This CD's press release starts with the words:
This double CD is indeed not folk music. Like his contemporaries, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and John Stewart, Andersen alternates between acoustic and electric albums. This one is electric and even the few quiet songs are not acoustic or folk. It reminded me very much of his 1988 Ghost Upon the Road, much more than his recent releases You Can't Relive the Past and Memories of the Future which were more lyrical and acoustic.
In many ways Beat Avenue is in par with Neil Young's and especially Bob Dylan's electric recordings. It sounds in many ways like a CD that could have been recorded in the late 60s and the 70s. In Ain't No Time to Bleed, a duet with Phoebe Snow, and a song that could be covered by Led Zepplin, Andersen sings:
Basically the first CD failed to convince me completely, and in some songs was hard to listen to. The masterpiece here is the second CD. Many will consider it filler, but it is a complete CD. Beat Avenue, which takes up most of the second disc, is a 26 minute epic poem about a poetry reading by beatnik poets Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the day that Kennedy was shot:
This may not be Andersen's best CD, or even not his best CD in his last ten years of prolific recordings, but it proves that he is multi-talented artist with many eggs in his art basket. For newcomers to Andersen I would recommend his recordings: You Can't Relive the Past" (reviewed on this site), Stages: The Lost Album, Memories of the Future and many others before buying this one.
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