Beat Avenue

Eric Andersen. | Appleseed.


Dylan isn’t the only ’60s folk vet still worth hearing. On disc one of “Beat Avenue,” Andersen sings like a man whose salvation hangs in the balance, displaying go-for-broke energy on hair-trigger rockers like “Ain’t No Time to Bleed.” The wail of the backing vocalists, including Lucy Kaplansky, only heightens the sense of urgency. The second disc features the 26-minute “Beat Avenue,” which combines electronic and acoustic riffs over Andersen’s rambling saga of his youthful misadventures among the Beat poets in San Francisco. While not for all tastes, this ambitious epic underscores the vitality of a vastly underrated troubadour.

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  • Jon Young is a contributing writer for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.