By Andy J. Gordon
Anders Osborne is a passionate songwriter, talented singer and expert guitarist. The Swedish transplant has been living in New Orleans since 1985. His musical style is a beautiful gumbo of the blues, soul, funk and rock that is found throughout that magical city. Osborne tours extensively with his own band, as a solo artist and as a guest with several like-minded musicians. On this 2018 Fall tour Osborne is working solo, but his intensely soulful vocals and fantastic guitar playing make up for the lack of accompaniment. His show at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, California on November 10, 2018 was a successful retrospective journey through his vast catalog of songs.
Osborne is a prolific songwriter who loves the process of writing. He draws from his life experiences and exposes himself through his music. He played excellent versions of “Spotlight” and “Summertime in New Orleans” from 2007s Coming Down, “47,” “Tracking My Roots” and “Send Me A Friend” from 2012s Black Eye Galaxy and “Windows” and “Five Bullets” from 2013s Peace.
The crowd at The Troubadour enjoyed the old tunes and gave positive feedback on a few new songs that were both melancholy and up-tempo. Osborne introduced each with intimate stories. A nice ballad called “Running (Big Truths Small Lies)” will appear on his upcoming release Buddha And The Blues. “Real Good Dirt” has a gritty lead guitar intro and another even nastier one later in the song. “Monica” is about a girl he met in a dream who felt like an old friend. “Tomorrow Is Another Day” comes from an unreleased album of songs about depression that he admitted he is hesitant to release.
Before launching into a wicked slide intro for “Stoned Drunk and Naked” from 2001s Ash Wednesday Blues, Osborne told the crowd that after 34 years in the United States he finally became a citizen the previous day. The audience gave him a warm round of applause and danced enthusiastically to the catchy tune. He closed the show with “Different Drum,” the first track from 2016s Flower Box, his most recent album. The recorded version is heavily distorted guitars with a Neil Young & Crazy Horse vibe. His solo version keeps the passion but tones down the fuzz. Osborne’s heart may beat to a different drum, but his magical lyrics, catchy beats and raw energy appeal to many. The crowd at The Troubadour certainly appreciated everything he gave them.