Eric Andersen Previews "Mama Tried" From His Forthcoming Double Album (premiere)

Photo: Paolo Brillo

Revered singer-songwriter Eric Andersen looks back at his illustrious career with the forthcoming Essential Eric Andersen, featuring his folksy reworking of a Merle Haggard classic.

With The Essential Eric Andersen, the revered singer-songwriter is taking a moment to look back on life. Releasing on 30 March via Sony and Real Gone, the two-disc album release features all of Andersen's most well-known songs, as well as several that were previously unreleased. Working with the likes of Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, and Richard Thompson—all of whom appear on this two-CD set—the release is sure to garner the interest of those who appreciate earnest songwriting and performances.

Ahead of his album's release, Andersen is sharing his own take on Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried" with PopMatters readers. On it, Andersen trades in the sway of Haggard's original recording for a relaxed swagger evocative of many contemporary folk songs of the '60s and '70s, all without losing that unmistakable twang. It goes down grittier than the warm whiskey of Haggard's take, with Andersen embodying an ironic blend of despondent and jovial that won't be lost on listeners.

There's a reason why a songwriter like Andersen has had the distinct privilege of the likes of Johnny Cash and Linda Ronstadt singing his music. In the 42 tracks of which his new essentials release is composed, fans have never had a more comprehensive way of hearing it all for themselves.

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