Black Eye Galaxy$0
Much like the eats you’d find down on Bourbon Street, the music of New Orleans draws from a smorgasbord of influences. Armed with a worn Stratocaster (usually tuned to open-D and sporting a capo), Sweden-native Anders Osborne combines heavy riffs, psychedelia, and an introspective sense of lyricism on Black Eye Galaxy to tackle a range of topics from life as a junkie, to his relationship with his adopted homeland of Louisiana.$0
Osborne has never been afraid to get heavy. Thanks to drummer and co-producer Stanton Moore, Osborne brings the thunder here, too, but in a subtle way. He covers the gamut of Americana styles, infusing a country blues feel into “Tracking My Roots” and then taking things way out into the land of exploratory jams with “Black Eye Galaxy.” The biggest surprise is the closing track, “Higher Ground,” which opens with a pensive string section evoking more of the contemporary classical scene rather than the gumbo-infused blues that permeates the Delta region. Even though there’s little to no guitar, the track cements Osborne as a standout songwriter. The grooves and tones are so deep, it’s like what Jackson Browne might sound like if hegrew up hanging out with Jimmy Page in New Orleans. By casting such a wide swath, it can be risky for artists to keep cohesiveness throughout—but not for Anders. If you seek rock with substance, take a trip South and check out Black Eye Galaxy. —Jason Shadrick $0
Must-hear tracks: “Send Me a Friend,” “Black Eye Galaxy”
Since attending a Dave Matthews Band concert as a teenager, Jason has been into all things guitar. An Iowa native, Jason has degrees in Music Business from Minnesota State-Mankato and Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Northern Iowa. Since then, he has spent time doing everything from promotion at an indie music label to organizing guitar workshops all over the country. Currently, Jason lives with his wife, son, and daughter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
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