Anders Osborne - "American Patchwork" - Alligator Records - 2010
On stage wielding his electric guitar, Anders Osborne brings a whirlwind of energy and emotion that's enough to make even the most stoic Jazz Fest-goer thrash his head in reverence, but throughout his career, capturing that intensity in the studio has been elusive for Osborne. He had no such problem in recording his latest album, 2010's "American Patchwork."
The album explodes from the start with the opener "On the Road to Charlie Parker," which features a heavy, fuzzy guitar riff that has the hands of Pepper Keenan, a New Orleans metal icon who co-produced the record, all over it. "Got Your Heart" fuses a reggae beat with Anders' trademark guitar sound, and "Standing with Angels" is a touching elegy for a fallen friend that Anders belts from his heart.
"American Patchwork" is Anders at his gritty blues best, with some of the best songwriting of his career. It's proof that he can capture the lightning of his live shows in a bottle, and much to the delight of New Orleanians, there's no sign that he can't do it again.