Eric Andersen Trifecta: Andersen, Camus and NYC
Submitted by Don Graham
Eric Andersen Photo Credit PaoloBrillo
Singer./songwriter/ poet Eric Andersen never met a laurel he wanted to rest on. Although his accomplishments in music as a pioneer of the folk explosion of Greenwich Village in the 60’s left him with a legacy that cemented his name in history, he continues to evolve.
Having written and recorded such classics as Thirsty Boots, I Shall Go Unbounded and Violets of Dawn and later on the amazing songs on Blue River you would think Eric would have enough “laurels” to rest on and bask in those accomplishments. After all he has had songs recorded by Ricky Nelson, Judy Collins, Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention, The Kingston Trio, Peter Paul and Mary, Linda Ronstadt, Johnny Cash, The Grateful Dead, Linda Thompson, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Francoise Hardy to name a few.But resting is just not in his DNA. In fact when we caught up with him at his home in The Netherlands over the Easter weekend he was planning his latest venture, while he was gardening and working on a new song.
His next outing is a short trip to the United States to take part in a series of events commemorating Albert Camus’( pronounced Camoo) one and only visit to America and New York City. While he is stateside Eric plans on heading out to California for a show and to catch up with some old friends. “I’m doing a show in California after New York and plan on catching up with old friends David Crosby, Jackson Browne and Jennifer Warrens and checking in on my old pal Joni Mitchell.” The Albert Camus project is something near and dear to Eric’s heart. “I first heard of Camus like most kids in school because The Stranger was required reading. I really enjoyed it. Years later I was invited to a Camus exhibition and after a couple of bottles of wine I was asked if I’d like to do an album on Camus. I guess I accepted and before I knew it I was immersed in this EP, The Shadow and Light of Albert Camus which we released on 10” vinyl. There were four parts, The Plaque ( Song of Denial), The Stranger ( Song of Revenge), The Rebel ( Song of Revolt) and The Fall (Song of Gravity). From the vineyards of Camus, I tried to create four bottles of vintage wine that tasted deep and true.”
"Camus was a fascinating man, an existentialist and he made only one trip to the States in 1946. So with the 70th anniversary being this year there is a weeklong celebration and festival "Camus: A Stranger in the City. It was kind of last minute but I’m happy that we got some of the venues we wanted for this,” Eric will be performing at two of these, first on April 10th and again at National Sawdust on April 16th. “ The night of April 10th I’ll doing a reading of Camus’ poetry at The Bowery Poetry Club, a place Camus himself visited during his three months in the city and on the 16th I’ll get to sing the songs from the Shadow and Light album at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.”
And if all this isn’t enough to keep the man busy, he has just finished recording an album of songs based on the works of Lord Byron. “ We’re mixing it now. One unusual aspect of the album is the use of an oud throughout, an instrument, or a similar instrument and scale, that Lord Byron would have heard throughout his Mediterranean travels. I can’t wait to have it finished and out there.”
And if his dance card isn’t full enough, just for good measure, there’s the documentary based on Eric’s life in the works.
If you’re anywhere near New York City during aforementioned time frame check out this amazing celebration and testimony to Albert Camus. And if you can’t make it, I highly suggest you check out Eric Andersen live whenever you can. I am in the unique position of having seen Eric perform when we were both young, in between and several times in the last few years. I can honestly say that there aren’t many artists I would drop everything for to go and see play but Eric Andersen is one of them.
So if you can, take advantage of this trifecta; Eric Andersen, Albert Camus and New York City.
And Eric, keep mingling with the universe.