Portland, Ore., singer/songwriter Kasey Anderson has come a long way since his debut album, Dead Roses, was released in 2004. "It was me learning how to write songs while tape rolled," he says. But with his newest record, Nowhere Nights, Anderson's educated and honest take on a classic Americana style has evolved significantly. Here's what Anderson has been listening to lately.
Women and Country (Columbia, 2010)
I loved those first two Wallflowers records as a teenager and then sort of lost track of Dylan and the band after they put out a couple of really sheeny pop-rock records. The presence of Marc Ribot, Neko Case, and Kelly Hogan piqued my curiosity for this record, and T-Bone Burnett's production is expectedly rumbly and atmospheric. I dig it. Having Ribot on board gives it a sort of Waits-ian vibe, which is never a bad thing in my mind.
Greatest Hits (RCA, 1998)
I usually shy away from greatest-hits records, but given the length of time I'll be on the road and the limited space available in the car for CDs, the options were limited. I love Otis, Aretha, Marvin, and all of the greats, but for me, there's Sam Cooke and there's everyone else. He was just operating on a completely different plane.
Burnside on Burnside (Fat Possum, 2001)
One of my favorite live records of all time. Worth it alone for the joke Burnside tells about halfway through the record. I don't wanna spoil it, and I wouldn't do it any justice relaying it here, so you'll just have to track down the record and hear it for yourself. Great band, great performances. Real easy record to listen to on repeat.