Short Story Writer, Essayist & Songwriter
Eric Andersen has been a significant songwriter and performer for more than four decades. He was a central figure on the seminal singer-songwriter scene in New York in the mid-sixties, and his work has become part of that movement's canon. But since that time, his writing has incorporated many facets and styles—he has evolved as an artist in ways that are both surprising and entirely appropriate. The body of work he has created in the course of that journey has few rivals.
Folk, blues, country, and jazz are all elements of Eric's eloquent musical vocabulary. But he also stands as one of the most overtly literary of American songwriters; his albums themselves often seem like collections of short stories. It makes perfect sense, then, that he has also explored fiction, essays, and memoir as ways to extend the rich themes of longing, wanderlust, and the search for identity and meaning that have long been central to his songwriting. Just as his songs reach the depths of great fiction, his prose shimmers with poetic suggestiveness.
Eric is a mesmerizing reader. His work ranges over artistic and social watersheds like the Beat movement, the Kennedy assassination, and the Sixties counterculture, as well as how the values of those times have struggled for survival in the twenty-first century. His presentation threads his historical prose poems and some of his songs into a visionary map of where we have come from as a culture and how we arrived where we are now. In a way that few artists can, Eric finds the charged connections between the present and the past, shedding revealing light on the life inside and external to us as he does so.
Bio by Anthony DeCurtis, contributing editor at Rolling Stone, and the author of In Other Words: Artists Talk About Life and Work and Rocking My Life Away: Writing About Music And Other Matters.
OTHER PUBLICATIONS Eric has contributed an essay "My Beat Journal" in The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats. An essay called "The Danger Zone" was included in the recently published Naked Lunch at 50, a homage to William S. Burroughs's landmark book (Southern Illinos University Press). Andersen also wrote about Norway for the National Geographic Traveler and about William Burroughs and Robert Wilson's Black Rider for the Norwegian National Theater.