2019 Year-End Charts

Hamish Anderson Is a Little Bit John Mayer, Michael Hutchence and Fleetwood Mac at the Billboard Lounge

Steven Ryan
Hamish Anderson performs in the Billboard Lounge at the Barclays Center. 

From ponytails to tortured “guitar face” expressions to chord progressions everyone has heard a million times, there are plenty of reason to be leery of blues-rock singer-songwriters. It takes something special to rise above the fray, as Hamish Anderson seems poised to do.

Performing on Monday afternoon (Feb. 15) at the Billboard Lounge in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where the Islanders had just thumped the Red Wings 4-1, the 24-year-old Australian treated a small audience to a set of well-crafted songs with tasty grooves and tasteful solos. Dressed in a snug jean jacket with a vintage Telecaster over his shoulder, Anderson was John Mayer crossed with late INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, with just a dash of Fleetwood Mac thrown in.

The Mac attack came in the form of “Jumping at Shadows,” a Duster Bennet tune the U.K. band used to cover before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham came along, when founder Peter Green was still at the helm. It wan’t the best song in Anderson’s set—he does better when there’s a bit more rock muscle behind his expert note-bending and emotive, almost slurry vocals—but even during this slow and fairly straightforward blues tune, he nicely wrapped his solo around the bass and drum accompaniment, proving he’s no showboater.

Anderson fared better with the garage-y boogie of “Fire” and the Stonesy strutting of “Trouble” and “Little Lies.” “Burn” opened with the clickety-clack of drumsticks on the snare rim and built into a lovelorn scorcher worthy of its name. On “My Sweetheart, You,” Anderson kicked it soul-balladier style, singing in a loose-jawed, open-hearted style that’ll make the masses swoon.

He closed with “Howl,” a grungy four-chord rocker he broke wide open with a stinging solo near the end. If he made a silly face, he looked too cool and sounded too good for anyone to notice.


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