There is a bluesy, soul rock theme at this year’s LouFest (perhaps a little competition with Roots N Blues N BBQ Fest in Columbia?), and Anderson East fits the bill perfectly. “This Too Shall Last” is reminiscent of Jackson Browne and will surely have the crowd singing and swaying along.
His R&B stylings definitely have a gospel feel. Hailing from Athens, Ala., East made the trek to relocate to Nashville, and while dating Miranda Lambert co-wrote two songs, "Getaway Driver" and "Well-Rested" for her 2016 album, The Weight of These Things.
Since then Lambert and East have parted ways and East released his fourth studio album, Encore. It’s a leave-it-all-on-the-table album. He’s dead set on bringing the sweaty R&B and soul legacy back to the region. On this album he’s proved that he can rest solely on his vocal ability alone—listen to his rendition of Ted Hawkins’ “Sorry You’re Sick.”
East’s “All On My Mind” from Encore, has everything to make a bluesy soul tune radio friendly—similar to that of St. Paul & the Broken Bones and Nathaniel Rateliff. East’s gritty vocals are comparable to an excited Ray LaMontagne and cut through a backtrack of various string instruments, kick-drum-heavy cocktail drums and even a bit of synth during the chorus.
I could wear wing tips to a wedding /
501s to bed / A full suit to the party
And we'll dance 'til all that's left /
And I kiss my baby with a sweetness
That only she could bring /
And I love how my baby touches me
So play our lover's game
Ok. I’m sold. So, you want to clap? You want to dance? Do you need to recollect and shed a tear? Familiarize yourself with Encore and don’t miss Anderson East when he plays on Sunday at LouFest. --CW