John Anderson has been a staple in country music since coming to Nashville in 1971. His career has produced multiple award nominations, including a Grammy nomination, an ACM Career Achievement Award, a CMA Horizon Award, and an induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In addition, he has released 23 albums and had numerous hits including, “Seminole Wind,” “Swingin’,” and “When It Comes To You.” After nine years, Anderson is now preparing to release a brand new album, Goldmine, under his own newly-formed record label, Bayou Boys Music, on May 26, 2015.
The album features thirteen tracks, either written or co-written by Anderson, that touch upon freedom, love, life, death and religion. The songs are country music at its finest, full of classic instrumentation where the melodies as well as the lyrics and Anderson’s distinct vocals play their part in conveying the story songs.
The rockin’ introduction of “Freedom Isn’t Free” kicks off the album. He sings of knowing that our country might not be perfect, but “he’ll take it any day” and we should remember the things we have here come at a cost. That is followed by the more light-hearted swinging feel of “Magic Mama” about a special lady in Malibu who was willing to teach him what he didn’t know. Lead single “I Work A Lot Better,” is another high spirited, frisky toe tapper about having a love that “Keeps me running strong……Can’t do nothing without your lovin’/I’ll prove it to you when we’re all alone.”
“Back Home” is a beautiful tearjerker, a mandolin filled ballad about a son coming to see his mother to bring her “back home” to the Lord. The comforting “I Will Cross O’er The River” compliments “Don’t Forget the Lord” which reminds us to do just that at the end of every day while personal favorite, “Song the Mountain Sings” has the perfect triad of melody, lyrics and vocals.
Love pervades both “Happily Ever After” and the mid-tempo “Goldmine.” The former, a fiddle filled ballad that also includes a guitar solo, is one where he expresses his love for the woman who is partner, lover and mother to his children. In the latter with his voice, loving and tender, he sings about striking it rich when he met his love. “I see treasure when I look at you…There ain’t no doubt I hit the jackpot.”
Day to day struggles are dealt with in “Holdin’ On” about trying to keep a grip on everyday life. “I thought I had a grip on things, and then it slipped away/Now I just keep on fallin’ every day.” While “On and On and On” touches on the struggles of hurt, forgiveness and trying to reconnect again after all the years together.
The album closes with “You Are All Beautiful,” which is an ode and thank you to the fans. Amidst piano, pedal steel and fiddle, Anderson mentions the states he has been to playing the big cities to the small fairs where he was “proud to be” having a “big, big time” watching his fans dancing in the sun and waiting in the rain. “I thank the good Lord every day for the music and friends along way….If it’s the last thing I ever do/I just had to write this song for you.” It’s the perfect ending to an album that is a treasure trove of heartfelt songs.