Anders Osborne @ The Howlin Wolf 1/22/2011

Photo © Shannon Mintz

Osborne plays with an extraordinary kind of raw intensity, in a dwindling class with only a handful of contemporary guitarists. The effervescent enthusiasm the Swedish ex-pat possesses for the craft of rock/blues guitar is nothing short of infectious. Osborne is the Crescent City’s answer to Dan Auerbach or Jack White, brimming over with talent and conceivably on the brink of a full-on breakout 2011 after a big year in 2010.

 On Saturday night, the masses (a fine looking bunch) piled into The Howlin’ Wolf for a FREE SHOW to see one of New Orleans’ favorite (and longtime) adopted sons put on a commanding, no-frills rock show, and to support WhyHunger (click to donate). This show featured zero keyboards/synthesizers, no aimless interludes, just straight-laced and hard-driving epic rock music across the board. Furthermore, bassist ’s hair coupled with Osborne’s majestic beard is all the visual display needed to accent the pulverizing blues-infused music unfolding on stage.

A number of heavier tunes from Osborne’s diverse and brilliant 2010 album American Patchwork dotted the set including “On The Road To Charlie Parker,” which notably sounded even better in this bares-bones/sans-organ version than on the record. ‘Charlie Parker,’ the opening track from American Patchwork, is Osborne’s self-motivating (and third person) warning, a unique track in which Osborne warns himself that he’ll end up like his idol, the late jazz legend Charlie Parker, who passed after years of drug addiction, if he falls back down the dark path he has battled with in the past. Heavy hitters like “Darkness At The Bottom” and the weaving, lengthy take on CSNY’s classic “Ohio” paired nicely with breezier fare like the breezy, dubpiece love song “Got Your Heart”, “Stoned, Drunk, and Naked” and “Echoes of My Sins”.  Although Anders is at his heart an incendiary axe man, his mainstream awareness and ability to pen a catchy pop song should not be understated (he’s written songs for Tim McGraw and Johnny Lang). It’s rare these days to see such a talented guitar player with the ability to stop on a dime after a five-minute improvisation and deliver such pristine vocals, rich in profound lyrical depth. Although Osborne promised to take a request before exiting the stage but for whatever reason did not return for an encore, the hilarious representative from WhyHunger (after a few unsuccessful attempts to fill the donations bucket to the brim) made up for it, and commanded the house by saying:

“There’s some buckets around here/put your g****mn money in em”

That got people’s attention, as people immediately pulled their wallets out. After all, Osborne gave us the kind of performance I’ll remember for a long time, and you can’t put a price on that.

The Video description says it: “Anders Rocks”

After a three-week Western Tour starting 2/3 in Boulder, CO, Anders will be returning to New Orleans on 2/26 for a show at .

January 26, 2011 |  by  |  Reviews
About the author

Wesley grew up in coastal Georgia and is a former resident of The Music City and The Big Easy where he helped get LMB NOLA off-the-ground after launching in January 2011. Over the past few years, he has also contributed steadily to JamBase and Relix Magazine. Recently, Hodges moved on to L.A. where Abita Beer is hard to find, costs about $6 if located and impromptu parading in the streets will most likely get you arrested on the spot.

 
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