Eric Andersen Waves

Thanks to the recent No Direction Home, there is a revival of interest in the famed folk scene of early ’60s Greenwich Village, and that’s good timing for this album. Andersen was a prominent member and he has retained a small but loyal audience in the four decades since. His own songs have been covered by the likes of Peter, Paul & Mary and Judy Collins, but on Waves he pays tribute to the work of his earlier peers. His versions of tunes by the likes of Tim Buckley, Phil Ochs, Tom Rush, John Sebastian, Tom Paxton, and Bob Dylan are uniformly well-played and sung with Andersen’s malleable and melodic voice in fine form. The production and arrangements from multi-instrumentalist Robert Aaron are top-notch, adding a sonic richness here. The cover of Lou Reed’s "Pale Blue Eyes,” a wild-card inclusion, does pale in comparison to the original though. One highlight is the version of Richard Farina’s anti-imperialist tune "Bold Marauder,” with sentiments that remain timely. Three Andersen tunes are featured, including the new "Hymn of Waves” and a reprise of his classic "Thirsty Boots,” with all-star backing vocals from Rush, Collins and Arlo Guthrie. This fine disc’s biggest flaw is the pretentiousness of the liner notes, as writer Robbie Woliver laughably tries to link classic folk and emo. "Today, the hot music is emo, hard rock that drips in emotion…I wonder if the millions of kids who idolise Dashboard Confessional know they owe Eric a bit of overdue gratitude.” (Appleseed)