This week’s Alive After Five headliner: Anders Osborne
Go Listen Boise local opener: Travis McDaniel Band


Anders Osborne‘s story (his life, his career) is not unlike those of the other great songwriters and artists that he’s been compared to by critics and roots purists (Dylan, Guthrie, and Van Morrison). By the time he found New Orleans (or maybe it is the other way around) by taking the long way trekking through Africa and Egypt, working odd jobs to get to his next destination, he had the miles and music down to begin his career in his new home.

“Oftentimes the most true portraits of America have been rendered by those who have come from outside its borders, yet somehow seem to understand and inhabit our culture more than those of us who have lived here all our lives.” — Jambase

Anders has spent most of career since honing his songwriting, at the same time creating a solid fan base by touring the East and West coasts as a performer, while dividing time between New Orleans and Nashville as a staff writer for the Universal Music and Razor and Tie publishing companies.

He’s worked his magic for other performers, writing “Watchin the Wind Blow By,” a number-one hit for country superstar Tim McGraw, and “I Was Wrong” and “A Better Man,” both Grammy-winning songs from Keb’ Mo’s album Slow Down. Anders has written songs for Brad Paisley, Jonny Lang, Tab Benoit and Jimmy Thackery, to name a few.

“Anders Osborne artfully blends blues, rock, soul and classic R&B to create his own distinctive synthesis and original style.” — All Music Guide

Anders hit the national scene with the 1995 release Which Way To Here. He and his band began to tour the country and later that year he was signed to Okeh Records, which had just been revived by Sony’s Michael Caplan. The record received rave reviews world wide and became Osborne’s first commercial break with two top-five singles on the national charts, “Favorite Son” and “Pleasin’ You.” Both were featured on movie soundtracks, the latter later recorded by Jonny Lang. Anders also recorded a second CD for the label, titled New Madrid, which remains, unfortunately, unreleased.

Three other independent-label releases — Live at Tipitina’s, Living Room, Ash Wednesday Blues — were issued. The following year Anders emerged as producer on two historic recordings, Bury the Hatchet, on which he and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux are double billed, and Monk’s Mr. Stranger Man, both distributed by Shanachie Music. In 2007, MC Records released Osborne’s critically acclaimed Coming Down. Osborne’s Alligator Records debut album, American Patchwork (2010), is a moving collection of soul-baring roots rock, blues and ballads. Many of the songs on American Patchwork deal with healing and redemption, spirituality and acceptance. Paste Magazine says, “Osborne has an impossibly great voice and the songs to match.”

His performances have been described as equally spiritual as musical, creating the elusive connection between artist and audience. His emotive guitar complements the message and the music, enticing listeners into his heart and soul. His life is transformed via his song performances into a vehicle to take you to his destination, let you linger awhile, and bring you home a bit better than you left it to step into his world. He is able to refine and relate to the ordinary, making you feel a bit extraordinary in the process. No wonder he is in demand by perfomers of all stripes as a songwriter.

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