Release Date: Jan 29, 2013
Record label: Universal
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Blues-Rock, Hard Rock
Eric Burdon never stopped working but he did effectively disappear, falling away from the spotlight sometime before the Animals were inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. He kept touring, kept recording, but was decidedly underneath the radar until Bruce Springsteen made him a centerpiece of his 2012 South by Southwest keynote address, inviting the veteran rocker to share the stage with him later that night. Suddenly, Burdon was pushed into the spotlight and he capitalized upon his raised profile, cutting a quick and dirty indie EP with Cincinnati rockers the Greenhornes and then re-upping with Abkco (home of the Animals catalog) for 2013's 'Til Your River Runs Dry, his first high-profile record in eons and his first album of largely original material since 2004.
Back in 1967, when Eric Burdon was an elder statesman of rock at age 26, he and the Animals composed “When I Was Young”. The autobiographical tome was a top ten hit, and it told the story of how life had lost its intensity; pain was more painful, laughter much louder, faith much stronger, etc. He was disillusioned with society as well as himself.
Late career boosts don’t come any more effusive (or unexpected) than having Bruce Springsteen laud you for … influencing every song he’s ever written! Ex-Animals and War frontman Eric Burdon wisely seized that Boss moment from 2012’s SXSW keynote speech, releasing a quickly recorded EP with Cincinnati’s scrappy Greenhornes and now this, his first full length album of predominantly original songs in about a decade. Since he always sounded older than his years, the now 71 year old singer’s voice is gruffly wizened but still unmistakably the person who mesmerized 60’s youngsters singing “House of the Rising Sun” with booming angst. Here he shifts from the gospel rock thump of “In the Ground” to the sweet ballad “Medicine Man” to paying tribute to his biggest idol with two songs; “Bo Diddley Special” and a cover of the Chicago bluesman’s “Before You Accuse Me.
Burdon’s 2013 diary will see him involved in celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of The Animals and working on his third volume of autobiography but, before taking stock of the past, there’s the small matter of a new album – his first for seven years. And while ’Til Your River Runs Dry is unlikely to broaden his fan base to any large degree, longtime followers should be thrilled to find Burdon in such fine voice. Arguably never the recipient of the same level of enthusiastic plaudits heaped on other blue-eyed soul boys of a similar vintage (Van Morrison, Steve Winwood), the intensity and passion of Burdon’s powerful growl has rarely been let loose on material as strong as this.