2005: Jason Anderson - Live at the Campfire

I first discovered Jason Anderson’s music from a song called “If I’m Waiting” off his 2005 album The Wreath. It was a sad and lonely little song. It’s stuck with me for years.

When I moved to the Midwest five years ago, I traveled around a lot and came into contact with a wide range of characters. It always surprised me that in whatever Midwestern city I visited, somehow a Jason Anderson show would come up. The myths of these small festive house shows followed me from Milwaukee to Chicago to Omaha.

Last year, I finally went to my first Jason Anderson show. It was at a bar called Pete’s Candy Store in Greenpoint — Anderson’s NYC neighborhood at the time. I convinced some friends to take the train with me from New Jersey to Brooklyn, and when we got there the place was fairly empty. The stage was set up in the back room, an old NYC subway car turned into a narrow concert space.

When Jason came inside to play, within minutes that little room was packed full. Instead of taking the stage, he stood on a chair and everyone crowded around him. From the first song, it was clear that we were all going to sing along to most if not all of his songs. It was a spectacle; a momentous shift of arms and legs and shouting and community. That’s who Jason Anderson is though — a performer’s performer, the type of person who inspires people to forget where they are.

In one of the videos for this Massachusetts campfire set (“Time Will Make Me Ready”), Jason talks about how he sometimes feels like a motivational speaker when he performs. Now, I’ve seen lots of bands and musicians who could claim this, but it’s usually because their music offers masturbatory solos or booming voices or exceptional lyrics. It’s a lot harder to find a performer that has a purely infectious spirit and an unquestionable gift for exuding the gooey substance of a life lived to the fullest.

This playlist might just be a green night-vision-filmed average recording of a set from 2005, but it’s the spiritual aspect of this experience that comes through. The songs where he veers off into covers of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” and Whitney Houston’s “I Want to Dance With Somebody.” The audience vocals for “So Long” and “Christmas.” It becomes less like a concert and more akin to a meditation on life. You don’t need HD videos to recognize the joy that is present during a Jason Anderson show. It’s obvious.


There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

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