Written by: Jen Dan
Americana singer-songwriter Eric Anders started out a bit late in the music field, but has made up for lost time by releasing four albums in four years while in his mid-thirties. He then took a break to raise a family, but came back with another album in 2015 and then released a retrospective LP, Big World Abide: The Best of Eric Anders, last year.
That compilation capped off his previous output, but Anders still has more to sing and play – and to say, especially in light of deleterious result of the US election and the divisive and destructive man who now sits in the Oval Office.
Anders released his latest album, Eleven Nine (the dreaded day Donald Trump was elected as US President), at the end of August. The record is a blend of warm folk compositions and progressive and classic rock instrumentation. Anders’ raw, resonant, and relevant lyrics railing against the President and his administration provide a strong contrast to his welcoming Americana sound.
Anders states, “All of Eleven Nine’s proceeds are going to Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and those with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work.”
The singer-songwriter/musician is taking an important stand in the face of the discrimination, and worse, coming out of the White House these days. But it’s not just about the dangerous President and his lackeys; it’s about the ingrained false beliefs and ignorant, narrow minds that continue throughout US history; of racism and bigotry that has no place in a free, inclusive, humane, and progressive society.
Anders addresses these deep and dark issues on his song “This Fire Has Burned Too Long” and his accompanying video. He compiles violent and horrific historical and current footage, including shots of Trump and his discriminatory words and actions, into a despairing and depressing – and real – representation of the hate and fear that has inflamed the nation for centuries, with Trump and extremist Republicans now stoking the flames. When will this fire die out?
The song itself is a poignant piece of down-tempo Americana simmering at a subdued pace with subtle piano notes, cymbals shimmer, plaintive curls of steel guitar, and Anders’ wistfully yearning, potent vocals and damning words. He laments that, “…this fire has burned too long / Can’t save us now / and I fear it’s going to burn us up.” and, sharply and perceptively, that, “He’s [Trump] the arsonist [we] chose / to lead…”
It’s a tough and detestable video to watch, and distressing lyrics to hear, but the evil needs to be seen, heard, and understood as such in order to combat it (by peaceful means) and change the ever-more Divided States of America back to the United States of America.
Find out more about Eric Anders