This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001



Back in 1981-82, Eric Burdon, who made his name as lead singer of the Animals in the 1960s and later with War, starred in Christel Buschmann’s Comeback and released an accompanying soundtrack album. Though the British rocker was only forty-one at the time, the movie was somewhat of a quiet comeback for him as well as the semiautobiographical character he plays. More than thirty years later, however, Burdon is in the midst of a much bigger revival. In the last fifteen months, the vocalist behind such classic songs as “It’s My Life,” “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” “Spill the Wine,” “When I Was Young,” and “Sky Pilot” joined Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band onstage at SXSW, recorded a stellar four-track blues EP with Cincinnati band the Greenhornes (produced by Brendan Benson), underwent back surgery, signed a book deal for his third memoir, teamed up with Rilo Kiley’s Jenny Lewis for a new version of “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” for the True Blood soundtrack, guested for an entire night on the Late Show with David Letterman, and released a strong solo album, ’Til Your River Runs Dry (ABKCO, January 2013). “The year I’ve had since 2012 SXSW would be the envy of any young band starting out,” Burdon wrote on his Facebook page in March. “In fact, even if I were still in my twenties, I would consider it the best year of my career. To think that it happened to me at the age of seventy-one is a dream come true.” Burdon will be at the Highline Ballroom May 15-16 for a pair of intimate shows with the current lineup of the Animals, featuring guitarists Eric McFadden and Billy Watts, keyboardists Red Young and Teresa James, bassist Terry Wilson, percussionist Wally Ingram, and drummer Tony Braunagel [ed. note: Many thanks to Duke for correcting the lineup], playing songs from throughout his career, including tracks from the new album, which examines dealing with inner demons (“Devil and Jesus”), the legacy of Bo Diddley (“Bo Diddley Special,” “Before You Accuse Me”), honoring antiwar protestors (Memorial Day”), and the need for clean water (“River Is Rising,” “Water”).

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