After 18 years in the music business, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Edward David Anderson has seen a thing or two. As a leader of Bloomington, Illinois’ Americana/Rock outfit Backyard Tire Fire, he released eight albums to the acclaim of both critics and a rapidly growing fanbase. Extensive tours alongside acts like Cracker, JJ Grey & Mofro and Reverend Horton Heat brought the group even more notoriety and they were a frequent spin on Greater Cincinnati’s WNKU.
Then, in 2011, the band went on indefinite hiatus. But Anderson plowed ahead.
His solo work is frank, heartland Folk, for sure, but there’s also some Midwest Soul, a certain earthiness and his trademark dog-catcher’s-net of Pop sensibility.
“Songs about people and places, about life and love and loss. It’s Roots music, cultivated in the fertile soil of the Midwest,” he says of his music in promo materials.
Anderson’s solo debut, Lies & Wishes, landed in 2014, followed in 2015 by Lower Alabama: The Loxley Sessions. His latest, released late last year, is Chasing Butterflies.
On Butterflies, tales of bad tattoos (“The story of my life’s written on my skin”) and self-doubt (“There’s a restlessness I guess/I’m uneasy I confess”) bookend a series of plaintive, endearing tales.
Basics for the album’s 10 tracks came about quickly, captured over just a few days in Muscle Shoals, Alabama at the studio of Grammy Award-winning producer Jimmy Nutt (The SteelDrivers).
“I’ve always wanted to make a record in Muscle Shoals. But it needed to be the right batch of songs with the right people,” Anderson says. “I don’t think I could have written these tunes when I was 25. Everything I’ve done, the people I’ve met, all the places I’ve been, have brought me to this moment.
Here’s hoping Anderson continues to chase the butterflies that bring the rest of us such great music. Counting live albums and pre-Backyard Tire Fire work, Butterflies is the 16th release in his growing and increasingly impressive discography.
Edward David Anderson plays a free show at the Lounge at Newport, Kentucky's Southgate House Revival this Friday (May 10). Click here for more show info.