"As well as being a mighty fine guitarist, Anderson is also an accomplished writer, as half the songs on the album
will testify. The Texas style shuffle of "I Got A Woman," for example, starts off with a terrific guitar break before
things lock into that familiar groove for the verses, with the keyboards very much to the fore. Like all of the rest of the
tracks, there are plenty of guitar passages to choose from, though. If you are not a fan of quality electric blues
guitar, you should probably have twigged by now that this album may not be for you.
"Smokin' NOT! Jokin'" shows that Osee Anderson is a fine blues musician. The review copy has a few irritating
jumps and clicks on it, which seem to be largely down to the copying process. Overall, however, they do nothing to
detract from the quality of Anderson's musicianship. Somebody should sign this guy up, because on the evidence of
this album (albeit somewhat dated), Osee Anderson has what it takes to make it into the big league. Well worth
tracking down. Now, how about a new recording? "
~CD Review of Osee Anderson's Smokin' NOT! Jokin' (D'Lotis Records DLO-051230) by Gordon Baxter (Blues On Stage, www.mnblues.com) September 2003
Sunday, 10 May 2009 (Foto by Jeroen Vos)
Another good band at the Ospel 1988 blues festival; Lonnie Brooks. The guitar player on the right is Lonnie Brooks' son and the guitar player on the left, Mr. Osee Anderson. He was absolutely amazing. This guy played a 15 minute long solo in Sweet Home Chicago.. after a few bars he took it up another level and then simply kept on doing that, for FIFTEEN MINUTES.. the house was rockin' like I'd never seen before.
OSee Anderson's guitar work is -- literally -- seductive
Sex isn't all that the blues is about but ' lovin' is certainly a regular theme...OSee Anderson was manipulating his guitars at the Commercial Hotel's Blues On Whyte bar in a virtuosic manner that left little to the imagination...."The music must have dynamics," explains Anderson after the set. But his varied inspirations spawn more than that in a sound he calls ' BLUESION '.... He dubs his own directions " from MUDDY ( Waters) to MILES (Davis) " and apart from his multi-faceted original songs you could here covers of Bob Marley and Junior Walker in his sets. Keeping an open mind seems important for a player who says his recent listening has included Pat Metheny's experimental work with jazz innovator Ornette Coleman and the funky side of the Isley Brothers...
~ Roger Levesque (The EDMONTON JOURNAL, June 8, 1995)
Blues artist enjoys role of teacher
There are some blues guitarists who might get the chance to meet someone like Stevie Ray Vaughan. Having him sit in for you and play your guitar is another story... The Neal brothers..got me into it [the blues] and I met Phil Guy.. who said " When you get back to Chicago, I'll hook you up on the blues scene"... Working with different musicians is the challenge that shows Anderson's teaching abilities...'Smokin' NOT! Jokin' LIVE!" displays Anderson at his best which is in front of an audience..."The next level for me would be theatres and stadiums. I'd like to be the Pink Floyd of the blues."..
JAMES PETTYPIECE; St. Clair College (The Journal, April 3, 1997).
OSee Anderson's first two CD'S have received world wide airplay . OSee relocated back to the Midwest to continue touring. His gigs have included art galleries, ski lodges, wine vineyards, the eastern seaboard and nationwide festivals including Folk On The Rocks, Yellowknife, N.W.T., Decatur Celebration, Illinois, Windsor / Detroit Freedom Festival, Thunder Bay Blues Fest, Ontario, Chicago Blues Festival, Briggs Farm Concerts, Nescopek, PA.
OSee recently completed his third CD "Catchin' the Sunset" [ smooth jazz ] which is being released to stations for airplay and shopped for distribution. OSee has been back into various studios doing work with friends [ Phil Guy & Ian Smith] and there is an extensive biography in the works [thanks to Marie MacDonald; Boston]. He is looking toward Europe as a future home; with more understanding for his eclectic talents. Thanks to Greg Bosak for the original web page and K.A. MACKENZIE for the updated version.
OLD SCHOOL BLUES
Anderson is part modernist, with a degree in music education, a background of fusion bands and a following of guitar freaks. And he is part traditionalist, listening to the stories of older Chicago bluesmen like Johnnie Littlejohn and Sunnyland Slim and recounting them, pitch perfect..
(ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE # 157; 1987)
Anderson Teaches Blues Fans Plenty With Old School...
OSee Anderson rightly earned a reputation as one of the best guitarists of the fretburner school. During one memorable evening at the BELLY UP in Solano Beach, Anderson was invited back on stage by headliner Albert Collins to trade solos. It didn't take too many riffs from Anderson before Collins admitted defeat ... Anderson is an artist who has progressed beyond the adolescent thrill of seeing how fast he can play. A gifted vocalist as well as guitarist, his guitar playing couples a tasteful restraint to his incredible ability, leading to some outstanding solo passages....
~Jim Trageser (Blade - Citizen Preview,October 16,1992)
Dear Osee, What a pleasant surprise to hear from you last week. Your package of hot music arrived safely through this cold spell.
I can tell you that your music still casts a spell. There's some excuisite guitar playing and great work from the entire band. It's dynamic modern blues that makes u feel good. I also like the way your singing style is developing. You're a strong, authoritative vocalist. Once again, you can be very proud of this project.
It goes without saying that your disc has been accepted for the playlist of my radio programs. The other copy of the CD will be forwarded to WYMS for inlusion in their library and programming on that station.
I am excited to hear of the new developments for OSee Anderson. After being absent from the California blues scene for ever three years, it's meaningful to hear from old friends. Thanks for remembering me. As always I'm one hundred percent music. Best of luck on all forthoming projects.
~ Greg Drust
"From Muddy to Miles," says OSee Anderson, referring to his stage show, his band, his recently released CD Old School/Nu School, and his background, a southside Chicago street education plus a Louisiana/Grambling University formal education. He began performing professionally at age 13.
Old School/Nu School(Integrity Records) is "bluesion." While that term refers to the fusion of blues and jazz, in OSee's case it describes equally his unique mix of theoretical and practical experience in music.
Rolling Stone (9.24.87) says: "Anderson is part modenist, with a degree in music education, a background of fusion bands and a following of guitar freaks. And he is part traditionalist, listening to the stories of older Chicago bluesmen like Johnny Littlejohn and Sunnyland Slim and recounting them, pitch perfect..."
OSee's three-year stint with Lonnie Brooks produced aggressive contributions as lead and rhythm guitarist on two of Brooks' Alligator Album's: Wound up Tight and Bayou Lightnin' Strikes. OSee left Brooks shortly after having opened for Robert Cray, which prompted Blues News'(Vol. 4 No. 12 Mississippi Valley Blues Society) Mike Hogan to write: "By the end of the set, OSee Anderson was picking so fast he could thread a running sewing machine. It's not very often the leader of a band will allow a musician, who plays the same instrument, the opportunity to upstage him. Lonnie gave OSee the chance and did he ever pounce on it....the band kicked butt and took no prisoners. For me.....the headliner was on first."
OSee has performed with Lonnie Brooks, Raful Neal, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Al Green, Otis Rush, Screamin' Jay Hawkins and the Chi-Lites.
To his students at the Guitar Institute in Hollywood, CA, OSee admits being influenced by guitarists Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, Lightnin' Hopkins, Earl Klugh, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, George Benson, Mike Stern, John Scofield, Jimmy Page and Carlos Santana, as well as jazz saxophone greats such as John Coltrane, Grover Washington, Jr. and Wilton Felder.
The all original tunes on Old School/ Nu School reflect the many influences OSee combines to produce "bluesion." Traditionalist, straight from the hip blues dominate "Can't Miss(What You Never Had)," "Not To Worry" and "10:00 News Bleuz." An R&B Cameo feeling can be found in "How Long(Will This Pain Last)" and "I Smell Trouble" Dixieland swing blues New Orleans style is featured in "Rampart Street Strut." A potential crossover sound propels the heart-felt, jazz-like ballads "Blooze for Pops," "Long Distance Lover" and "Can't Say No."
OSee's main guitar is a 1976 Fender Strat. Other equipment includes a Robin Ranger, a Washburn B35, a Marshall 100 Mosfat 1-12, a Peavey stereo chorus 400, a Digitech DSP 121 effects processor, A Samson wireless and Axsak guitar jackets.
Osee can be seen "Smokin' Not Jokin'" from Vancouver to San Diego to Detroit to Austin.
Mega-guitarist Osee Anderson is a Chicago native, now residing in Michigan. As a youth, he played drums and viola, then got a music education degree from Grambling before Willie Dixon sat him down and introduced him to blues guitar. Anderson spent three years with Lonnie Brooks in the 1980s, and appeared on two of Brooks' Alligator albums, Wound up Tight and Bayou Lightning Strikes.
Since leaving Brooks' band, Anderson has performed with legends from Buddy Guy to Al Green to the Chi-Lites, and now he teaches at the Guitar Institute in Hollywood, while fronting his own band. Anderson calls his music "from Muddy to Miles" and cities as influences stylists as varied as Lightnin' Hopkins, Jimi Hendrix, Earl Hooker, John Scofield and John Coltrane. In the album's liner notes, he tips his hat to Albert King, whom he considers to be his favorite blues guitarist, and Albert Collins.
LIVE! Smokin' NOT! Jokin' contains five live songs and three studio cuts. Anderson's funk and fusion influences are apparent in the live cuts (none of which is under 7:30!), but they dominate the studio recordings. The live songs were recorded at the Black Pearl Club in Park City, Utah. The live sound is very upfront and dynamic with lots of vocal and guitar, and Anderson plays lots of guitar. He also gives keyboardist Stuart Perlman plenty of room to solo, which he does with skill and taste.
Worshippers at the mighty altar of over-the top blues guitar will attain complete rapture from the first free live cuts: a rolling shuffled called "Next Time You See Me," Muddy's "Country Boy" and an original tune called "I Got a Woman." Each contains long guitar solos with blazing speed picking and screaming Stratocastor sounds. Some funky guitar riffs are the highlight of "Breakin' Up Somebody's Home." Doug McLeod's "Ain't No Road back Home" is an aching slow blues handled well by Anderson's strong, clearly enunciated vocals and fiery guitar.
"The Last to Know," the first of the studio cuts, is pop R&B with a funky groove. "I Loves Ya Anyway" is an airy shuffle featuring guitar synthesizer and is somewhat reminiscent of the late Johnny Heartman's nore lightwieght material. "Mom's Song," a classically influenced instrumental piece, goes out to the memory of Charlesanna Marcella Howard Anderson, the guitarists, best friend and guiding light.
A note on the back of the CD Case says: "Guitar Freaks: Satisfaction Gauranteed or Your Money Back, directly from D'LOtis Records." I don't believe D'LOtis will be sending out many checks, because as guitar-heavy albums go, the live cuts here are mighty satisfying.
~ By Niles Frantz (Blues Revue 1997)