John Anderson populated the country charts in the Eighties with five Number One hits including the CMA Award-winning “Swingin’,” and in the Nineties recorded one of the best albums of the decade, Seminole Wind. Now, the 65-year-old Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member takes a backward glance at his personal and professional accomplishments in the contemplative new song and video for “Years,” the title cut from his forthcoming album, out April 10th on Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound.
Written by Anderson with Pat McLaughlin, David Ferguson, and album producer Dan Auerbach, “Years” is a sobering yet soothing meditation on a life well-lived, a piano-driven power ballad that swells and soars with the aid of Anderson’s distinctively aged Southern drawl. “Those years, everybody knows you gotta let ’em go and they kinda roll by like tears,” he sings as the track intensifies, aided by a fiery electric guitar solo. In the accompanying video, Anderson’s family life and career-built friendships with fellow country artists, including Johnny Cash and George Jones, are revisited through personal photos and other treasured mementos.
Years features 10 original cuts, including a collaboration with Blake Shelton, on “Tuesday I’ll Be Gone.” Anderson, although guarded with respect to the specifics, notes that the album took shape in the midst of dealing with a serious health crisis. Having since recovered, he notes, “We went in the studio, and I remember saying, ‘I’m going to do this like it might be my last.’ It still could be, but now the chances of that are getting slimmer and slimmer every day. I’m doing better so I’m not hardly thinking that way anymore.”
The collaboration between Anderson and Auerbach began when the prolific producer contacted Anderson as simply a fan of his work. At a later meeting, the two teamed for a writing session with songwriter-recording engineer David “Fergie” Ferguson, which yielded the emotion-packed title tune. Auerbach and Anderson would go on to co-write all of the album’s tracks, working with other writers including Paul Overstreet, Bobby Wood, and Larry Cordle.
Next up for Anderson is a spot on Shelton’s upcoming Friends & Heroes arena tour launching February 13th in Portland, Oregon.
Years track listing:
1. “I’m Still Hangin’ On”
4. “Tuesday I’ll Be Gone” featuring Blake Shelton
5. “What’s a Man Got to Do”
6. “Wild and Free”
7. “Slow Down”
8. “All We’re Really Looking For”
9. “Chasing Down a Dream”
10. “You’re Nearly Nothing”