“I really love the way Ed writes. I think he’s as good as there is.” – Steve Berlin, Los Lobos
“Ed is the real deal. He IS Americana.” – Johnny Hickman, Cracker
“Anderson writes raw, emotionally sophisticated songs.” – Chicago Sun Times
“Anderson possesses a storyteller’s touch and a guitar god’s muscle.” – Paste
Edward David Anderson returns with his second solo album, Lower Alabama: The Loxley Sessions. The nine-track effort is the most stripped-down and roots-based album to date by Anderson who’s also known for his work with the late great midwest rock band Backyard Tire Fire.
To capture the songs and sounds he was hearing this time around, he recruited producer Anthony Crawford — former Neil Young and Steve Winwood bandmate and current member of Alabama alt-country band, Willie Sugarcapps. Together they’d work at Crawford’s Admiral Bean studio in the rural town of Loxley, Alabama, close to the Gulf Coast where Anderson, a Bloomington, Illinois native, spends his winters writing and performing.
The resulting collection floats melodiously on rivers of fiddle and clouds of pedal steel, on gentle acoustic guitars and hints of piano, dusted with some ghostly guitar from Will Kimbrough and striking vocal harmony from Crawford’s wife, singer Savana Lee. Listen to the opening strains of “Firefly” and be transported to a lonesome highway, the endless fields stretching out ahead.
There’s “Sentimental in the Morning,” a porch shuffle that knows it can rock with the best of them, but displays self-restraint, or the vintage outlaw rock ‘n’ roll storytelling of “Jimmy & Bob & Jack” that holds on to his Chi-Town accent, but rolls out like Southern Gothic. Hear the easy breeze of “Sadness” rustle through the trees, having picked up a bayou sensibility as it blows through, or the devastating honesty of “Cried My Eyes Dry,” a song of loss and carrying on.
Music, by its nature, is a migratory creature. It moves as it moves, often powerfully, through people and places, communities and cultures, created and carried on currents of electricity and air.
Edward David Anderson is one of its modern makers, a rock and roll veteran from the cornfields of Illinois, who went into the woods of coastal Alabama and found musical serendipity, emerging with Lower Alabama: The Loxley Sessions — a timeless, unvarnished beauty of an album.