hard-rocking bluesman aims for a “Galaxy” far, far away…




Some albums are born from inspiration. In the case of Anders
Osborne’s latest effort, Black Eye Galaxy (Alligator), the impetus was intuition. “I woke up last summer with a lingering
memory of a dream,” the singer/guitarist recalls. “All I could remember was
something having to do with the number 64, but I couldn’t quite get the
connection. So I went on the internet and Googled 64. I discovered it had
several meanings. It represents the number of squares on a chessboard, the
number of letters in the Chinese alphabet, the number of positions in the Kama
Sutra. All these geeky kind of things. But then I discovered it was also a
number associated with a cluster of stars known as the Black Eye Galaxy.
Suddenly I had my connection.”


With that, Osborne also found a new direction. It allowed
him to stretch his parameters, occasionally delving into more subdued terrain
and incorporating added elements like strings and harmonies into his
traditional back to basics approach. “I felt like I was taking the overall mood
to a dreamy kind of place,” Osborne explains. “The tone was what stayed with
me. I’ve never done anything like this before, going from a small, intimate
sound to something that was big and band-like.”





In a career that spans eleven albums and 23 years, Osborne’s
also never shied away from following his muse. Born in Uddevalla Sweden, he left home at age 16 to travel the
world, eventually settling in New
Orleans. Drawn to the Crescent City
by family members who had relocated there earlier, he wasted little time
integrating into the city’s fertile music scene.

“New Orleans is an immigrant city, like New York or L.A.,”
Osborne suggests. “It’s the most open scene I’ve ever encountered.” His loyalty
to his adopted hometown was manifest when, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he
eased out of a 15-year lucrative songwriting stint in Nashville (which had  yielded, among other things, Tim McGraw’s
multi-million-selling, number one country hit, “Watch the Wind Blow By”) to
return home.


“After Katrina, things changed dramatically,” he recalls. “I
just didn’t see the purpose of doing anything other than staying in New Orleans. It just felt
like the right thing to do.”


Anders Osborne: Live at KDHX 5/15/12 by KDHX



Now, with the release of his new album, Osborne finds
himself drawn elsewhere, specifically to the Black Eye Galaxy, a place far, far
away. “I always try to go with my gut,” he concedes. “It sounds really, really
dorky, but that’s what I love doing.”


Osborne is currently on tour. Check dates here:


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