Monday, August 8, 2016

Eric Burdon & the Animals at City Winery

The Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo formed in 1958 and became the Animals shortly after Eric Burdon joined in 1962. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, the blues rocking Animals was one of the leading bands of the British Invasion. By late 1966, the other original members had left, and Burdon reformed the brand as Eric Burdon & the Animals, sometimes called Eric Burdon & the New Animals, until that band split in 1969. Living in San Francisco, California, Burdon joined forces with the funk rock band War in 1969, becoming Eric Burdon & War. Burdon began a solo career in 1971 with the Eric Burdon Band. His 11th and most recent solo album, 'Til Your River Runs Dry, was released in 2013. Although the original Animals reunited briefly in 1975 and 1983, Burdon’s present band of Animals consists of Johnzo West (guitar/vocals), Davey Allen (keys/vocals), Dustin Koester (drums/vocals), Justin Andres (bass guitar/vocals), Ruben Salinas (sax/flute), and Evan Mackey (trombone).

Eric Burdon's career lasted beyond the British Invasion of the mid-1960s for two reasons; his hit songs were dynamic rockers and he possessed a unique, powerful voice. At City Winery tonight, the 75-year-old blues rocker had no newer songs of that earlier caliber and his voice has lost considerable power, but he proved to be a remarkably formidable force nonetheless. Burdon and his new band opened with a fresh take on his 1970 hit, "Spill the Wine," then moved through much of the Animals repertoire and sprinkled a fewer newer songs like 2013's "Bo Diddley Special." Some parts that were sung originally were now more talky, and the singing was sometimes more gravelly, yet the songs retained their fierce and passionate delivery. Burdon in concert is still classic, and rock and roll history would be incomplete without his distinguished presence.

Eric Burdon & the Animals will return to City Winery on October 10 & 11. In the meantime, visit Eric Burdon at