Eric Andersen got his start as a singer/songwriter just about the time the folk revival went bust in the mid-'60s, when the phrase "singer/songwriter" wasn't familiar, as it is today. Now, some 40 years later, Andersen continues to follow his muse, which includes a deep investment in the blues on the live Blue Rain. Andersen's voice seems to have grown richer and has developed more texture over the span of time, something that rarely happens to rock singers; as a result, his readings of familiar lyrics carry more weight. He kicks off the set with a slow, menacing version of Fred Neil's "The Other Side of This Life." For folk fans, the song is overly familiar, but Andersen's vocal provides a darker underpinning than the usual, adding a new dimension to this well-worn classic. This and songs like "The Blues Keep Fallin' Like the Rain" might even leave one to wonder if Andersen is channeling Neil. To sweeten the blues mix, Andersen is joined by a solid band that never overplays, giving Blue Rain a simple, no-frills approach. There's more upbeat stuff, with Andersen exchanging his guitar for keyboards, but even here, certain titles -- "Don't It Make You Wanna Sing the Blues" -- can't get away from the album's overarching mood. Blue Rain is a good place to reacquaint oneself with a fine musician and singer.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.