Spencer Lewis’ Unbounded Pays Long Overdue Tribute to Eric Andersen
There is a special love which can only come when an artist’s songs and lyrics touch you so deeply, you have to participate somehow in the flow of the music. Dancers will want to dance, poets will want to write, and singers will need to sing. When singer-songwriter, Eric Andersen’s first album, Today is the Highway, was released in 1965, a quiet movement began toward poetic meditations underscored with simple elegant acoustic music. Vermont singer-songwriter, Spencer Lewis had a special relationship with the songs of Eric Andersen that has lasted for over 40 years. Over the years he has performed them in concert. With the release of Unbounded, he becomes the first artist to pay tribute to Eric Andersen. While it’s hard to believe there hasn’t been a single compilation devoted to Eric Andersen, it is good that this is the first. Not only because of Lewis’ love for the troubadour and his songs, but his voice is nicely suited to Andersen’s vocal quality. There is a gentle sense of urgency in Lewis’ voice as though he knows this tribute is long overdue.
To keep the album focused on the songs and the lyrics, the instrumentation is similar to Eric’s earliest recordings. If music is a fire, these recordings of some of Eric Andersen’s earliest songs, is moves toward the center of the flame. There is no attempts here for the artist to step outside of Andersen’s song circle. Therefore, these selected songs are not re-interpreted but stay close to the originals. A song like “Violets of Dawn” sounds as lyrical as ever only, like when Andersen himself sings it live, there is a world-weariness about it. This holds especially true of “Wind and Sand,” from Andersen’s seminal 1972, “Blue River,” album.
The selection of songs is not built around the best known of Eric Andersen’s considerable catalog. “Thirsty Boots,” is missing. It’s a scattering of songs woven together to keep the mood and the texture of the album moving along. The song the album title is based on, “I Shall Go Unbounded,” is exceptionally filled with the kind of soul Eric Andersen intended when he wrote the song so many years ago. This fine album is a call to the rest of music industry to wake up and take notice of the legacy of one of America’a great songwriters, Eric Andersen. There is no finer artist than Spenser Lewis to sound that wake up call.
Eric Andersen will be appearing in Tokyo, Japan on October 3rd and October 5th
For more information including bookings and to purchase Unbounded visit Spencer Lewis’ website.