Legendary folk/rock performers Eric Andersen and Iain Matthews presented an exciting opening for the Music on Main fall series last Weds., Sept. 21. Although there were only about 100 people in attendance at the venue where the concert was held, many were fans of the two from their heydays in the sixties and seventies. The great appreciation and enthusiasm they showed for the performers somewhat made up for the light attendance.
Two big fans were Fred Cavallo of Edison, and Frank Corso of New Brunswick. Corso runs the radio station at Rutgers University.
“I’ve played their music, but it’s not the same as seeing them. I’m very happy there is a music series so close to home," he said.
Fred Cavallo added, “I support live music, and if you don’t, it will go away”. Both believed that kids today listen mainly to ipods and program them with only the music they know. They thought the younger generation should get out to some of these live concerts and see and listen to other music they might not be familiar with.
Both artists performed for over an hour apiece. Eric Andersen was first on the bill and played and sang a variety of selections from his old and new albums. Although I did not recognize any of his selections, there were several pieces that evoked audience applause as he began to play: one of these was “Is It Really Love at All”.
Andersen sang this beautifully and with deep feeling, as he also did another newer song about his wife, entitled “Sinking Deeper into You”. Towards the end of his performance he asked the audience to “be his drummer." Everyone happily clapped and tapped to the lively up-tempo beat of “Singin’ Man”.
After a short intermission, Iain Matthews took the stage and sang accompanied by his acoustic guitar. Looking younger than his years, Liam performed a number of selections from his early days, as well as some new songs. One song, “We’ll Never Find the Road to Ronderlin” was performed, he said, by his old band, Matthews' Southern Comfort. Many in the audience seemed to remember the band and applauded for the song.
Matthews also performed several other familiar old songs such as “If You Saw Through My Eyes” and “Funk and Fire”. To show his versatility, he also performed a piece from a new album which he did with a jazz quartet in Holland, where he lives.
Both artists played with deep passion and polish throughout that only comes from many years of experience. To show their deep appreciation, the audience gave them both standing ovations.