Q - 6/00, p.1023 stars out of 5
- "...The gems here are 4 songs written by the late Townes Van Zandt....the 5 cuts recorded with an old Delta blues trio...feature to particularly great effect..."
No Depression - 5-6/00, pp.114-5
"...[His] most ambitious work in years....finding a densely textured blues-based sound similar in feel to Dylan's TIME OUT OF MIND....his husky, throaty whisper both bites and caresses with verve and clarity..."
YOU CAN'T RELIVE THE PAST contains the last four songs written by Townes Van Zandt.
Personnel includes: Eric Andersen (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica); Lou Reed (vocals, acoustic guitar); James "Super Chikan" Johnson (electric guitar, Fender Rhodes piano); Dan Hovey (slide & lap steel guitars); Kenny Brown (slide guitar); Artie Traum (steel & Spanish guitars); Erik Frielander (cello); Robert Aaron (flute, clarinet); Mark Dann (bass); Ismael Bruno (drums); Lucy Kaplansky (background vocals).
Engineers: Bruce Watson, Noah Simon, Steve Gaboury.
Recorded at Money Shot Recording Studios, Water Valley, Mississippi on June 10 & 11, 1999; Recording Studios, New York, New York on May 26 & 27 & June 6, 1999.
Personnel: Eric Andersen (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica); Lou Reed (vocals, acoustic guitar); James "Super Chikan" Johnson (electric guitar, Fender Rhodes piano); Daniel Hovey (slide guitar, lap steel guitar); Kenny Brown (slide guitar); Artie Traum (Spanish guitar); Robert Aaron (flute, clarinet, piano); Sam Carr (snare drum); Ismael Bruno (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Steve Addabbo; Steve Gaboury; David Glasser.
Liner Note Authors: Eric Andersen; Anthony DeCurtis.
Recording information: Money Shot Recording Studios, W Para (05/26/1999-07/06/1999); Recording Studios, New York Cit (05/26/1999-07/06/1999).
Photographer: Birgit Rudi.
Though he's best known for the romantic acoustic ballads he recorded in the '60s and '70s, the Eric Andersen of YOU CAN'T RELIVE THE PAST is a different animal entirely. His previous album MEMORY OF THE FUTURE found him making the natural leap to an elegant, Leonard Cohen-ish songpoet mode, enhanced by contemporary production techniques. This one is a wide left turn, at once the darkest, bluesiest, loosest, and most unfettered album Andersen's ever made.
Four of the tracks were co-written with Townes Van Zandt, and the latter's deep, poetic touch pervades them. Half of the songs were recorded in Mississippi with musicians who regularly back such deep blues artists as R.L. Burnside for the renegade Fat Possum label. On these, Andersen casts his voice down to its lowest register for a spooky effect that perfectly counterbalances the raw, wild slide guitar of Kenny Brown for a gloriously eccentric head-on collision of folk and blues. Throughout, Andersen's writing is sharper than ever, full of vivid imagery and soulful observations. And that's not even mentioning the title track, a tour de force co-written and sung with Lou Reed. 35 years into his recording career, Andersen produces one of the finest albums of his career.