DELILAH - ANDERSON EAST
LCM ALBUM OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2016
Release date: July 10th, 2015
Genre: R&B, Southern Soul, Blues
Record Label: Elektra/Low Country Sound
Delilah is the third studio album and first major label release by American musician Michael Cameron Anderson, better known by his professional name Anderson East. Anderson is orginally from Athens, Alabama but is now based in Nashville. With it's raw, blusey and rootsy almost gospel feel there is much on the album to enjoy. The album was produced by Dave Cobb a Grammy nominated producer based out of Nashville, who is most well known for producing the work of Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell. Vocally Anderson reminds us of Samuel T Herring of Future Islands crossed with Wilson Pickett. The album's feel is almost a homage to the great glory days of Stax Records with a modern twist.
Working with a band of top Nashville players, including the blues-experienced, country-wise rhythm section of drummer Chris Powell and bassist Brian Allen. East and Cobb (who seems to have great fun playing guitar throughout the album), create songs that don't get stuck in vintage sepia but instead move freely from blues attitude to singer-songwriter sensitivity to country tenderness.
Anderson said he chose the album name from Delilah, one of the characters in the seventh book of the Bible called Book of Judges, which features the famous story of Samson and Delilah. "Samson was like the strongest man alive. God blessed him with this superhuman strength but it all laid in his hair. He’s infatuated with [Delilah], totally in love with her, told her secrets and that was the crumbling of the strongest man that’s ever lived. That’s kind of the thread through the record: the woman that saved the crumbled man."
The George Jackson song, "Find 'Em, Fool 'Em and Forget 'Em" came from a visit to the FAME Studios, located in North Alabama, where the record was recorded. The album was recorded live there. Anderson co-wrote the song "Quit You" with singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton, who Dave Cobb worked with previously, and brought into the studio so the two could meet. They hit it off and wrote the song.
The album starts with the upbeat, blusey and almost retro 60's 'Only You' which will get you toe-tapping. Piano, Brass and great BV's build throughout the song. One of our favourites on the album 'Satisfy Me' just sparkles with quality. It wouldn't look out of place on a 'Blues Brothers' movie soundtrack. Some great blues organ from Mike Hicks.
The George Jackson cover 'Find 'Em. Fool 'Em and Forget 'Em' is another R&B classic. With pulsating bass guitar, organ and brass this is song which makes an impact. It's great live too.
The piano led gospel and blues, southern soul 'Devil in me' takes down the tempo and showcases Anderson's great vocal and songwriting. Keeping the slow vibe going is another sublime ballad 'All I'll ever Need'
'Quit You' is co-written with multi-awarding winning singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton. It runs on Mike Hicks' Wurlitzer organ line like a sports car runs on premium. Anderson makes it crystal clear, “I can’t quit you / Lord knows I tried to.”
The beautiful guitar ballad 'What A Woman Wants To Hear' is a nice change of pace, embracing a mix between singer-songwriter and country styles. 'Lonely' welcomes back horns and of course the organ in all its glory. Even with all this extra instrumentation, Anderson's poise and gradual pacing work well.
Penultimate record 'Keep The Fire Burning' does just as its title suggests “keeps the fire burning.” The aching ballad 'Lying In Her Arms' once again retains its poise, taking great care to gradually build the intensity.
Anderson has a gruff way of phrasing and a lot of youthful enthusiasm, but he's learning his way into mastery. There's thought behind every rhythmic push, twist and turn. Along with fellow musicians Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton, we think you are going to see and hear a lot more about Anderon East.
Spotify does have the Delilah album however, we have included some of the live tracks from the FAME studio sessions for you instead.
Anderson is a great live performer, so catch him if you can if he gigs near you.