Anders Osborne

Western Reserve Folk Arts Association presents

Anders Osborne

Oliver John-Rodgers

Fri, August 5, 2016

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$15.00 - $18.00

This event is all ages

Anders Osborne
Anders Osborne
Anders Osborne “Spacedust & Ocean Views” Biography
The depth of one’s life is evident through their music. The more sorrow, laughter and adventure experienced, the more interesting curves and crevices are carved into an artist’s songs. The miles traveled leave rich lines in the verses that only time, misadventure, and hard-won wisdom can produce. Anders Osborne is a map of intensely felt, passionately engaged living, a fractured but healing topography of heartbreak and hope for fellow travelers to explore.
Osborne’s music is redolent of the blues bathed in West Coast sunshine and brotherly compassion, a torchbearer for rock ‘n’ roll with blood in it’s veins and a heart in it’s hands. His long awaited new full length, Spacedust & Ocean Views, offers up graceful songwriting and signature guitar work on one of the strongest releases in his storied career. A strong sense of place runs through the album. From an evocation of geography to a questioning of one’s place in the universe, big ideas are condensed in thoughtful, smoothly swinging ways. It’s the album his fans have been waiting for- one that only he can deliver.
“These twelve songs speak about places dear to me, places I feel something profound about, but there’s also the presence of the universe,” explains Osborne. “I think one of the main struggles we all face is the separation from unity. I want to understand how I can feel unified with the world and others, with the universe writ large. I can arrange the ideas intellectually but the feeling of longing remains. The whole thing is a mystery, sometimes a sad, baffling mystery and sometimes very enchanting, but overall I just don’t understand and want to desperately. That’s what this music is, an attempt to understand it all.”
And what an attempt it is.
Producer Mark Howard (Bob Dylan, Daniel Lanois, Iggy Pop) uses Osborne’s seasoned, searching voice like a river running through the song cycle. It’s a distinctly human element that continually tenderizes the listener as his sinewy, emotionally charged guitar dances with longtime bassist Carl Dufrene, guitar foil Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), and the shared drumming of Brady Blade and Tony Leone. New Orleans percussion master Johnny Vidacovich, bassist James Singleton, and pop-jazz legend Rickie Lee Jones join Osborne for the cosmically charged album closer “From Space.” On the other hand, Spacedust’s lead single “Lafayette” is a roots-fueled rocker- a track that finds Osborne simultaneously sticking to his guns and exploring new territory as an artist.
This special collection of compositions is the culmination of years of writing and touring. “This is the last chapter before something new emerges. I’m wrapping some stuff up and figuring some fresh stuff out,” says Osborne, who’s been moving beyond his complicated past for close to a decade. “Now my life is about a human experience in a larger sense. Now, I feel I’m standing on my own two feet, trying to be a grown man doing the right thing.” In an ever changing musical landscape, Spacedust & Ocean Views firmly plants Anders Osborne as one of American music’s elite guitarists and songwriters.
Oliver John-Rodgers
Oliver John-Rodgers
“I grew up down round the Baby Blue Ridge,” sings Oliver John-Rodgers—more commonly known as OJR—on the title track of his second full-length, Human Style (2012). The grandson of two country-music- and bluegrass-fanatics on both sides of the family, OJR, born in Virginia in 1992, was raised more directly on the angsty, grunge dynamics of Nirvana, Cracker, and Pixies. It’s no wonder, then, that after a sort of “prodigal” return to the South—following four whirlwind years of soul-searching and adventure in the concrete jungles of New York, OJR relocated to Nashville in 2014—he has come to acquire the nickname “Acid Cowboy." “Rowdy and energetic,” comments Philip Obenschain (No Country for New Nashville, July 2015), “the talented performer certainly flexes an affinity for country and folk he’s adopted as part of his image. But his sound truly lands more in the rock realm, with fuzzy, indie, and psychedelic sensibilities, and earnest, electrifying songwriting.” Such is the dualist nature of OJR, a bitter Southerner, a discontentedly old-fashioned millennial, an Acid Cowboy—who’s perfectly content with calling it like he sees it. “I don’t wanna be a part of this selfie situation,” begins the second verse of “My Generation,” the begrudgingly bouncy, bubblegum-pop single off Nashville Demos, OJR’s third full-length release (2015). But “Aw,” he goes on bemoaning, “I’m a part of the equation, and I don’t wish to be.” There’s a restlessness in his songs, a supreme desire for more—more than, one might imagine, whatever the Good Book promised, or the Human Condition allows, or the American Dream offers. Eternally straddling a line between marketable/accessible and critical/challenging epitomizes the "OJR sound": It's at once alienating and universal. Such is, after all, the dualist nature of OJR.
But “dual” means “two,” and to imply OJR wears only two hats is a grave understatement. While High School and Human Style—his first two LPs, respectively—reside exclusively in a folk-friendly, singer-songwriter neighborhood (à la Bright Eyes/Ryan Adams/Elliot Smith), 2015’s Nashville Demos saw OJR exploring sonic terrain as diverse as grunge (“Numb”), outlaw country (“Runnin’ from the Law”), doowop (“In Love with a Bowler”), sensual, 70's groove (“Lips on Fire”), and garage rock (“Front-Door Man.”) Recorded in various bedrooms in cities all over the world—New York, London, Paris, and Nashville, to name a few--these "demos" certainly blur the line between home-recordings and a proper, studio-grade album. Ever the mercurial perfectionist, OJR might have self-produced all ten tracks on Apple's free, built-in software GarageBand, but nonetheless insisted on the time and attention to detail one is more likely to expect from a professionally tracked studio album than from anything made in a bedroom on a MacBook. To call, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, this album a collection of demos is OJR's way of saying it could go both ways: He's an artist and producer, a singer and songwriter, a Virginia boy and cosmopolitan. He's the Acid and the Cowboy. Such is the dualist nature of OJR, far more than that of just another rock and roller.
Venue Information:
The Kent Stage
175 East Main
Kent, OH, 44240