mar. 27  DALLAS, TX Gas Monkey
• Sat., Mar. 28  AUSTIN, TX The Scoot Inn
• Tues., Mar. 31  PHOENIX, AZ Crescent Ballroom
• Wed., Apr. 1  LOS ANGELES, CA Troubadour
• Thurs., Apr. 2  SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Fillmore
• Fri., Apr. 3  NAPA, CA City Winery Napa
• Sat., Apr. 4  CRYSTAL BAY, NV Crystal Bay Club/The Crown Room
• Tues., Apr. 7  MISSOULA, MT Top Hat Lounge
• Wed., Apr. 8  SALT LAKE CITY, UT The Depot
• Thurs., Apr. 9  ASPEN, CO Belly Up
• Fri., Apr. 10  DENVER, CO Ogden Theatre
• Sat., Apr. 11  KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads

Album now available to buy and stream at:
http://www.nmorecords.com

 

The Southern Soul Assembly Tour Featuring JJ Grey, Anders Osborne, and Luther Dickinson on Tour this Fall

Southern Soul Assembly—an artist-in-the-round performance series featuring JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne and Luther Dickinson—recently announced its highly anticipated follow-up tour, set to hit west coast venues this November. The tour, which launches November 11 in Sandpoint, Idaho, hits 11 cities including Seattle, Washington, Portland and Eugene, Oregon, San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA, Denver and Boulder CO and others.

“The South is in each of us,” says JJ Grey. “Each night feels like a big ole Southern family reunion.”

 

Tuesday, Nov 11 – Sandpoint, ID Panida Theater
Wednesday, Nov 12 – Seattle, WA The Triple Door
Thursday, Nov 13 – Portland, OR Aladdin Theater
Friday, Nov 14 – Eugene, OR McDonald Theatre
Saturday, Nov 15 – Reno, NV Cargo Reno
Sunday, Nov 16 – San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
Tuesday, Nov 18 – Los Angeles, CA Regent Theater
Wednesday, Nov 19 – Flagstaff, AZ Orpheum Theater
Thursday, Nov 20 – Salt Lake City, UT The State Room
Friday, Nov 21 – Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
Saturday, Nov 22 – Boulder, CO Boulder Theater
www.southernsoulassembly.com

 

 

Southern Soul Assembly tour

bannerThe Southern Soul Assembly—an artist-in-the-round performance series featuring JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne and Luther Dickinson—heads out on its debut tour this spring, with 17 stops beginning March 18 in Chicago and wrapping up April 12 in Washington D.C. The complete list of tour dates is included below.

Each of the four musicians comes to the SSA with a proven track record in the often-overlapping genres of music most closely associated with the South. “That’s where we all come from,” says Grey, best known as the frontman of Jacksonville, Florida’s JJ Grey & Mofro, whose hybrid mix of soul, funk, blues and gutsy rock is sure to find its way to the Assembly’s gigs as well. “The South is in each of us.”

Indeed, each member brings a strong Southern pedigree to the tour. But as Louisiana’s Broussard explains, “I’d say we all have a different take on what the South really is. I come from the hub of Cajun culture, distinct in many ways even from New Orleans just down the road. From what I can tell, we all seem to approach writing with groove in mind, for the most part. But the physical locales from which we each hail, as well as the accompanying cultural implications, necessarily prompt us all to approach lyric writing differently.”

“Man, each of these guys can play,” says Grey. “It’ll be fun to hand the song off, trade songs and go around the horn. It’ll be like, let’s work our way through the night and see what happens. Of course, the audience always plays the show with you, and I think that will be especially true with this tour. Each night will feel like a big ole Southern family reunion.”

The idea for the band and tour came about, says Grey, because, “Most of us know each other pretty well just from crossing paths on the road. There is a common theme underlying what we each do—it’s the South, the landscape and the culture of our surroundings. That theme is present in each of our song collections. But we all have different perspectives,” he adds, “and the flavors vary. It’s going to be fun, and we’re all really looking forward to it.”

With each artist uniquely inspired by his deep Southern roots, the Southern Soul Assembly tour promises a passionate, authentic and deeply soulful homage to the rich Southern musical spirit.

Stay tuned for news and more details as the tour approaches.

 

The complete list of The Southern Soul Assembly Tour dates is as follows:

 

Tuesday, March 18 S.P.A.C.E. Evantson IL
Wednesday, March 19 Taft Theatre Cincinnati OH
Thursday, March 20 War Memorial Auditorium Nashville TN with Kenny Foster
Friday, March 21 Center Stage Atlanta GA
Saturday, March 22 Savannah Music Festival Savannah GA
Sunday, March 23 Suwannee Springfest Live Oak FL
Tuesday, April 1 Saenger Theatre Mobile AL
Wednesday, April 2 WorkPlay Theatre Birmingham AL
Thursday, April 3 Riley Performing Arts Center Meridian MS
Friday, April 4 Manship Theatre Baton Rouge LA
Saturday, April 5 T-Bois Blues Festival Lacrose LA
Monday, April 7 Texas Union Ballroom Austin TX
Tuesday, April 8 House of Blues – Boston Boston MA
Wednesday, April 9 Norwalk Concert Hall Norwalk CT
Thursday, April 10 Grand Opera House Wilmington DE
Friday, April 11 Carnegie Hall Lewisburg WV
Saturday, April 12 The Howard Theatre Washington DC

 

www.southernsoulassembly.com
www.facebook.com/southernsoulassembly

The Southern Soul Assembly Tour Featuring JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne, and Luther Dickinson

The Southern Soul Assembly Tour announces its debut run this Spring 2014. Hitting 16 U.S. markets in March and April 2014, this artist-in-the-round performance series features JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne, and Luther Dickinson.  For The Southern Soul Assembly Tour, these four talented singer/songwriters take the stage for an amazing night of songs and stories.  With each artist uniquely inspired by their deep Southern roots, The Southern Soul Assembly Tour promises a passionate, authentic, and deeply soulful homage to the rich Southern musical spirit.

 

The complete list of The Southern Soul Assembly Tour dates is as follows:
Wednesday, March 19 Taft Theatre Cincinnati OH
Thursday, March 20 War Memorial Auditorium Nashville TN with Kenny Foster
Friday, March 21 Center Stage Atlanta GA
Saturday, March 22 Savannah Music Festival Savannah GA
Sunday, March 23 Suwannee Springfest Live Oak FL
Tuesday, April 1 Saenger Theatre Mobile AL
Wednesday, April 2 WorkPlay Theatre Birmingham AL
Thursday, April 3 Riley Performing Arts Center Meridian MS
Friday, April 4 Manship Theatre  Baton Rouge LA
Saturday, April 5 T-Bois Blues Festival Lacrose LA
Monday, April 7 Texas Union Ballroom Austin TX
Tuesday, April 8 House of Blues – Boston Boston MA
Wednesday, April 9 Norwalk Concert Hall Norwalk CT
Thursday, April 10 Grand Opera House Wilmington DE
Friday, April 11 Carnegie Hall Lewisburg WV
Saturday, April 12 The Howard Theatre Washington DC

Additional dates to be announced.

www.southernsoulassembly.com
www.facebook.com/southernsoulassembly

Billy Iuso: Dead Inspired Funk

     

Journeyman guitarist Billy Iuso is hitting his groove in the live-music scene by awakening the Dead.

 

Billy Iuso

“I’m a hippie,” Billy Iuso says in describing himself, his musical influences, and inspirations during a recent phone interview, as he speaks through a cold during the depths of winter.

 
Iuso’s Restless Natives opened the previous Saturday’s Anders Osborne’s Holiday Spectacular at Tipitina’s in New Orleans before Iuso supplied guitar-shredding support to Osborne’s set. The following Sunday, Iuso would perform downtown at The Maison with the Iko Iko All-Stars, a group of New Orleans-based, like-minded Deadheads in which he and former Restless Native C.R. Gruver (Outformation) slick the Grateful Dead’s wheels with a bit of Nola grease. From his home in Uptown New Orleans, Iuso, 44, explained he was looking forward to spending the holidays at home with this wife and family before taking off in January with Osborne to gig at Gov’t Mule’s Island Exodus IV in Jamaica in January.

 

While his serene summation of “feeling blessed” at this point in his life and career is the stuff of sage hippie wisdom, Iuso, a Port Chester, New York native of Italian heritage, applies the hippie label when discussing music. Iuso’s ascent in stature and gigs (such as being named Bear Creek Festival artist-in-residence in 2011) within groovy circles is obvious in the few last few years, particularly in his recently discovered kinship with the beastly, divine rock-and-soul stew that is Osborne’s sound. This ascent comes after decades of toil, triumphs and tribulations in various musical adventures, most notably to many in the Brides of Jesus, which Iuso formed just out of high school, earning fans and buzz in the early 1990s in New York City via weekly gigs at the Wetlands before moving to Athens, Georgia, where he moved the band to soak up “the hip little Southern music scene”.

Billy Iuso & Mickey Hart

Engagingly equal parts jaded musician and enthusiastic fan, buoyant boy and old soul, Iuso, a tattoo of Jerry Garcia’s famously four-fingered hand emblazoned on his right forearm, talks after sound-check/shrimp boil for the Holiday Spectacular on the sidewalk outside Tipitina’s.

 

He’s asked about the magic created last Jazz Fest, which found him in a late-night jam at an Osborne show that reached full-tilt guitar frenzy in a “Third Stone from the Sun” jam during the encore that featured Luther Dickinson, Warren Haynes, Osborne and himself. “In this genre, we have a respect that makes things easy,” Iuso says of how the aforementioned players worked harmoniously together, “because it’s really not work. Anders and I just click. Those others guys, they know when to play and when not to play. It’s a respect thing.”

 

Billy Iuso band2Iuso’s opening set with the Restless Natives — Thomas McDonald (bass), Michael Burkhart (keys), Eddie Christmas (drums), Jimmy Carpenter (saxophone) and the debut of vocalist Ginger Matthews — grooves with originals and covers including Jimmy Cliff’s “Sitting Here in Limbo.” Iuso is the first guest in Osborne’s set, locking in for an extended “Black Eyed Galaxy,” the title track off Osborne’s acclaimed album from last year that announced the Swedish-born, now-sober guitarist/singer was a Dead Head and proud of it. Along with rock songstress Shannon McNally, Iuso sang and soared in “Sugaree,” a staple Grateful Dead cover.

“I’m kind of a closeted Deadhead,” Osborne said in a Relix magazine interview following his Holiday Spectacular and in advance of his latest EP, Three Free Amigos, of which Iuso played an integral role. “Lately, it’s just popped up more and more. One of my closest friends right now, Billy Iuso, is a huge, huge fan of the Grateful Dead and he keeps sending me a bunch of stuff.”

 

 

Iuso moved to his adopted home of New Orleans from Georgia in 1997 at a point when the Brides of Jesus “started falling apart,” he recalls, and after the guidance of Meters bassist George Porter, Jr., whom Iuso began working for as road manager. Iuso credits Porter and Russell Batiste for indoctrinating an Billy Iuso & George PorterItalian hippie from New York into New Orleans, immersing him in its culture, musical traditions and community. In addition to solo albums (such as 2011’s Trippin’ over Dragons) and works with the Restless Natives, Iuso played guitar for five years with the Wild Magnolias, the Mardi Gras Indian band initiated by Big Chief Bo Dollis, Sr., who received the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)’s National Heritage Fellowship in 2011. Countless miles, studio hours, sit-ins, and small-crowds at no-cover shows have schooled Iuso in the cruel realities of music as business. But those same lessons, amazingly, have not diminished his energy, a palpable draw to his infectious handling of the Fender Stratocaster driven with passion and intensity through his Mesa Boogie amp.

 

Reflecting on the attributes brought by band mates Iuso, Carl Dufrene (bass) and Eric Bolivar (drums) on Three Free Amigos in the aforementioned Relix interview, Osborne says: “Well, usually they bring who they are, which is why we play together. There is not a lot of pre-thinking on my part. I just throw it out there and then we design it together. The reason that we are a band is because we like to see how things turn out. They add a tremendous amount by just being themselves and playing the way they do.”Anders Osborne at Brooklyn Bowl June 2012 Honest Tune

 

Playing his way — a trippy-licks, white-boy guitarist in a funky, soulful city — has landed Iuso new audiences among familiar faces via uncompromised virtues of vibe and tone in a town he now calls home. “When I first got here with the buzz from Brides of Jesus still out there, I came across some haters,” Iuso remembers. “They thought I was a tool, like ‘Who’s this guy coming to our town?’ But I’ve been here long enough, played enough, that I’ve gained respect. And once you’re in this community, you’re in it for good.”

Anders Osborne: “Same Track, Not the Same Train”

 

 

Having released the perfect follow-up to 2010’s masterful, American Patchwork, with this year’s stunningly intimate, Black Eye Galaxy, an album that is an open book to a man’s soul, Anders Osborne took some time to check in with Honest Tune the day after a particular “rowdy” show in Baltimore which saw Osborne joined by friends John Gros (Papa Grows Funk) and Cris Jacobs (Cris Jacobs Band, formerly from The Bridge) for an evening that saw him deviate from his planned set list into adventurous musical journey that showcased both Osborne’s electrifying guitar work and his unparalleled song-writing ability.

 

[To check out Honest Tune’s review of Black Eye Galaxy, please visit here.]

 

 

 

HT:  How was the process of putting together Black Eye Galaxy different than American Patchwork?

 

Anders Osborne: It was a little bit more simplified this time. On American Patchwork I had a bunch of random songs, and Stanton [Moore] helped me select and go through them, and sort amongst literally maybe a 100 songs. This time I just started writing in July [2011]. I had an idea for the title Black Eye Galaxy. I wrote one song and then the next, and then just compiled fourteen songs, and that was what I brought in. I wanted it to be a little bit simpler. I worked out some arrangements, and recorded with a four piece band, and worked a little less on big guitar parts and instead just have one or two guitars playing at the same time.

 

 

HT: You still have Billy [Iuso] playing guitar with you?

 

AO: Yes Billy was with me. It felt more like a band record this time.

 

HT: Did those guys [Iuso, bassist Carl Dufrene and drummer Eric Bolivar] have input towards the new album?

 

AO: Once you get to the studio, everybody has some input. It is not like I have it logged out. Between the producers – Stanton, Me, and Warren Riker – you always talk and let everyone be creative. I guess ultimately I am guiding and overlooking the process until I am satisfied with it. Everybody has some kind of input into how the record is shaped for sure.

 

HT: There is a very personal narrative through out the album, was that a conscious thing on your part or just how it turned out as you wrote these songs?

 

AO: Lately I think have just been real comfortable writing like that.  I don’t think I aim to do it, but that is just how it is coming out lately. I do go back to a little bit of storytelling like I used too do, but these songs are also all very self-reflective.  “Louisiana Gold” is taking parts from my history and what I have gone through and then making up a little bit of stories and I mixed that up with a friend of mine’s story, because he and I have a very similar journey together.  So I just mixed a couple of things together.

 

HT: There is a definite theme through out the album that really binds it together. I even think the sequencing of the songs works great in helping to create a very specific mood and feeling through out the album.

 

AO: I thought it was important to do like an A and B side with a middle, and then it would be like you were turning it over like you used to do on a record.  Then you could have a slightly different mood on the second half.

 

HT:  Well since you had such a specific thought with the sequence and you had to trim songs from your original batch you wrote for this album, do you have any plans for the others that you had to get rid of?

 

AO:   Usually they just get forgotten. When you make a record you always want that nice sequence of songs that fit together, and every once and while when you make a record you go back and find a nice little gem among those forgotten songs, and its like, “Hey, we should do that again. Maybe we could try it this way on this record.”  There is always a use for songs even if they don’t end up on the record you are working on.

 

 

 

HT: Did any of the songs on Black Eye Galaxy come from any of those long lost gems?

 

AO: Not on this one, on American Patchwork there were definitely two really old songs on there.

 

HT: “Darkness at the Bottom”?

 

AO: Yes, “Darkness” and “Love is Taking its Toll”. Those are songs I think I wrote in the early 90s.

 

HT: How is it taking these songs to the stage this time around?

AO:  It really depends on the venue and stuff. A place like Baltimore we had bunch of guests and it just turned into a little bit more rowdier of a night, and in that case we just kind of bypassed some of those songs we usually do. We usually try and do “Louisiana Gold” and “Tracking My Roots” most nights so we can break it down and give the night a little bit more dynamic.  So we can go up and down.  In Baltimore we had to change a little bit of what I had planned, but that was ok. It was fun to see John Gros on guitar.

HT: How did working with Paul Barrere [from Little Feat] on the new album come about?

 

AO: I have known Paul for some time, more of an acquaintance, but in the last couple of years we started to keep in touch more, emailing and talking on the phone. We have done a few shows here and there, so I thought it was appropriate. I had some ideas where I wanted him to help me out on a couple of things.  He flew down toNew Orleans and worked with me for a few days.

 

HT:  Did you guys start from scratch, or did you have some songs already in the works for him to work on?

AO: We did some stuff from scratch. Of the two songs that made it on the record, the one, “Black Tar” was an idea I had. I had a lick that I was pretty hip. He just sussed out the details and helped work on the lyrics for it. For “Dancing in the Wind”, he had a guitar lick. It was kind of the initial spark. It was a chord progression that was really beautiful. We worked on the lyrics together. Then I kind of simplified that. His was an open G tuning, and it had some slide stuff and I just made it more into a songwriter’s song. We both brought something to the table and then finished then finished them off together.

 

HT: You said there were some other songs you worked on together?

 

AO: Yes, we have a couple more.

 

HT: Any plans for those?  Is he going to do something with them?

 

A: Hopefully so, that would be great. He was planning on putting “Black Tar” on a Little Feat record, but since I put it on he passed on it

 

HT:  Last time we spoke right after American Patchwork came out, you said, ‘A good record inspires you to start writing the next one.’ Did this one do that for you?

 

AO: Absolutely. I’m looking at the next one already.

 

HT: Have you started working on it already?

 

AO: I have started the next record a little bit. I have been strumming along a little. Usually it starts by just scratching a little bit of the surface whenever you get some down time. I don’t have a specific idea for it yet, but I would like to get this one out sooner, maybe in a year, year and half instead of two years.  I am hoping to get it out by next summer.

 

 

 

HT: What is the process for you when you start creating these new songs?

 

AO: It varies. First I would like it to connect to this record. I would like people to feel comfortable with this record. I look at it a little bit like an extension, so if I bought this record what would I like to hear on the next record. I try and put myself in that frame mind.  Then you just strum at the house, I play a little piano at the house, mess with different tunings on different guitars. Then topically I am trying to figure out something I find interesting. You just start putting everything into the pot and the usually what happens is I start to get a specific flavor and I stick with that and I start writing.

 

I think if you bought American Patchwork, then when you buy the next one you want it to be on the same track, but not the same train. I assuming my listeners like music the way I like music. I want to be taken on a journey. Something needs to change, but I still feel need to like we are still traveling together. It doesn’t need to change drastically. I used to change drastically in the past, but I am trying to more gently steer the whole thing in smaller increments now.

 

HT:  What are your plans for the rest of the year?

 

AO:  I think we are going to stay on the road as much as possible, and when I have a week or two off in between I’ll probably start working on some new tunes.  Maybe by January I can go into the studio.

 

Black Eye Galaxy was released May 1, 2012 on Alligator Records.

 

 
To see all of Jordan August’ s photos from Osborne’s “rowdy” Baltimore show please visit here. To see all of Jordan’s work, visit www.jordanaugust.com