Even Things Up/Deluxe Edition

Pete Anderson

There’s a chance you’ve never heard of Pete Anderson, but if you’re a fan of roots/Americana music, you’ve probably heard him backing up better known artists such as Lyle Lovett. Or perhaps you’ve spent time listening to one or another of the many albums he produced by people like Lucinda Williams, Jim Lauderdale, or Michelle Shocked. Anderson is known as a guitarist’s guitarist, one of those journeymen revered by members of the fret board fraternity, a guy who’s been paying his dues for a long time. And it shows. On this, a “deluxe” re-release of his fourth solo album, he treats listeners to a smorgasbord of guitar styles. In addition to the original dozen studio tracks, there are four bonus cuts recorded a few months ago at the Starry Plough in Berkeley on what sounds like a special night of music. Bekka Bramlett sings vocals on one track—“Still in Love”—and it sounds here like she’s inherited the soulfulness of her mother Bonnie Bramlett. The instrumental numbers—“Booker Twine, “Wes’ Side Blues,” and “Dogbone Shuffle”—are among the best tracks, deeply inventive blues/jazz concoctions that riff along traditional lines while finding unexpected nuances and changes along the way. If your blood needs stirring, this batch of songs should help you shrug off the winter doldrums.