An award-winning guitarist, vocalist and songwriter known for his soulful voice, layered soundscapes and eclectic range of genre, New Orleans’ Anders Osborne has been tearing up the stage for the past two decades. He will return to Vail with his band on Tuesday for the Hot Summer Nights free concert series at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Osborne performed during the 2013 GoPro Mountain Games’ Mountains of Music series.
“I’m a relative newcomer to Anders Osborne’s music,” said Jens Werner, who lives in Edwards. “But I immediately fell in love with his lyrics and blended styles of music. I’ve never seen him in concert, so needless to say, I’m excited about his upcoming show in Vail.”
On Tuesday, Osborne will perform songs from his diverse catalogue of music that spans the past 15–20 years that he’s been making records.
“I don’t have a specific record out now,” said Osborne, “So I’ll play as much as I can fit into two sets. There will be a lot of rocking out and improvising, and we’ll try to find some magical moments.”
It is Osborne’s improvisational skills that make each show unique, coupled with the richly layered textures that he and his trio weave on stage. A physical performer, Osborne seems to reach into his very psyche, drawing out every passion and offering it up on a musical platter to the audience.
Osborne’s latest release, “Peace,” continues the musical — and emotional journey — that started with “American Patchwork” and continued with “Black Eye Galaxy.”
Recorded at Dockside Studios in Louisiana and produced by Osborne and Warren Riker, “Peace” looks at the title subject from all angles. Drawing inspiration from his family and friends, Osborne created a very observational record.
“Peace is light from darkness,” Osborne said. “The songs are written from the outside looking in. They are not making any judgments. I’m just stating facts. I’m writing from a brighter perspective. There’s less dusk and dark and much more sunlight. The results are greater than I expected. The driving tones and sounds are free and natural. This is one of the coolest records I’ve ever made.”
Manifest, then create
Moving from chaos to a lighter place, he’s working on his next album now, with a plan to release it in the spring of 2015. Maintaining the upward momentum, Osborne said that it’s a combination of the music that’s taking him there, just as much as he’s moving the music.
“As I’m planning the next record, I’m thinking how this is going down and I’m spending a few months trying to manifest a few things,” he said. “I’m trying to change certain things about my personality, what I don’t like, what I’d rather see myself be like. ... I think that’s how it starts, and that reflects later on in the music.”
As far as process goes, for Osborne, the lyrics generally come second.
“I think it starts off as having a sonic idea, but not a lyrical idea of what the record would be,” he said. “As you scratch on the sonic idea, the texture and timbres and tempos, then the lyrics come after. It reveals what you’re thinking about, subconsciously, in your mind. I try to manifest something in general and then the record follows, I think.”
The song “Peace” didn’t follow Osborne’s usual method.
“I do think the song ‘Peace,’ itself, was a little bit right in the moment,” he continued. “It happened in the moment of making the record, the lyrics and everything. I think that song spawned the next record; it launched me into the next record. Acoustically, it’s more pleasant, not digging inside, but looking for things that are pleasant.”