With a sardonic wit and tell-it-like-it-is attitude, Anderson's lyrics leave the romanticism behind for the heft of real life emotion that can only be drawn from real world experience. Along the way, dues have been paid and lessons learned, though growing up in a house with Dylan, Prine, Springsteen and Earle on the stereo certainly couldn't hurt.
For 2011's "Heart of a Dog," Anderson eschewed his singer-songwriter approach for a collective writing effort with his band, the Honkies, including guitarist Andrew McKeag as co-writer and co-arranger. Retaining his own voice, Anderson's ear led him to develop an edgier rock sound reminiscent of those classic artists from his formative years. Whereas "The Wrong Light" begins with an incendiary blues guitar line, "Mercy" drips with Memphis soul and early '70s Stones. His new album, “Let the Bloody Moon Rise,” due out later this year, will mark the prolific songwriter's sixth studio album in eight years, and the second with his band filled out by bassist Eric Corson and drummer Mike Musburger.
All photos by Chris Bay.