I’ve spent the better part of a decade singing the praises of Backyard Tire Fire and the (sadly) departed band’s frontman Edward David Anderson. BTF called it quits in 2011 (though their awesome music lives on in albums like 2003’s “Bar Room Semantics,” 2007’s “Vagabonds and Hooligans,” 2008’s “The Places We Lived” and 2010’s “Good to Be”), but Anderson has pressed on as a solo performer.
Last year’s terrific “Lies & Wishes” was Anderson’s solo debut. The record has more of an Americana feel than the music he made with Backyard Tire Fire, but the shift suits him perfectly. He continues in that vein on latest offering “Lower Alabama: The Loxley Sessions.” Anderson, avoiding the brutal Midwestern winters by living on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, came across respected producer/multi-instrumentalist Anthony Crawford, a former sideman to Neil Young.
“I had no idea Anthony Crawford even lived in (Lower Alabama), let alone minutes from our RV park,” Anderson says. “I sort of couldn’t believe it, you know? I knew this guy, I knew who he was. I had seen him play with Neil and was familiar with his work. (I thought that) I need to record some songs with him.”
So they decamped to Admiral Bean Studio on Crawford’s 2,400-acre property in Loxley, Ala. to set about recording Anderson’s sophomore platter. The nine-track gem pushes his music even more into country territory and is nothing short of fantastic.
Anderson sets the tone with “Firefly” and “Sentimental in the Morning,” and he also delivers the goods on “Jimmy and Bob and Jack,” “Cried My Eyes Dry,” “Cried My Eyes Dry” and “One at a Timin’.” I still miss Backyard Tire Fire, but Anderson is doing the best work of his career as a solo artist. (Jeffrey Sisk)