Tag Archives: Anders Osborne


Anders Osborne and Jackie Greene in Perfect Balance at the Space

October 23rd, 2017

Anders Osborne and Jackie Greene – the Space at Westbury – October 20, 2017

Jackie Greene and Anders Osborne met through Phil Lesh, of whose Phil Lesh & Friends lineups they’re both alumni. They’ve since each gone on record to say they were simpatico from the beginning, and that isn’t surprising: Both musicians write Americana-driven rock and pop songs with healthy undercurrents of blues and psychedelia. Greene, in recent years, has gone in more of a blues-rock direction from his original folk-pop beginnings. Osborne, still best known for the roiling guitars and ragingly cathartic jams of his electric band, has gone quieter and more introspective with his last few albums. Both artists are as different as they are similar, but you can easily understand the admiration for each other’s material and the kinship they found.

In this setup—which Greene and Osborne have tested and now fashioned into an actual tour—the two are a mostly acoustic duo. Sing some songs, pluck some strings, tell some stories, bathe it all in a winning mojo. At the Space at Westbury on Friday night, they alternated lead vocals, more or less, for a 90-minute set that drew heavily on their respective catalogs and included not only guitars but keyboards, harmonica and touches of banjo. The concert had a relaxed, hootenanny feel: Listen to songs of uplift, some tales of woe, reflections from a learned place. Laugh a little, or laugh a lot, and pass round that whiskey. That it was a folksy gathering—not a smoothly packaged concert presentation—was precisely the point. The deeper appeal of this format is that both musicians agree to play with and play off each other, but take it a level beyond that, investing in the other’s music beyond just accompanying and waiting for the next lead vocal.

Greene added just-right keys to tender Osborne tunes like “Burning Up Slowly,” and with crackling guitar, Osborne scuffed up “Gone Wanderin’,” “Modern Lives,” “Tupelo” and other strong examples of Greene’s pensive/cynical narratives. Their give-and-take worked, again and again. Greene’s “I Don’t Live in a Dream,” in this format, sounded like Bill Withers on the back porch, while Osborne’s “It Can’t Hurt You Anymore” went deep for pathos and Greene’s accompaniment went right along with it. Osborne’s rollicking “Lafayette” was the best of a lot of things, with Osborne, Greene and guest Cris Jacobs having a three-way acoustic-slide summit. The three also picked through the Grateful Dead’s “New Speedway Boogie” at a boozy, laid-back tempo—yet one more simpatico moment. “Fuckin’ Deadheads everywhere!” exclaimed Greene to crowd roars. Yes, including on the stage, but everyone sure felt welcome. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

Five Questions with … Anders Osborne

February 25th, 2016

With a new album, Spacedust & Oceanviews, due to arrive this spring, Anders Osborne (above, performing “Mind of a Junkie” for Jam in the Van) has embarked on a two-month North American tour, which brings him to the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., on Friday night—a pretty great way to kick off the weekend. And ahead of his arrival, the New Orleans guitar hero answered Five Questions for The House List.

You’ve obviously been living in New Orleans for quite some time now, but how did a kid from Southern Sweden originally get interested in the blues?
I was introduced to music by my mother and father—mostly classical and jazz. I discovered Robert Johnson, Snooks Eaglin, Earl King, Hound Dog Taylor and stuff like that in my teens growing up in New Orleans.

You’re currently in the midst of a big tour, but does performing in New York have any significance for you? And specifically playing the Capitol Theatre?
New York rocks! Some of my all time favorite shows have been in New York. I have a lot of friends from that area that I love seeing when I play there. It’s also one of the first places that gave me gigs as a touring artist back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Places like Manny’s Car Wash, Tramps, Wetlands. Love it.

What’s different about this tour compared to others that have brought you up here?
This band kicks ass. We will also explore my entire catalog, playing previously not performed tunes. And we have great support artists on the whole tour! Amy Helm [opening on Friday at the Capitol Theatre], American Babies [also opening on Friday], Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds. They are all amazing.

What music or song always makes you dance?
“Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley” with Robert Palmer backed by the Meters, produced by Allen Toussaint. Or anything by Allen Toussaint and Bob Marley.

At your after-party and there’s an endless jukebox, and we give you a buck. Which three songs are you playing?
“20 Million Things” by Lowell George, “These Days” by Jackson Browne and “So What” by Miles Davis. —R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog


North Mississippi Allstars and Anders Osborne Put on Marathon Show

February 27th, 2015

NMO – the Space at Westbury – February 26, 2015

It was a night of beginnings at the Space at Westbury on Thursday. With a stage packed with two drum kits and more guitars than fingers to count them with, the marathon show officially began with Luther Dickinson and Anders Osborne as a duet, playfully matching slide guitars in each other’s faces, singing “Let It Roll.” As the two hugged and Osborne left the stage to applause, Dickinson announced the evening as the “North Mississippi Anders Osborne Experience” before inviting his “brothers,” Cody Dickinson and Lightnin’ Malcolm, to kick off things once again with a few North Mississippi Allstars songs. But things didn’t really get rolling until Luther coaxed everyone out of their seats, filling in the space in front of the stage and in the aisles while the trio matched the energy with their bread-and-butter material, including “Shake ’Em on Down,” “Drinking Muddy Water” and “KC Jones (On the Road Again).” The trio flexed their Delta blues–rock muscles with Luther strutting his superlative slide playing and Cody shuffling along in time.

Throughout the night, one song’s ending was another’s beginning, and as the NMA mini-set closed, the entire trio banging away on a drum as Osborne and the rest of his trio—Carl Dufresne and Brady Blade—hopped onstage with their own percussion in hand, Cody Dickinson got the party started, singing “Granny Does Your Dog Bite” and getting the audience to sing along. Before long, the six musicians were on the floor marching through the crowd like New Orleans was on Long Island. Again, it felt like things were coming to an end, but the night was just pushing off from shore as NMA ceded the stage to Osborne and with a soulful moan in his voice and his slide, he took the helm. It seemed like the volume was raised a couple of clicks for this portion of the show with Osborne’s trio in fine form. Antics and marching bands are all in good fun, but the audience certainly was hungry for some red-meat rock and roll, which Osborne delivered. The highlight of the night featured his band rounded out to a quartet with Luther on acoustic guitar for a bang-bang-bang stretch of “Mind of a Junkie,” “Back on Dumaine” and “On the Road to Charlie Parker.” Again, each tune bubbled up out of the predecessor’s ending. The first featured a narcotic Neil Young–esque slow-burn guitar jam with Osborne as soulful as ever. “Dumaine” dissolved into a hair-raising improv with Osborne’s guitar channeling Jerry Garcia and Luther matching with an almost-Latin flair of acoustic guitar picking. Finally “Charlie Parker” was a powerhouse of New Orleans–infused rock and roll that easily could’ve ended the night, but, naturally, they were still just getting going.

From there, it would take a slide rule and a spreadsheet to properly keep track of the permutations of musicians and instruments. There was a trio version of the classic “Junco Pardna,” the Dickinson brothers and Osborne doing justice to the source material. Oh, did they mention that they have a new album out together? Finally, after about 90 minutes of soul-warming Southern rock, they got around to playing material from the new release, Freedom & Dreams, like everything else leading up to it had been a rehearsal. Combined as a massive six-piece, looking and sounding a bit like an updated version of the Allman Brothers Band, NMO proper began their night. “Back Together” stood out here, featuring count-’em three overlapping and interweaving guitar solos. Before the night came to a real, honest-to-goodness close, Cody Dickinson took a washboard solo, complete with wild flashing white lights that seemed to turn the band inside out, Malcolm ending up on the drums, Dufresne on the guitar and Luther on the bass. At one point earlier in the two-plus-hour show, Osborne mentioned the writing of a new song, “Westbury Blues,” joking it wasn’t ready … but maybe for the “next album.” From the sounds of it, for NMO, this is only the beginning. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

(North Misissippi Allstars and Anders Osborne play the Capitol Theatre tonight.)





North Mississippi Allstars and Anders Osborne Team Up to Make Music

February 25th, 2015

Brother-duo North Mississippi Allstars (above, doing “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” for Jam in the Van)—Luther Dickinson (vocals and guitar) and Cody Dickinson (drums and vocals)— combine their Delta blues–based rock with guitar aficionado Anders Osborne (below, performing “Lean on Me” and “Believe in You”) and his soulful New Orleans rock (by way of Sweden) to form the exciting new musical venture NMO. The trio put out a full-length album, Freedom & Dreams (stream it below), just last week. And it’s safe to say that recording the LP was an easygoing affair. “Freedom & Dreams is extremely honest and captures NMO’s relaxed chemistry so well, most of these songs did not even have a proper count off or beginning,” said Luther Dickinson. “We were interested in combining Anders’ singing and songwriting with NMA’s groove and aesthetic to create something unique that neither of us could do without the other—a type of modern Southern folk rock.” For his part, Osborne was equally enthused: “I loved every minute of this recording session! Surrounded by such an amazing group of people, filled those four days with nonstop creativity, love and good food! And the record came out sounding just like it! So good.” Now out on the road, NMO are playing highlights from each catalog, both acoustic and electric, in addition to their new, shared material. And you can see them on Thursday at the Space at Westbury and on Friday at the Capitol Theatre.


Anders Osborne Heats Up Brooklyn Bowl

December 16th, 2013

Andes Osborne – Brooklyn Bowl – December 13, 2013

Friday night was one of those cold December evenings best for curling up cozy in front of the fireplace. But if you happened to be at Brooklyn Bowl instead, you got to see Anders Osborne perform as a human fireplace, ablaze with soulful songs and burning-hot jams. With a warm-you-up warm-up of “Black Tar,” the band—Carl Dufrene on bass, Eric Bolivar on drums and NYC go-to-guy Scott Metzger sitting in the entire night on guitar—was good and ready by the second tune, “Had My Reasons.” A long noodling introduction eventually moved into the song proper, Osborne blisteringly belting out “My sweet Mary!” before leading the band into a smoking climax.

The rest of the marathon show was one slow burn after another, the musicians playing off one another perfectly, in no hurry to get anywhere. On “Sarah Anne,” Metzger played a crackling solo over a bouncing reggae-tinged beat, and then Osborne zoned into a Grateful Dead–esque theme, with Bolivar and Dufrene supplying the kindling for another long jam. Osborne took the metaphor to heart mid-set with the highlight of the night, “Burning on the Inside,” which began innocently in his signature New Orleans–flavored blues rock. But after a couple of verses, the temperature spiked, and the band went totally molten, oozing into a gorgeous ambient section full of exploratory interplay that expertly flowed back into “Burning.” Tony Leone came out on drums for a medley sandwiched around a rollicking cover of “Going Down the Road Feeling Bad” with plenty of audience singing and Metzger and Osborne matching solos.

There was still plenty of heat left in the coals when the set closed, so Osborne threw another log on the fire for the encore with a better-have-your-extinguisher-ready cover of Neil Young’s “Cowgirl in the Sand.” With each verse making way for a far-reaching guitar jam, he curled up around his guitar with such energy that Osborne seemed in danger of keeling over completely, but the quartet was able to pull back each time. It was a monster bonfire of an ending—so much for a cozy evening at home. —A. Stein



We’ve Got You Covered on Halloween

October 30th, 2013

Let’s face it: Halloween is one of the biggest amateur nights of the year. So rather than trying to fight your way through a parade or going to a costume party surrounded by people who think they’re supposed to drink as much as they possibly can, let us do the heavy lifting for you, because we’ve got five stellar shows on All Hallows’ Eve. Grateful Dead guitarist Phil Lesh brings his traveling group of Friends—guitarists Grahame Lesh, Anders Osborne and Luther Dickinson, keyboardist Jason Crosby and drummer Tony Leoneto the Capitol Theatre; New York City’s own Holy Ghost! bring their post-disco dance party to Terminal 5; Avan Lava, mixing electronic music, rock and R&B, will have the Music Hall of Williamsburg crowd moving in unison; another hometown band, post-punk five-piece Crystal Stilts, will think global and rock local at The Bowery Ballroom; and taking a break from playing Madison Square Garden, English crooner Ed Sheeran (above, performing “Wake Me Up” for Live from the Artists Den) plays Mercury Lounge. Tickets for that show go on sale—only online—tomorrow at noon.


Trombone Shorty – SummerStage – July 22, 2013

July 23rd, 2013

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com


Trombone Shorty, Soulive and Anders Osborne Tonight at SummerStage

July 22nd, 2013

It’s already been quite a year for Trombone Shorty. The party-starting trombone virtuoso has performed at the 2013 Green Inaugural Ball, appeared in a documentary about Lenny Kravitz and, following in the footsteps of Louis Armstrong, Professor Longhair and Fats Domino, he was featured on the 2013 commemorative souvenir envelope for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation—and Shorty topped all of that with the honor of closing out this year’s Jazz Fest. Of course, none of those things were in New York City, but tonight at SummerStage in Central Park, Trombone Shorty (above, doing “Do to Me” on Conan) headlines a fantastic lineup rounded out by soul-funk-fusion trio Soulive and NOLA (by way of Sweden) guitar god Anders Osborne. This is one not to miss. So don’t!




The Continuing Evolution of Anders Osborne

June 22nd, 2012

Anders Osborne – Brooklyn Bowl – June 21, 2012

(Photo: Michael Jurick)

We’re certain it was Walt Whitman who said, “I contain multitudes” and not Anders Osborne and his “I am large” guitar, right? The way he played last night at Brooklyn Bowl, Osborne exhibited deep, multifaceted levels, a multitude of sounds and emotions that he was very willing to share with the crowd. The first two songs, including “Love Is Taking Its Toll,” were novels, epic novels, together zigzagging through several different sections and themes; each with its own guitar solo, each solo somehow containing multiple tones, like a schizophrenic conversation between Osborne and himself until 45 minutes had passed and the crowd was a sweaty mess.

As Osborne churned away like a crazed writer banging away at the typewriter, his bandmates—Carl Dufresne on bass and Eric Bolivar on drums—acted as the editors: the former adding punctuation marks to the prose, a comma here, an exclamation point there, and the other underlining, italicizing and occasionally bold-facing where appropriate. Then came the guests and the covers. They seemed to join the stage hand in hand, Noah’s Ark style, two by two to try their luck with the ferocious lion of Osborne’s guitar. There was a jubilant reggae version of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” which brought out opener Billy Iuso, followed by an even weirder take on Dr. John’s already-weird-enough “I Walk on Guilded Splinters,” a depth-charge version of Little Feat’s “Spanish Moon” and a sing-along rendition of Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” while the stage was filled with guys on organ, harmonica and saxophone.

But the beaming, leonine Osborne saved the best for last: The ecstatic crowd was treated to an encore of a semi-acoustic “Tracking My Roots” and a great version of the Grateful Dead’s “Franklin’s Tower.” Watching Osborne wrap up another depth-defying NYC show, continuing an amazing rebirth, resurgence and reinvention, emptying his heart over and over for the family-like crowd, Whitman’s words return: “I celebrate myself, and sing myself.” —A. Stein


Anders Osborne – The Bowery Ballroom – June 2, 2012

June 4th, 2012

Photos courtesy of Greg Aiello | www.ga-photos.com


Spend Saturday Night with Anders Osborne

June 1st, 2012

With a father who was a drummer, Anders Osborne took an early interest in music. So at the ripe old age of 16, he left his native Sweden and set out to see the world, playing music as he traveled across North Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US before settling in New Orleans three years later. Since then he’s found work as a songwriter, writing for—and with—the likes of Keb Mo and Tim McGraw, and as a working musician. At first Osborne (above, performing “Louisiana Gold” at this year’s Jazz Fest) was barely known outside the French Quarter, but thanks to his gritty voice, fiery guitar playing and high-energy shows his legend has grown. Much like his adopted hometown, Osborne has battled demons and persevered, and with the recent release of his newest album, Black Eye Galaxy, the wildly talented musician is back out on the road. See him tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom.


You Got Satin Shoes

February 9th, 2012

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and Anders Osborne – Webster Hall – February 8, 2012

Sometimes you see a concert listing and it raises more questions than it answers. Take last night’s show at Webster Hall, billed as Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe playing the Rolling Stones’ classic album Sticky Fingers with special guest Anders Osborne. A look at that billing and you might be asking, “Hasn’t that cover-a-whole-album thing been played out?” And if not, “Karl Denson playing the Stones? How does that work?” And “How is Osborne’s gritty, soul rock going to mesh with Denson’s acid-jazz grooves?” Well, of course, the devil is in the details.

After a scintillating fire-in-the-belly set from the Anders Osborne Trio and a dance-floor-lubricating warm up from the Tiny Universe, it was time for the main attraction. Denson reintroduced Osborne to the eager crowd like introducing a date to his parents for the first time and then described the opening song, the quintessential “Brown Sugar” as a “song about interracial sex.” It took the mind a minute or two to wrap around the buried subtext and risqué hilarity of the comment, and by then the band was already deep into it. To pull off the full-album replay, a balance between faithfulness and adventurousness must be struck, and Denson and crew pretty much nailed the dichotomy. In the end, it was the small details that transformed a bunch of covers into a transcendent deconstruction: a punch-in-the-gut slide guitar solo from Osborne during “Sway,” Denson’s surprisingly emotive vocals on “Wild Horses”—the microphone looking like a toy clutched in his muscular hands—the improbably harmonies during “You Gotta Move” and, of course, the impeccably jammed, don’t-let-it-end coda to “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.”

It was clear that there were three pro veterans on stage: Denson, who has been making people dance for decades, from Sexual Chocolate to the Greyboy Allstars to the Tiny Universe, and Osborne, who has been getting impossibly better every year for just as long. Last, but not least, Sticky Fingers itself, which has served as the keystone for the Stones’ heyday output, but also one of the greatest albums of all time (of which the original LP had the one of the greatest album covers of all time). The unexpected highlight came late in the set as the band stretched “Sister Morphine” into a delicious, almost ambient mind jam. As Osborne’s raunchy slide mellowed around the dreamy, long notes from the horns, the question of the night changed from “Why is Karl Denson covering Sticky Fingers?” to “Why doesn’t everyone?” —A. Stein

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.wordpress.com


Something Not to Miss

February 2nd, 2012

The Rolling StonesSticky Fingers is inarguably one of the greatest albums of all time. Released between two other epic discs, Let It Bleed and Exile on Main St., this record found the Stones doing much of the recording at Muscle Shoals and had them working alongside supremely talented musicians like Ry Cooder, Jim Dickinson, Billy Preston and Pete Townshend. The album is nine amazing originals and one fantastic cover. And it clearly took a lot of people to make. Which is why jam-funk outfit Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe will play Sticky Fingers in its entirety with a group of friends, including bearded guitar virtuoso Anders Osborne (from New Orleans by way of Sweden). Watch them, above, playing “Sway,” and then for the love of God go see them next Wednesday at Webster Hall.


Anders Osborne Crushes Brooklyn Bowl

March 21st, 2011

Anders Osborne – Brooklyn Bowl – March 19, 2009


The electric guitar has always been the dummy to its rock and roll ventriloquist, speaking truths the guitarist can’t—or won’t—say aloud, channeling the innermost emotions of its player. Occasionally a guitarist can work enough magic so that his or her guitar goes Pinocchio, living and breathing on its own, which is what happened on Saturday night at Brooklyn Bowl when Anders Osborne brought a life to his guitar that is rarely seen onstage, transmitting a palpable passion through his instrument, revealing demons, woe, redemption and joy.

Playing in a trio with Carl Dufrene on bass and Eric Bolivar on drums, Osborne opened the show with a lengthy introduction to “Love Is Taking Its Toll.” The restless, open-ended feel of the opening number was indicative of the whole set and also the bearded Swede’s mindset: Once he gets that soul opened up, he’s going to take as much time as he needs saying what needs to be said. This was the music of a man emotionally at ease. One early jam was a total journey into a psyche, starting with one long sustained note that Osborne modulated like he was tuning his guitar. The rhythm section cycled over and over on the same theme while the note moaned out decades of emotion and in its steadiness built to a subtle climax. From there the music doubled and tripled in complexity. Osborne layered notes like deep thoughts cushioned by a cartoon cloud, each riff coming off as both fragile and indestructible.

A couple of songs in, Osborne invited Scott Metzger onstage. Like a therapist urging Osborne to go on and open up his feelings, Metzger’s guitar was a perfect sounding board for the rest of the set. Adding a second guitar to an already formidable front of sound is not foolproof, but Metzger is as good as anyone when it comes to fitting in and by the end of the show made it feel like he was a full-fledged member of a quartet and not a guest sitting in with a trio. A third guitar player, from opener Leroy Justice, pushed things into ridiculous territory for a healthy end section that featured more frenetic guitar licks than recommended by the FDA. Returning for a well-deserved encore, Osborne and Metzger, smiling broadly at each other, traded an endless stream of bantering guitar, bringing more passion to Neil Young’s “Ohio” than has been felt in decades. —A. Stein

Photo courtesy of Michael Jurick | music.jurick.net


Stanton Moore Trio with Anders Osborne – September 23, 2010

September 24th, 2010

Stanton Moore Trio with Anders Osborne - September 23, 2010

Photos courtesy of Michael Jurick | music.jurick.net