Folk Legend Eric Andersen Returns to Caffè Lena On April 13

“My artistic writing goal is to express interior feelings and reveal situations in the world around me. In other words to ‘make the invisible visible,'” folk icon Eric Andersen tells me. Andersen will return to Caffè Lena on Friday, April 13 at 8 p.m. “Lena Spencer herself invited me to play in the ’70s when I was living in Woodstock,” he says. “I find the town of Saratoga a very special, beautiful place to be. Lena’s is a great place to be seen and play music.”

Those who haven’t heard of Andersen have likely heard of the people who’ve performed his songs—Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, Judy Collins, John Denver and Linda Ronstadt are among the long list of superstars—and most have heard of his Beat era associates Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Dylan, also a regular at Caffè Lena back in the day, called Andersen a “great ballad singer and writer,” and he’s received accolades from critics at The New York Times and Rolling Stone. Among his most famous compositions are “Violets of Dawn” and “Thirsty Boots.”

The singer-songwriter (and harmonica player) just released a new album, The Essential Eric Andersen, the most recent of the 26 records he’s racked up since cutting his musical teeth in Greenwich Village back in the ’60’s. (The artist has also launched an Indiegogo campaign in support of the release.) “The Essential Eric Andersen covers 50 years of some of my best writing and recording, and draws from many different time and session sources,” he tells me. “I think people will be surprised when they listen. They may hear songs I wrote that they may not have normally associated with me. Especially at the opening of the album.”

On the fence about whether or not to get out of the house and listen to the folk legend for yourself? “Kindly lift yourself from the fence, dust yourself off and come on down for a unique experience,” Andersen says. “I have some great players helping me interpret these song versions.”

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