Telluride Blues & Brews: Anders Osborne

Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, Telluride Town Park September 16-18. Joe Walsh and Jason Isbell lead the Friday bill; Gary Clark Jr. and Anders Osborne set to perform on Saturday; The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band featuring Rick Vito and Vintage Trouble closing out the festival on Sunday. Full schedule here. Tickets here. (Note: 3-day passes almost sold out.)

Please scroll down to the bottom of the story to listen to my podcast with Anders Osborne.

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In July, critically acclaimed singer-songwriter-guitarist Anders Osborne released his latest cd, Flower Box, his second full-length album this year. Recorded in his hometown of New Orleans late last year, Flower Box is a heavier, guitar-driven follow-up to the acclaimed Spacedust & Ocean Views, which came out March 18.

“I love the way this record comes out stout and determined right out the gate, a four-piece rock & roll band making beautiful and conquering noise,” says Osborne. “The producer, Mark Howard, has a way of making you play in the moment and being confident. His sounds and engineering style is that of classic records, with his own special sauce of ‘haunting’ on top of it. The musicians on the release are undoubtedly some of my absolute favorites in the world, as players and as people. Their contributions are invaluable. I am talking about Scott Metzger, Brady Blade, Carl Dufrene, Chad Cromwell, Marc Broussard, David LaBruyere, Rob McNelley & Justin Tocket. Bad boys! I’ve been wanting to make this record for several years and I am stoked it’s finally here.”

And will be “here,” here in town that is, at least select tracks from the release, as part of Osborne’s sets at the 23rd annual Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. Yes sets, plural: Osborne is everywhere you want to be at Blues & Brews, performing Saturday, September 17, 6 p.m. on the Main Stage in Telluride Town Park; Saturday, 10 p.m., Town Park, the Blues Stage; and Sunday, September 18, 10 p.m., Sheridan Opera House.

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One of the last times Osborne was in town, he performed at a KOTO concert with Karl Denson (Of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, KDTU) and, according to KOTO staffers, “Killed it.”

At that very special concert a few years ago, Denson and Osborne on lead vocals and their guests performed the Rolling Stone’s landmark album, Sticky Fingers, from start to finish, including chestnuts such as “Wild Horses” and “Brown Sugar.”

“Anders is an amazing all-around talent,” said Denson at the time. “He’s someone I’ve admired for years…”

The Swedish-born Anders Osborne left home at the age of 16 to begin a musical odyssey that eventually landed him in The Big Easy in 1985. There he developed a deep understanding of the blues, rock, and New Orleans funk. From his adopted hometown, he produced hits for the likes of Keb’ Mo and Tim McGraw and released his first album in 1989.

Anders Osborne

Anders Osborne

As Telluride locals know, live, Anders is a force of nature. In wildly energetic, physical performances he rips notes out of his guitar like a hungry animal on a carcass, forces out riveting steel-on-steel slide solos, and sings from the inner reaches of his soul.

A very proud immigrant, Anders has often said he’s living in the Promised Land.

 

At age seven, Osborne and his family moved from Uddevalla, Sweden, to Island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea a place known for its artist-friendly atmosphere, ancient architecture, and serene landscape, made famous by resident and famed movie director Ingmar Bergman.

Osborne’s father, a professional drummer who toured northern Europe with various jazz and popular rock bands throughout the 1960s, would bring home early reel-to-reel bootleg recordings of  his contemporaries such as Little Richard, Fats Domino, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, “Cannonball” Adderley, Bobby Womack and the Valentinos, John Coltrane, Jimmy Smith and Charlie Parker. Listening to all of that music paved the way for Anders, an aspiring young artist, who began his career playing drums, piano, guitar, and singing in local groups, performing his own compositions, as well as songs by singer-songwriters of the time, including Van Morrison, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan.

Though based in New Orleans, the musician has fans all over the globe, from touring non-stop, as well as through a heralded collaboration with the North Mississippi All Stars.

Anders Osborne has once again been on the road virtually non-stop since February, with dates booked well into October.

Next stop: Telluride Blues & Brews.

For more listen to his podcast:

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