For years the talented Anders Osborne has been regarded as one of the most treasured songwriters in the Crescent City. Telling tales of heartache, celebration, and self-revelation, the electrifying guitarist is highly regarded for his soul shaking performances and uncanny talent for writing songs many are able to relate to on a personal level. His newest 2012 release, Black Eye Galaxy completely hits home illuminating a special place that the matured artist now comes from. The talented musician utilizes many different musical elements unseen on his prior albums revealing a commemorative collection of hits bringing the artist closer to his roots than ever before. Now, he is geared up and ready to present his newest declamations and cherished classics at this year's Voodoo Music Experience with his close band of talented New Orleans rock n' rollers he chose to bring life to the powerful new recordings.
Recorded for Alligator Records at Dockside Studio, Black Eye Galaxy, was a special project for all parties involved, including co-producers Stanton Moore and Warren Riker, who have all worked together to provide a down-home, honest album that truly captured the essence of every song. "It was an amazing space. We had family, we had dogs…We had all kinds of people just hanging out in the studio coming and going, jumping in the pool…It was a very, very special moment I gotta say," says Osborne on the overall experience in creating the album with the all-star krewe of good friends, a decision he claims as vital to the preproduction stages of any album.
"I get the team and then I hope that together we sort of all just stimulate each other, and each song will speak for itself," further comments Osborne on how many of the differing instrumentations came about during this recording process, which was inspired by the atmosphere provided. The close relationship of the members is truly felt in the recordings, such as on the heart throbbing platform of "Higher Ground," when the innocent voice of Osborne's own daughter and a good-friend resonate behind Anders' sincere statement of standing above and beyond life's troubles while a gentle string of melodies caress the bold proclamations. Still, the artist says that the experience was also that of a simple process of elimination based on the songs he personally felt more connected.
"I'll write one song and its perfectly welldone and well-crafted but it doesn't resonate. I think what ended up happening is the more honest I am and the more real I am in all those aspects the more it resonates with me. It feels really powerful to sing those things," he says. "I like the power of elimination. Whatever don't work - don't do that," he basically puts it.
His formula has worked album after touching album, however, what separates Black Eye Galaxy is the natural creative space the musicians, engineers, and loved ones were able to capture that resulted from the years in the business. On the album is mostly his road band consisting of Eric Bolivar on drums, percussion, and vocals, Carl Dufrene on bass and vocals, and Billy Iuso on second guitar and vocals. Additional track work included family members, drummer Stanton Moore, string arrangements by Stevie Blacke, and song writing credits to guitarist Paul Barrere from Little Feat. Together Barrere and Osborne co-wrote the hard-hitting song "Black Tar" along with the sweetly delicate "Dancing In the Wind". An experience Osborne says to be a great learning opportunity that may have added to fi nding the roots tone of the entire album. "That is extremely inspiring and it's really gratifying to hook up with all the people you look up to ya' know, it feels great…They're partially your teachers," says Osborne on collaborating with such a renowned musical fi gure as Barrere. However, it is his relationship with local guitarist and friend Billy Iuso that also provided the proper setting to indirectly pay tribute to many of the artists that have inspired Anders since he was young.
"The partnership with me and Billy is defi nitely like fi nding an old friend…The last two or three years as we started to hang out and realized we had so much in common and started sharing songs we grew up with and decided to play those on stage. I defi nitely think that is a big infl uence just reconnecting a lot," he says of the two musicians inspiring relationship that has helped forge the new album's groove. He says Black Eye Galaxy is very much a full circle of taking all the elements that have made up his songs over the years and applying them in different ways along with unintentionally reaching into his back pocket to bring out the music that inspired his early career. "I think the last two records, Patchwork and this one, I feel like I'm more getting back to where I started out… Being born in the '60s what I grew up on was straight up the '70s stuff," he says a generational thing he can relate to both Iuso and Barrere with.
Anders Osborne is all-things New Orleans - in the way he speaks, acts, and exemplifi es the aura of being a true New Orleanian, even though it is widely known he spent his childhood in Sweden. His excitement to play at this year's Voodoo Music Experience to a hometown crowd cannot be described. His road band will be backing him as they "rock out for an hour," says Osborne. However, he has not exactly decided on if he will be adding the strings and choir elements that were used in the album.