Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing.
And in the United States you can build yourself up from pauper to profits and from real estate mogul to … President! And apparently qualifications don’t matter too much, according to songwriter Eric Anders.
His new album, Eleven Nine, is a harsh criticism of Donald Trump and the title of the album represents the day Trump was elected. It’s a doomsday scenario indeed but one that takes a folk music-style approach to a dismal situation.
Folksy Sound with Serious Subject
The album is defined by a folksy sound that pulls notes from prog and classic rock. The album’s subject matter stands in stark contrast with its upbeat and quintessentially middle-American sound.
In Eleven Nine, Anders gets his point across about the man who was elected into office by what is believed to be the weary working class of middle America. It’s a brave work, after all, isn’t it the majority of Americans who voted in the 45th president?
In addition to Bay Area-based Anders who writes the music and is the lead vocalist, the smartly engaging group of writers includes Greg Gallardo, and Matthew Brown. On drums is Andrew Rudd; on bass is Stephen Baldock; on electric guitar and lap steel is Tyler Nuffer; on piano is Aaron Otheim and backing vocals are done by Anika Reichert.
The album was produced and mixed by Matthew Emerson Brown (Trespassers William) and features guitarists Jeff Fielder (Mark Lanegan) and Tyler Nuffer.
The folk singer-songwriter genre is clearly not dead yet and plans to keep kicking, as Anders is donating all the proceeds from the album to Lambda Legal.
I got into writing and recording songs in my late 30s and then tried to make up for lost time by releasing four CDs in four years,” Anders said.
The albums were Not At One (2003), Songs For Wayward Days (2004), More Regrets (2005) and Tethered to the Ground (2006). Anders took a five-year break to get married and have a few children and then he released Remains In Me (2011). After another five-year break, released Big World Abide: The Best of Eric Anders (2016).
On his debut album, Not At One, Anders teamed up with Mark O-Bitz (songwriting), Richard Barron (production) and the members of The Sugarplum Fairies: Benny Bohm (songwriting, preproduction) and Silvia Ryder (preproduction).
He has worked with Jeff Peters, who mixed Not At One, and would end up producing my his second release, Songs for Wayward Days, an anti-Bush political EP released a few months before the 2004 election.
Though the election results were disappointing to Anders, he said he was fortunate to have worked on this EP with bassist, Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and Cracker), and hall-of-fame drummer, Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello).
“My patriotism is not the knee-jerk, thumb-sucking kind,” Anders said. “It is critical, and therefore richer. America has always been both great and horrible: These attributes embodied in our brilliant and brave but slave-owning forefathers like Washington and Jefferson. Anyone who is unambivalently patriotic is no patriot. America deserves and needs the tough love of true patriots, not morons unwilling to read and take in our very mixed history.”
Anders said: “Eleven Nine is my ‘Patriot Act.’
1. This Fire Has Burned For Too Long
2. Who’ll Stop The Rain
3. How Low And Why
4. Looking Forward To Your Fall
5. Inside The Sacrifice Zone
6. Do You Feel?
7. A Man For No Season
8. So Wrong
9. Big World Abide
10. I Hear Them All