1972 saw Andersen sign with Columbia and issue his most commercially successful album Blue River. His career was thought to be on an upswing. However, the master tapes of his follow-up album Stages were lost before the album could be released, resulting in his losing much of the momentum he had gained with Blue River. (The Stages tapes were found nearly two decades later and issued in 1991 as Stages: The Lost Album.) He parted ways with Columbia soon thereafter, and recorded sporadically for a number or labels throughout the remainder of the 1970s and into the ealry 1980s. In 1975 he performed at the opening show of the Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue, at Gerde's Folk City in New York, and again in Niagara Falls.
After falling into obscurity for a number of years, he reemerged in 1988 with a new album, Ghosts Upon the Road. Though the album only did modestly well, it was widely praised and placed on a number of critics' year-end "best of" lists.
In the early 1990s he formed the trio Danko/Fjeld/Andersen together with Rick Danko (The Band) and Jonas Fjeld and three albums were released. It lasted nine years before the next solo album Memory Of The Future (1998) was issued. This "dreamy and introspective music" album was followed by You Can't Relive The Past (2000), which contains some blues songs and a selection of songs co-written with Townes Van Zandt. A double album Beat Avenue followed in 2003, which contains a series of rock-dominated ballads and includes a 26-minute title track (a jazzy beat poem), which represents his experiences among San Francisco’s beat community of artists (see 'Beat Generation') on the day of President John Kennedy’s assassination. On his albums The Street Was Always There (2004) and Waves (2005), both produced by the multi-instrumentalist Robert Aaron, he presents (amongst own songs) new versions of classics and of his sixties contemporaries and friends David Blue, Bob Dylan, Tim Hardin, Peter La Farge, Fred Neil, Phil Ochs, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Paul Siebel, Patrick Sky, Tom Paxton, Richard Fariña, John Sebastian, Happy Traum, Tom Rush and Lou Reed. His last album Blue Rain (2007) is a live album recorded in Norway and contains a blend of blues, jazz and folk.
In his almost 45-year career he has issued more than 25 albums to which many artists have contributed e.g. Joan Baez, Dan Fogelberg, Al Kooper, Joni Mitchell, Leon Russell, Richard Thompson, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, Eric Bazilian, Tony Garnier, Howie Epstein and many others. His songs have been recorded by artists all over the world, including The Blues Project, Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, John Denver, Fairport Convention, Grateful Dead, Peter, Paul & Mary, Ricky Nelson, Ratdog (Bob Weir), Linda Ronstadt and Pete Seeger.