For someone so highly respected in musical circles, Rusty Anderson isn't widely recognized among the public. This new release should help change that, as its CD incarnation is his first official European release. I knew in 2005, when at a Paul McCartney concert I picked up his first record "Undressing Underwater," that he's the rarest of performers. He can write memorable and profound songs, sings beautifully and powerfully in many different styles, and plays guitar impeccably with perfect taste every time. In Classical circles we often respectfully address such an accomplished person as "Maestro." But lucky for us he's a rocker and we just call him Rusty.
His greatest strength is his guitar in virtuosic leadership role and his rhythmic and positive energy and inventive sense of humor (Hurt Myself, Catbox Beach, Born on Earth) but Rusty's music spans many emotions and moods. There's also the sprawling brawling blisteringly hot "Devil's Spaceship," and the wistful and nostalgic grief of "Electric Trains." The softer elements of his inner life reflect in "Where Would We Go," a highly personal, fragile and intimate love song of the sort John Lennon turned to in the 1970s, and "Julia Roberts," an erotic reverie about the relationship between a man and his fantasies, sung in the pearly voice of a true romantic crooner. "Baggage Claim" uses a staccato mechanistic framework to comment on our tendencies to go on autopilot in relationships; and the newest song of this collection, "Until We Meet Again" uses somewhat satirical lyrics and unexpected jumps in melody and time to bring us flawlessly to the point of farewell and leave us wanting more, living up to its title. My only critique of this compilation is its lack of my favorite Bowie-esque self esteem romp, "Ol' Sparky" from "Undressing Underwater," so pick that up or download it to add to your essential Rusty Anderson.
Rusty is like the hippest club in town. You almost have to know about it already to find it. Because of his day job as Sir Paul McCartney's lead guitarist and session musician to the biggest names in the world today (check out his Wikipedia to be blown away by his lists of collaborations), he's not often front and center on his own. But once you experience his solo efforts you will know why he is considered THE musician's musician amongst those in the know. Five stars!