Previously Unreleased Bob Dylan Rendition of “Thirsty Boots” Included Along with 30+ Newly Recorded Tracks

“Eric Andersen is a great ballad singer and writer.”
–Bob Dylan

Rolling Stone

Tribute To a Songpoet: Songs of Eric Andersen was released January 9 digitally (as a 42-track album via download and a 41-track album via streaming) via EARecords and in October as a 42-track, 3CD set via Y&T Music. The set fêtes a towering songwriter who mentored Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zandt, and Joni Mitchell; co-wrote songs with Lou Reed, Bob Weir, and Van Zandt; saw his own songs covered by The Grateful Dead, Judy Collins, Fairport Convention, Gillian Welch, and Linda Thompson; appeared on the TV’s Johnny Cash Show; co-starred with Edie Sedgwick in an Andy Warhol film called Space; performed on the legendary Festival Express and Rolling Thunder Revue tours; and most recently was the subject of a full-length documentary The Songpoet, that aired nationally on PBS last year.
Bob Dylan contributes a previously unreleased take of Andersen’s civil rights song “Thirsty Boots” recorded in 1970 with Dylan’s guitar, vocals, and harmonica accompanied by Al Kooper on piano, David Bromberg on guitar, with upright bass added in 2021 by Tony Garnier, newly mixed by Steve Addabbo (available on CD or on full album downloads through select digital download stores including Amazon Music and iTunes, not available in the streaming edition or via individual track download). Tribute To a Songpoet: Songs of Eric Andersen producer Steve Addabbo, also produced Eric’s Ghosts Upon the Road album, won a GRAMMY Award for mixing Dylan’s Bootleg Series, and has done work for Dar Williams, Loudon Wainwright III, and Suzanne Vega.
Tribute To a Songpoet: Songs of Eric Andersen includes 35 newly-recorded tracks in total (34 on CD edition), including a soulful “Foghorn” by Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Janis Ian’s insightful version of “Hills of Tuscany,” Amy Helm’s gorgeous “Blue River,” “Miss Lonely Are You Blue” performed by Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith), Wesley Stace’s jangling “Time Run Like a Freight Train,” a biting “Rain Falls Down In Amsterdam” done by Willie Nile, and GRAMMY winner Dom Flemons’ foot-stomping “Song to J.C.B.,” which Andersen first wrote for bluesman J.C. Burris.
Also included are previously released gems such as Mary Chapin Carpenter’s beautiful rendition of “Violets Of Dawn” (not on the digital version); and Linda Ronstadt’s 1972 recording of “(I Ain’t Always Been) Faithful,” which features Glenn Frey on guitar and backing vocals, Don Henley on bass and backing vocals, and Buddy Emmons on steel guitar (also not on digital edition). The CD version of the compilation closes with a heart-rending version of “Blue River” recorded live in 1995 by Rick Danko (of The Band and a bandmate of Eric’s in the trio Danko/Fjeld/Andersen); Andersen first conceived “Blue River” in Danko’s company. Andersen recalls, “Rick showed me the big blue shiny Hudson from the Rhinecliff Bridge. I wrote the song a little later when I returned to my home in Venice on the coast of LA.”
For the digital album and streaming versions, included as a bonus track is a live version of Eric performing “Thirsty Boots” live at the legendary Mudd Club in NYC in 1982, featuring John Sebastian (harmonica, added 2022) and Tony Garnier (upright bass, added 2022).
In the liner notes, which feature quotes from a number of contributing artists, Larry Campbell said, “Eric is the real thing, he always has been and Teresa and I are honored to have the chance to interpret a song from his great body of work.”
Janis Ian recalls, “Eric Andersen was at the first real show I ever did, at the Village Gate circa 1965. I was just fourteen years old, and looking at him seated between Tom Paxton and Len Chandler, all I could think was, ‘Omigod, he looks just like his photos!’ Even better, he sounds just like his records. So happy to be a part of this one!”
Dom Flemons said, “Eric Andersen is a masterful painter of lyrical brilliance and an eloquent storyteller.”
Stay tuned for tour dates to come.
1. Thirsty Boots – Bob Dylan (only available on CD and full album downloads in select digital download stores including iTunes and Amazon Music)
2. Goin’ Gone – Richard Shindell
3. Eyes Of The Immigrant – Lucy Kaplansky
4. You Can’t Relive The Past (Eric Andersen / Lou Reed) – Syd Straw
5. Salt On Your Skin – Albert Lee
6. Before Everything Changed – Scarlet Rivera
7. Rain Falls Down In Amsterdam – Willie Nile
8. Cold Country – Elliott Murphy
9. Ain’t No Time To Bleed – Eric Bazilian
10. Foghorn – Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
11. Singin’ Man – Eric Lee
12. Blue Heart – Paul Lamont
13. Rains Are Gonna Come – Evan Stanley
14. Violets of Dawn – Mary Chapin Carpenter (only on CD) * / Violets of Dawn – Lynn Miles (only on digital release)
1. Moonchild River Song – Dan Navarro
2. Hills Of Tuscany – Janis Ian
3. Time Run Like A Freight Train – Wesley Stace
4. Woman, She Was Gentle – Scott Severin featuring Stateleigh Holmes
5. Sweet Surprise – Arlen Roth
6. Baby, I’m Lonesome – Denice Franke
7. Listen To The Rain – Sari Andersen with Debbie Green *
8. Belgian Bar – Steve Postell
9. Trouble In Paris – Robert Aaron
10. Driftin’ Away (Eric Andersen / Rick Danko) – Signè Andersen
11. Six Senses Of Darkness – Steve Addabbo
12. Come Runnin’ Like A Friend – John Gorka
13. Mary, I’m Comin’ Back Home – Happy Traum
14. Blue River – Amy Helm
1. (I Ain’t Always Been) Faithful – Linda Ronstadt (only on physical CD) *
2. Wind And Sand – David Buskin And Robin Batteau
3. The Hustler – Don Graham
4. Is It Really Love At All – Alice Howe
5. Sheila – Jim Wurster
6. Miss Lonely Are You Blue – Lenny Kaye
7. Round The Bend – Inge Andersen *
8. Song To J.C.B. – Dom Flemons
9. Come To My Bedside, My Darling – Simon Keats (aka Paul Zoontjens) *
10. For What Was Gained – Joyce Andersen *
11. Dusty Box Car Wall – Cliff Eberhardt
12. Waves of Freedom – The Kennedys
13. Close The Door Lightly When You Go – Richard Barone featuring Allison Moorer *
14. Blue River (Live) – Rick Danko *
15. Bonus track: Thirsty Boots (live, 1982) – Eric Andersen (vocals, guitar), featuring John Sebastian (harmonica, added 2022) and Tony Garnier (upright bass, added 2022), recorded live at the Mudd Club (NYC) in 1982, (available on digital editions)