Anderson East Six-Pack Song Wishlist

Our love of East is no secret. We want to hear him sing everything. But what six songs would we want to hear him cover?

It’s a rare, distinct honor for a new voice to sound like an old one. Not in the actual sound of that voice, but in the familiarity a listener feels when it comes pouring out of the speakers. We are passionate about the music we love, and the deities who sit atop our homemade Olympus. Springsteen. Withers. Nicks. Wonder. Joel.

Occasionally, a new artist comes along and makes us reexamine why we fell in love with vinyl stacks and carefully-curated Spotify playlists. Their catalog may be young, but it brims and crackles with optimism and originality. Since we moved into the neighborhood, a handful of diverse acts have ascended to a higher plane for us. Chris Stapleton. Bruno Mars. Marc Broussard. All relative newcomers — all chief architects of the music that defines life as we see it.

Anderson East has joined those ranks.

East’s voice sounds like the honey you’d wring out of the knotty pine studio walls of Muscle Shoals. Thematically, his music is saturated with the kind of bone-deep soul that makes you fall in love. There’s a sonic richness to his albums, a holy matrimony of all of the South’s great musical heritage. The guy doesn’t just sing, he contorts and howls and testifies. You aren’t sure where the sound is coming from, you’re just glad its in the family now.

A month or so ago, we imagined six songs we’d want to hear Chris Stapleton sing. With the recent release of East’s new album, Encore, we decided the same treatment was in order. Here is our Six-Pack Wishlist for Anderson East:

Shooting Star

Bad Company

This 1975 rock fairy tale weaves a tragic story of career ascension in the music industry. A lurching guitar and an arresting narrative make for exactly the type of song that East would utterly possess.

It sits squarely in his range, and the instrumentation prioritizes a convincing vocal performance. It is hard to conceive a world where this song would not become the type of sought-after live recording that his diehards scramble for. Toss in a bit more of East’s signature horns-and-piano sound, and this is a can’t miss.

Whipping Post

The Allman Brothers Band

There is no sense in trying to be overly articulate about certain things. This song is classic rock. It’s carnal and it smacks you right in the face.

Let Anderson East loose on this chorus and get out of his way.

Caravan

Van Morrison

Oddly enough, Anderson could do some really phenomenal things with pretty much any Van Morrison song, as well as any song from The Last Waltz. Van the Man’s take on Domino from that legendary show, however, rises above. This particular version showcased Van’s willingness to forsake his more melodic tones still in his possession and let the rasp and fire burn through.

Bonus points if Anderson decided to wear the suit Van has going on in that video.

(Editor’s note: A video was discovered by our research department shortly after this post was written that confirms East already covered Caravan, with the actual freaking Band.)

Jolene

Ray Lamontagne

You’re in a small, dimly lit club. It’s an acoustic aesthetic; a bare-bones set-up. The lights go down as you inch closer to the stage, standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers. Anderson walks out in a white t-shirt and jeans; a down-home, american vibe. He stands in the single spotlight, approaches the mic, and a long, raspy howl reverberates through your chest. “Cocaine flames in my bloodstream”.

Jolene — like Anderson — just hits you in your soul. There are so many reasons I want to hear Anderson sing this, but the reason any of us go to see live music is because it’s the only place where you can listen and be moved at the same time. Jolene is one of those songs. Anderson is one of those artists. It would be magic.

Feel Like Makin’ Love

D’Angelo

I’m going to level with you guys. I’ve been waiting to use a D’Angelo song in one of these for a while. However, after seeing what East was able to do with Always Be My Baby, I got to thinking.

D’Angelo is sonic sex. This song has all the elements of a quality Anderson song — bass, horns, slinky lyrics — but it also gives East the opportunity to get a little creative in the execution. Also, we’ll be seeing Anderson in April, and if he came out and busted out a “Strollin’ in the park, watching winter turn to spring,” I (Alex) might implode.

With a Little Help

Joe Cocker

The truth is, you can’t do this song poorly. Anything Anderson would do here would make us dance like wild. It’s in his wheelhouse, and is made to get people dancing. Not to mention, drafting a dream list of who might accompany East on stage for this has us way too excited.