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Sunday, 10.11.2019, 20:20
oh what a night...
Eric Andersen
feat. Scarlet Rivera
He was sitting by a LA hotel pool dangling his feet in the water when a guy sat down next to him, rolled up his pants and thanked Eric for his song «Violets of Dawn», explaining that it convinced him that he himself could write songs, put words to music and not just write poetry. The stranger happened to be Leonard Cohen.

Eric Andersen is one of the genius singer-songwriters to come out of the fabled history of the explosive folk scene in New York’s Greenwich Village in the ’60s and ’70s. The world of folk was percolating in the Village, it saw the likes of Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Dave Van Ronk, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Buffy Sainte Marie, Tuli Kupferberg’s The Fugs, Rick Danko et al. Yep, Dylan’s first paid gig in 1962 was when he opened for John Lee Hooker at Folk City… While all this sounds like a trip down memory lane, Eric has released an incredible 50 albums, including those heydays of the New York City folk scene; he is the author of the classics «Thirsty Boots», «Violets of Dawn», «Close The Door Lightly When You Go» and «Is It Really Love At All». He’s collaborated with the likes of Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead, Townes Van Zandt, Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith, Tom Paxton (who discovered him), Leon Russell and the beat poet Allen Ginsberg. He’s formed a band with Rick Danko of The Band and his compositions were covered by more artists one can possibly remember, bright lights like Fairport Convention, Judy Collins, Rick Nelson, John Denver, Linda Ronstadt, Peter, Paul and Mary. There’s a documentary currently in the works titled «Song Poet», directed by Paul Lamont, which tells about his journeys through the U.S., Europe and life.  

A devoted NY Yankee’s fan, musician-poet Eric’s got a soft and slightly raspy voice which he supports mainly with his guitar, deeply penetrating eyes and an elegance that shows itself both in his persona and his work. Next to the recent anthology «The Essential Eric Andersen» (2 cd’s), the latest of his 16 solo albums are 2017’s «Mingle With The Universe: The Worlds of Lord Byron» and in 2018 he released the album «Birth of a Stranger: The Life and Times of Albert Camus», followed by «Shadow and Light of Albert Camus» with two additional tracks. Part of his «Writer Projects» also is «Silent Angel: The Fire and Ashes of Heinrich Boell». The literary world is the leitmotif in all he creates.

Scarlet Rivera, born Donna Shea in Chicago in 1950 of Irish-Sicilian ancestry, is a much sought-after session violinist. Bob Dylan takes credit for discovering her and he hired her for the recording of his album Desire. Rock, new-age, world music and especially Celtic music are her passions which Scarlet expressed with the release of 11 albums of her own. She’s worked with Tracy Chapman, Keb Mo’, Dee Dee Bridgewater, David Johansen, and Ian McNabb. With Bob Dylan, she performed on his albums Desire and Hard Rain and was invited to join his «Rolling Thunder Revue» which was documented by Martin Scorsese in his 1976 road movie. A fine concert film, it was re-issued this year and is certainly worth a look, not least for fast and furious, beautiful Scarlet. 

Eric Andersen, featuring Scarlet Rivera, live at El Lokal. Yes, there’s the movie but then there is… real life.

el Lokal