Eric Addington

New News

 

Hello folks,

Long time no update eh?

As you may have noticed from the calendar section of the site, I've been doing a ton of gigs with the Good Shepherd church band over the past months.  It's been my main guitar playing outlet for the past year or so, and I'm grateful for the opportunity.  Playing with a band has made me a better guitar player.  I've had the opportunity to play both electric and acoustic guitar with the worship band.  I've not really played electric guitar since playing with the Kipps back in 2009 or so.  And, prior to the Kipps, it was probably high school when I really played electric guitar much.  One of the first things I realized in picking the electric back up was how insufficient my gear was.

Generally, at church we're playing a silent stage and so I needed gear that would allow for me to play with no amplifier.  After some brief research, I picked up a Tech 21 Fly Rig to run direct to the board.  I like it so far and continue to tweak the sound each week that I use it.  It's pretty versatile and offers a good reverb sound that seems pretty necessary when it comes to worship band electric guitar sound.  It also has a delay channel with tap function that is also useful in a worship setting.  The delay section allows for a cool chorus effect by dialing down the repeats and time functions, but it does require tweaking mid-service which is inconvenient.  I'm not a big fan of having to crouch down and change tiny dials between songs, but I'm managing okay. 

The folks that play in the band at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Moorhead, MN are fantastic.  I think there are about 25 or so players in any given week between the wednesday evening or sunday morning services.  Everyone is easygoing and fun to hang with.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to play with good people each week. 

I've generally not been a big fan of "cheer leading for jesus" music that is often associated with contemporary christian worship.  My last adventure playing in a church band was in college at Concordia as the guitarist in the temple band some 20 years ago.  That too was a great group of people to play with and though the type of music we we're playing brought a bit of discomfort, I was happy to play music with like-minded people.  Things have changed in contemporary christian music since my days in the Concordia College Temple Band, but my relative discomfort remains.  I'm sure there is another blog post coming diving more deeply into the existential feelings I have about the contemporary christian music I'm a part of these days. 

In the meantime, I'm happy to continue playing some solo gigs as well as some Flatlands gigs.  Bill and I have welcomed back Brent Thorson into the fold with Flatlands recently.  Brent brings another harmony vocal as well as some great percussion to our set.  We continue to look for gigs so if you have a need for an acoustic trio with three-part harmonies, we'd love to come and play for you.  Shoot an email and we can chat about dates. 

Thanks to you who read this - I have no idea if anyone is checking this out or not.  I've been horrible at keeping up on what's going on.  Like other posts, I'll reiterate that I'm hoping to keep things more current.  Send a message if you've read this as that'll give me some sense of whether or not folks are looking. 

I'll keep writing - thanks for keeping listening.

cheers

eric

Shows

 

Greetings everyone - I've added a couple of dates to the calendar.  Hope to add a few more soon.  Be well!

 

Eric

The Never Ending Quest

 

As an acoustic musician, I'm on a never ending quest for new gear.  It's silly really...I have gear that works fine, but there is something about needing to tweak stuff that keeps me always looking at "what if I tried this?"

A few gigs back, I was having trouble with both my guitars...a horrible jarring sound would come out of the speakers at random times.  I brought my guitar into Paul Hvidsten who does amazing work and has always done all my guitar maintenance and repair, and he said there wasn't anything obvious he could find.  I read up on other guitar players experiences with the same pick-up and preamp configuration that I use, and a lot of folks mentioned that the pick up I use doesn't play well with the preamp I use.  So, at the Nights of Christmas gig we did in December, I tried using a standard direct box rather than a preamp, and it sounded great and there were no horrible unpredictable jarring noises.  Victory!  So, I bought a new direct box to replace my old preamp. 

Now...it's got me thinking...what if I got a new board to run the PA?  Or, what if I got some new powered speakers...or maybe I should change the pickup configuration in my guitar, because at the gig with Josh Harty last week I really liked the way his rig sounded....STOP!

When does it stop?  Never...I've been having this conversation inside my own head since I bought my first piece of gear when I was 16 years old.  It doesn't help that my partner Bill is the same way...we're constantly talking about what we should change up and how we should configure our sound system.  In a way, it's kind of fun...looking in the gear catalogs and on craigslist...imagining the possibilities limited only by disposable income and a spouse who is actually rational about money.  

Well, I'm off to the music shop to check on PA boards.  If I get a new one, I think our system will be perfect...almost.

Where does the time go?

 

I noticed today that the last entry here is from 2011.  That's weak.  Coincidently, that's also the year my second daughter was born...so I suppose I can figure where my time has been spent.  Much has happened in the past few years in addition to starting a family.  Several new jobs and moves around the state and I find myself back in Moorhead, MN.  Today it's -18 F and the wind makes it feel like -37F.  I really missed living here these past 10 years.  There's something about this weather...it's right in your face and it impacts almost all the decisions we make on a daily basis.

Another plus to being back in town is the proximity to my old friend Bill Lempe.  Bill and I started Flatlands 18 years ago...I can't believe we've been playing together that long.  In the time I was away, we didn't play as often as I would have liked, but we still managed to eek out a few gigs together each year.  Now we're able to fill up the calendar a bit more which is great.  We just played up in Bottineau, ND for Camp Metigoshe's Nights of Christmas Celebration and it was a great night.  And, it brought us back together with our old friend and original Flatlands member Jon Halvorson.  The blizzard driving home the next morning wasn't as great, but it was a fun trip overall.  

And, tomorrow night, I get to meet up with another old friend.  I'll be opening Josh Harty's show at the Listening Room in Fargo.  Josh and I used to play a lot of shows together 10-12 years ago.  We traveled all around playing just about anywhere.  We covered a lot of miles in the van and I miss those days.  Josh has continued to put on a lot of miles in the meantime, and has really become one of America's best songwriters.  I look forward to seeing my old friend and hearing about his adventures across America and Europe playing his guitar.  

So, where does the time go?  Quickly to be sure.  I'm a bit of a sucker for nostalgia and senitmentality looking back on younger days.  But, I'm excited about the future as well.  I'm hopeful for new songs and new gigs.

Cheers,

Eric 

Good Times

 

Thanks to all those who came out to the shows in Fargo.  I had a blast playing at the HoDo and the groom's dinner was excellent as well.  And, it was really great playing with Bill, Brent, and Kyle...I mean Alex.  

Performing on the Christopher Gabriel radio show was super fun too.  It had been a long time since I played on the radio.  It's always a bit tricky to hear each other with the headphones on.  

Hopefully Flatlands will have some more shows in the near future...if you are interested in hosting a house concert, or if you know of a fun place we can play in your town, drop me a line and we'll see what we can do.

Cheers,
Eric 

Gigs

 

Hello website visitor.  Thanks for stopping by.

I have a couple of shows coming up, and I'm excited to get out and play again.  It has been ages since I performed last.  I'm always excited to play gigs with Flatlands, and we have a few shows coming up in the next few weeks and months.  Billy and I are playing at the Minneapolis and Moorhead Cornfeeds here in August.  These are usually fun shows and we get to see some old friends too.  Bill and I haven't really played together since last year's cornfeeds, so we probably have a bit of dust to shake off before we play.  Though, we've been playing together for so long, it doesn't take too long to fall into the old ways. 

There is also another potential flatlands show coming up this fall in Fargo.  This would likely be a more traditional flatlands show...possibly at a venue where they serve beer.  Stay tuned to my otherwise static website calender for more details about this show.  It is shaping up for early October. 

I'm just starting to get interested in doing shows again, so if anyone is looking for an opening act or would like to split a bill, let me know.  And, if anyone is interested in hosting a house concert, I'm certainly open to that too. 

Thanks!

Eric

Approaching One Year

 

Well...it's been nearly a full year since I've written in to the site here.  I've been taking a hiatus from professional music to go to graduate school and spend some time with my family.  It's been a good break.  I've been playing a fair amount of guitar, though mostly "The Wheels On the Bus" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".  Watching my daughter dance and sing along is really priceless.  

I can't believe it's been a year since I sold my main guitar.  I still get a bit nostalgic for it, but I think it was a good move.  My old Taylor is sounding better than ever.  I still remember walking to Marguerite's Music in Moorhead to buy that guitar back in 1995.  

I do have a wedding coming up in June that I'm looking forward to.  I haven't played out in front of people for quite a while, so it should be fun to feel those nerves again.  I am looking to get out and do a few more shows in the coming months, so if anyone is interested in hosting a house concert or if anyone knows of a cool low-key venue shoot me an email.  

Hopefully I can check in again before another year goes by.  If you are reading this, thanks much.

Eric

Gone Gone Gone

 

Well, it's gone.  I did it.  I sold my guitar.  I tested the waters...put it out there in a safe way I knew wouldn't result in a sale.  Then, I put it out on craig's list.  I thought it'd be pretty safe out there as well...most people looking for high end acoustic guitars generally don't shop on craig's list.  Or at least I thought so.  Within an hour of posting my Lowden O-32C, I had an email from an interested buyer.  

The buyer was perfect.  A gentleman who was already a Lowden owner.  I felt good that it was going to a good home with someone who appreciated exactly what it was.  

It was surprisingly emotional for me.  I've never sold or gotten rid of something so personal.  As I was driving to meet the buyer, I thought about making Dragonfly, and how most of the songs were recorded using that guitar.  I thought about all the gigs I've played over the years with that guitar.  I distinctly remember recording It's Been Awhile in one take in the basement studio with Josh Baesler.  I remember a lot of smokey nights at the Red Bear in Moorhead when people could still smoke in bars.  

Maybe it's a little silly to feel so sentimental about it.  After all, it's a box of wood and strings.  But it was my number one guitar for a period of my musical career.  The fact that it is now gone signals the end of that period.

It also signals what I hope is the beginning of a new period.  I'm not sure if I'll buy another guitar.  I still have the Taylor which is what I've done most of my writing and playing at home with.  Though, I have been looking around a bit, and there are some tempting guitars out there.  

I have some tentative plans for recording in the works, and a few songs in progress that could possibly benefit from a new box of wood and string.  We'll see what comes. 

Phew...that wasn't even close

 

Well, due to the overwhelming response to my guitar being put up for sale…wait a second….there was no response. So, my prediction that my website was a safe place to put a guitar up for sale that I really don’t want to sell turns out to be true. I actually had one person ask if I sold it, but that was the extent of the response. Phew, I’m glad that is over. The prospect of actually selling my guitar and having it gone was a bit anxiety inducing. Of course, everything is for sale if the money is right.

A New Era?

 
I've been talking about selling my guitar for quite a while. I have a couple of friends who swear up and down they'll punch me in the face if I sell it. (hi Bill. hi Brooks.) I'm conflicted about putting it out there, but now it is...out on the internet for the world to see. Someone could possibly contact me and want to purchase the guitar. Then, I'd have to face the fact that it could go. See, I'm incredibly sentimental. I think of all the shows I've done with that guitar. The from the unplugged weddings to smokey boozy nights at the Red Bear. I think of all the songs I've written with that guitar. Standing Here Together. What I Do Now. Lullaby. Most of Dragonfly was recorded using that guitar. Of course, there are the practical reasons not to get rid of it as well. It sounds amazing. It plays easy. It's sparingly beautiful and understated. But I've had a feeling in my gut for a while. Guitars seem to have come and gone with different eras in my life. When I first started out playing, I was playing an Ibanez electric guitar copied from a Fender Stratocaster. I still have it. The first era for me was when I started playing acoustic guitar. I had a Sigma. A decent Martin dreadnaught copy. When I got to the point when I starting playing in front of people, it was a new era. I sold that guitar to my friend Leif when we were in high school, and he still has it. I moved onto one of those round back Ovations with an on-board pickup system when I started playing out. Say what you will about them being ugly or sounding crappy, I would love to get that Ovation back. It had a great fast action neck and was a fun guitar to play. The next era came when I was headed off to college. I bought a new guitar for this new era. A Charvel. It was fancy. It had a cut away neck. It had mother of pearl fancy inlays. I sold it to my friend and music partner Bill Lempe when we started Flatlands. I wanted a Taylor guitar and sold a Michael Jordan rookie card to pay for my Taylor 422. This was my main guitar from 1995 till I got the Lowden in 2003. I still have the Taylor and it sounds better than ever. I actually do most of my songwriting and playing around the house on my Taylor. When I began to think about making a solo record and doing more solo shows, I picked up the Lowden. It signaled a new era for me. I've spent the past 5 years playing primarily as a solo act. For the past year or so, I could sense a change but couldn't put my finger on it. I'm not sure what the new era is musically for me, but I think it may be time for a new guitar. I'd love to keep the Lowden in the stable, but the net number of guitars in my house is not allowed to increase. So, there is the brief history of my guitar eras. I've got a few ideas for what the new one will be, but part of the joy is finding the right one. Of course, it'll be sad when the Lowden goes. I hope it goes to someone who will play it often.

Fargo

 
Thanks to everyone who came out to the show in Fargo this past weekend. I had a great time. Thank you again to Scott Curfman for putting together a great place to have music, Prairie Public Radio for having me on the air, and John Lamb at the Fargo Forum for the story in the paper. Also, big thanks to Bill Lempe for coming up and playing some old songs. It felt good playing out again, and playing with Bill felt really natural. It'd been a couple of years since we played together, but during the sound check, things came together just like we never stopped. It was a lot of fun seeing Brooks West play too. It was great seeing old friends and catching up a bit.

Fall is coming...

 
I can feel it in the air. I'm excited. Fall is my favorite time of year, but it never lasts long enough for me. Maybe that is why it's so appealing. I have to take a moment to recommend some music I've really been enjoying lately. David Brusie is a friend who has a new record out. It's called Flyover State and it's fantastic. I think you can pick up your copy at www.davidbrusie.com. The other new music I've been really enjoying is Eric Taylor's new cd Hollywood Pocketknife. The title song is really amazing. The rest of the record is as well. I opened a show for Eric a few weeks ago in Fargo. We played at the Spirit Room. There were maybe 15 or 20 people and it was a lovely evening. It was my first performance in a really long time, and I was real nervous. It felt good to be on stage again. It was new and exciting like when I first ventured out so long ago. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people to share the evening with. Big thanks to Bill Lempe for letting me use his great sounding guitar and big thanks to Scott Curfman for organizing the show and inviting me to open the show. And, of course, big thanks to Eric Taylor for the opportunity to get back behind the microphone again after a long hiatus. You can find Eric's new record at www.bluerubymusic.com. It's worth a listen. I hope you are well and enjoying the impending fall season. eric

A Show

 
I haven't been doing much performing lately, but when my friend Scott Curfman emailed about opening the Eric Taylor show in Fargo I couldn't refuse. Eric is a legendary singer songwriter from Texas and sharing the stage with him is always an honor. Find out more about Eric at www.bluerubymusic.com. Here are the show details: July 17th, 2008 The Spirit Room Fargo, ND 7:30 PM www.spiritroom.net I'd better start practicing now since I haven't played a show in so long. Hope you can make it out. Best, Eric

My friend Brooks

 
Hey everyone...or at least the one that reads this website. My friend Brooks West has a new EP out that is utterly amazing. Be a pal and go visit Brooks at: www.myspace.com/brookswest. Send him a message asking where you might be able to pick up one of these gems. While your at his myspace page, you can listen to the tunes from the EP. Wonderful.

I dig...music

 
Okay...I said I'd be back to tell you about some of the music I've been listening to and enjoying recently. 1. Raising Sand - this is the album put out by Allison Krause and Robert Plant. It's produced by T-Bone Burnett and like most things he does, it's great. My favorite track right now is "Killing the Blues" I want a pedal steel guitar. 2. The Story - this is Brandi Carlisle's lastest...also produced by T-Bone Burnett. The songs are great and her vocals are really strong. I particularly like the last song which I can't recall the title of right now. 3. Flyover State - this is the upcoming release by Dave Brusie. Dave and I are in a songwriting group together though you would never guess because neither of us have actually attended for quite some time. Dave's been working on this record for a while and it is now in the final mixing stage. Look for updates on release shows and get yourself a copy when it comes out in May or June. 4. I saw Lucy Kaplansky and Storyhill at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul a week or so ago, and it was sweet. I hadn't seen Lucy before, and she was excellent live. She did perform "10 Year Night" which is one of my favorite tunes by her. Storyhill was excellent as always. By far the highlight of the night was the three of them performing John Gorka's "Gypsy Life" at the end of the show. Damn. What have you been listening to?

Update

 
Hello reader. Thanks for stopping by. The spring weather has finally found minnesota and I am glad for it. This winter really seemed to go on and on and on. I think the last of it is behind us. I've been listening to a lot of music...when I have another minute, I will share what some of that music is. But, now I have to run.

Free Life

 
I've been listening to Dan Wilson's new record. It is inspiring to say the least. I really don't have anything else to say about it. Speechless. Yep.

Loving this weather

 
This time of year is my favorite. The windows are open and the fresh chill in the air is really invigorating. I love that feeling in the morning when I know it's cold in the room and I'm warm under the blanket. It's so hard to get out of bed. It's been so dry here in minnesota, the leaves are turning early and probably won't last long. That's the thing with fall...it's so fleeting. Even when we aren't experiencing a drought, it doesn't last long enough for me. Although, maybe there is extra appreciation to be found knowing it's short-lived. In my opinion, a sunny day in the middle of september is tough to beat. I was in Fargo last weekend catching up with friends. It's always good to get back up there. The agenda is always loose, and it's relaxing to be away from life in the city. I'm heading back to Fargo again today for another weekend to meet up with family. I'm looking forward to the drive. There is something about leaving the city. The drive out of town makes me feel good.

Out of Touch...Still

 
Well so much for keeping up with the web news. Six months have passed with nary a word. The calender is empty. I have been off the grid apparently. Sometimes I think it'd be great to get rid of my cell phone and cancel all my email accounts and website and myspace. I wonder if it's possible to get along without these things anymore. I suppose one could get away without the cell phone, but so much work and business is done via the web now. Recently, in the office, the server crashed early in the afternoon. No email. No web. No way to access programs that share data between departments. We all just went home. We couldn't do anything. The cell phone would be easier to get along without, but I know as soon as I got rid of mine I'd get stuck on some deserted road with a broken car and a long walk ahead. I recently was qualified for a phone upgrade. I was tempted to get some new tiny shiny thing that took amazing photos and stored more songs and video than I have in my whole collection. I had to stop myself and think about what I use my phone for. I don't even answer it half the time. I have no need to listen to music or watch video on my phone. I'm already too connected to the web to really need or want email and the web on my phone. I just need it to call people. And, occasionally answer when someone else calls. What's happening musically? Not much. I performed in weddings the past three weekends. They were really great. Wedding gigs always make me nervous. There really isn't any warm-up. They are fun though because it's a big day for a lot of people involved in the wedding. And, it's fun to be on the edge of things watching all the joy. I did see Greg Brown at the Minnesota State Fair last week. I hadn't seen him in quite awhile. He played with a band and it sounded good. He is such a great songwriter. His song Blue Car really stuck out from this show. I have always liked that song, but every once in awhile, a song I've heard many times will really pop. It's a great experience to have with a song. It's fun to be suprised by something familiar. The fall is coming...I can feel it in the air. I love this time of year. It's been hot the past few days, but the heat is fleeting. I'm ready for the new season.

Out of Touch

 
Hi Sorry to have been so out of touch with the website and the news section in particular. It's interesting how life can move in cycles. I've been feeling disconnected from music for a while. Even after all these years, it is still a little scary and disconcerting when it ebbs and flows. I've heard several artists I admire talk about filling the cup. I think it's an apt metaphor. Sometimes it's good to take time and live a life worth writing and singing about. And, when the cup is full, it's good to go out and play and sing about things that are honest and true. Hopefully someone else can feel that truth. I'm still startled when I feel the cup is empty. I get to the point where I almost decide to hang it up, and then something small keeps me from selling all my equipment and letting go. I guess I haven't learned to really trust the cycle to come round again. Here's to trusting in something bigger. Best, E

New Year

 
Hello all..hope 2007 finds you well. We've gotten a bit of weather the past few days, and it's a bit refreshing to have some january temperatures. It's nice to feel that cold get right in your face for a change. It's been unseasonably warm all winter. I've been listening to some great old music recently. Some live johnny cash and waylong jennings. Great old songs. I also picked up kris kristofferson's latest cd which is really great. It's very sparsley produced and the writing is excellent. I'm looking forward to my first performance of 2007 coming up next weekend in Little Falls, MN. I haven't played with the writers in the round for quite some time, and it will be fun to reconnect with them for an evening. I'm debating about the songs I'll play that night. I do have a few newer songs, but I'm not sure if I like them or not yet. I hope the year is a good one for you. Thanks for checking in, and hope to see you around. Cheers, Eric

Chicago

 
It's ten minutes to 8. No one is here. Looks like another night playing for the worker at the coffee shop. I'm tempted to not play at all...pack it up and hit the road. I'll probably end up doing a short set and ending early. These dates lately have been hard. Superior was looking bleak till a couple of friends popped in for a bit. I did a short set for them and the very nice girl working before heading back to st. paul. Hibbing was nostalgic. It was a 4 hour bar gig. Background music. I have no problem with those gigs as long as I don't have to do them very often. It was great seeing some old family friends from when I used to live up there. I saw a few folks I hadn't seen in twenty years! I'm hoping Grand Forks on Monday will be a better show. When I was there a few weeks ago, it was great. I'm hoping for a repeat...take my mind off these past few nights.

Fall is here

 
I love this time of year. I’ve been fortunate to be traveling some in the past couple of weeks, and the colors have been wonderful. From northern Minnesota down through South Dakota and Iowa the leaves have been really amazing. The weather is still warm during the day, yet it gets a little cool in the evenings and there is a change in the air that is hard to describe. I always wish the fall would last a little longer. I’ll be driving to Superior, Wisconsin and Hibbing, Minnesota for shows the next two nights, and I hope the snow we are supposed to see holds off for just a bit. I played at Café 318 in Excelsior, MN last Saturday evening, and it was a great time. The 318 is an excellent room. The staff were really great and accommodating, the crowd was very attentive and appreciative, and Andy Ulseth (the gentleman I opened for) was really great and gracious. All in all, evenings like that one have been rare for me as of late and I’m really thankful for them when they come along. I hope to have more opportunities to play at the 318 in the near future. I’m happy to open for anyone in that room, and hopefully down the road I’ll have enough of a draw to headline. Tonight I’ll be at The Red Mug in Superior, WI. I’ve never played there before, and I’m looking forward to the show. They were very accommodating for me being in town on a Tuesday night. A few of the tracks from Dragonfly have been getting some airtime at KUMD in Duluth, so I’m hoping there may be some folks who come out to the show tonight despite it being Tuesday. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you out on the road sometime soon! Best, Eric

Dates

 
I just returned from an excellent get-away in northern Minnesota. I spent three days on a lake with family I don't spend enough time with. It was a great time. This time of year in Northern Minnesota is beautiful. Fall is in the air. It's chilly at night and warm during the day. It was good to get out of the city to relax for a bit. And, it's always good to get the road under my wheels. I enjoy so much the time I spend driving the highways around the country. I have a great topographical map of Minnesota that takes me down the gravel roads in the most rural areas of the state. It's fun to get a little lost when there are no deadlines waiting. The calendar is filling up for the fall. It is shaping up to be the busiest fall I've had in a few years. The tour is taking me to some new venues I haven't played before, as well as some old favorites. I'm hoping to add a few more dates in the next week or two, and then start looking out at 2007. I'm looking forward to the shows coming up. I haven't played out much this summer. I'm looking forward to focusing in on the songs more and worrying less about the big picture. I hope you can make it out to a show or two this fall. Stop and say hello! Be well, Eric

Focus on the Craft

 
I drove up to Osceola, Wisconsin yesterday evening to see my friend Justin Roth open for John Gorka in the "Music In The Park" series. It was a great drive. It's only about 45 minutes or so north of where I live and the drive is right along the St. Croix river. The show was excellent. Justin played and sounded great. I hadn't seen him play in some time. It was good catching up a bit. John Gorka was great as per usual. Each time I see him perform, I'm always inspired by his performance. His songwriting really makes me want to practice more and more. His between song banter is great as well. He doesn't talk to much. He has a fun sense of humor. He lets the songs speak for themselves. It's a bit like going to class when I see him perform. I always try and remember aspects of his show to bring into my own. I should start taking better notes. Justin had just returned from the first annual storyhill festival out in Montana. I thought about going out for it, but never very seriously. There was a day when I would have been first on the list and probably working on the crew, but I feel like I've changed somehow. Chris and John have been hugely influencial on me as a guitar player, songwriter, singer, and performer. They've allowed for me to open countless shows and be a part of their journey. I owe much of the success I've had to them. I'm hoping my lack of involvement lately doesn't appear like a lack of interest or ungratefulness. I'm not sure what the change is. The pendulum has been swinging pretty far in each direction for me musically of late. On the one hand, I'm really excited about the music I'm working on right now and I'm motivated to get out and play as many shows as possible. On the other hand, I consider hanging up the solo performing end of things all together. I've been doing this for a long time. And, I enjoy playing shows all over the midwest. However, there's a balance to be struck with the purely business end of things. Is it really worthwhile to perform hundreds of miles from home? Financially, the answer is no. But, I've never really done this for financial reasons. Sure, making a little money is nice...breaking even is fine. I'd like to think I'm doing this because I believe in the music I'm playing. I think a refocus is what I need. I get too caught up in what other people are doing. Maybe this is the reason for detaching from the scene I used to be so entrenched in. I need to start focusing on making the best possible and most honest music I can. And, then, let the music call the shots. If it's honest and real, the rest will follow. This is hard to remember and focus on. It's easy for me to get caught up in the frustration when shows don't go well or no one comes out to gigs or I can't get the gigs I want to get or think I should get. I have so many friends that are doing this music business too, and it's easy to see their success' and feel like I'm not really making any progress. I know they all feel the same way. It's a weird business for sure. I'm hoping by focusing on the music more closely and keeping that focus tight, those other things will follow. Watching John Gorka last night throws into sharp relief the importance of craft. That is where the focus should be.

Summer

 
The summer is flying by! The weather has been beautiful, though I imagine the farmers are wishing for some rain. I've been fortunate to spend some time in North Dakota at Lake Metigoshe this summer. It was great seeing some old friends and meeting some new friends while attending my first Camp Metigoshe All Staff Reunion. I never worked at a camp when I was in college, but it always seemed like such a fun job. I did have my first experience riding the train a few weeks back. I rode from St. Paul to Rugby, ND. To be sure, it was not a great experience. First, it was late. I was supposed to board at 10:50pm, but I didn't actually get on till closer to 11:30pm. Second, it was incredibly full. All the stories I had heard led me to believe it'd be a quiet, empty train. Alas! I had to share a seat with a woman who decided that my earphones and sunglasses were an invitation to hear her life story. I also had the pleasure of a young girl with no "inside" voice. I don't usually sleep in transit, and riding the train through the middle of the night with no sleep made for a long day. I arrived in Rugby at around 9am. I did manage to listen to most of "The River Why" by David James Duncan on my iPod. It's one of my all-time favorite books, and I highly recommend it along with David James Duncan's other novel "The Brothers K" and short story collection "River Teeth" I was also able to spend some time at the lake in northern MN this summer. Good fishing and family time! Now, back to the office to book fall tour dates and prepare for a new recording project. The band is in OMS Studios tracking for a demo, and I'm hoping to track some solo tunes as well. I'm a bit behind the ball for scheduling fall dates. I'll be on the road all over the midwest this fall, and I'm hoping to play as much as possible. I'll have dates on the calendar as soon as they solidify. I hope your summer has been going splendidly. Keep in touch and thanks for being here. Eric

Good Week For Music

 
The past few days have been full of music, and I love it. Last Saturday I saw La Guitarra with Patty Larkin, Sharon Isben, and Kaki King. It's a celebration of women guitarists and it was really a great show. I was able to catch Queen + Paul Rodgers last Sunday night at the Xcel Energy center in St. Paul. It was really a fun show. Thanks to McNally Smith College of Music, I was able to sit about 7 feet from the side of the stage. I tried to shake Paul Rodgers' hand several times, but he wasn't interested. In any case, it was a great evening. I love Queen. They have so many amazing songs, and they played many of them that night. They also did some old Free and Bad Company tunes. Then, yesterday I had the opportunity to see Vital Information play. It was incredible to say the least. Steve Smith, drummer for Journey, Tom Coster, keyboards for Santana, Frank Gambale, legendary jazz guitarist and Baron Browne, bassist with Bill Frissell among others. What a line up. These guys were smoking. I was absolutely blown away. Seeing Frank Gambale play guitar is definitely one of the most memorable live performances I've seen. Watching Queen + Paul Rodgers and Vital Information made me want to lock up in a room and practice non-stop and quit all together simultaneously. There is such an amazing amount of music out there, and this week was a good one for me. I was able to see three excellent and completely different shows all within a few days of each other. It's been inspiring to say the least.

I'm From New Jersey

 
I've been listening to John Gorka's music for a long time, and yet I'd never seen him in concert up until a little over a week ago. I noticed he had a show scheduled in Eau Claire the weekend before last, and I managed to sneak away for it. It was a remarkable show, and John really has an excellent all around performance. His between stage banter is great fun, and his songs are absolutely brilliant. He played two of my all time favorites "I Saw A Stanger With Your Hair" and "Love Is Our Cross To Bear" I also met esteemed luthier Gordy Bischoff who makes beautiful guitars. Check out www.bischoffguitars.com for some pictures of his work. It was great chatting about music with Gordy and his wife Alice who have been helping out with the great concert series at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eau Claire for 15 years. I'm hoping to see some great shows this year. 2005 was good, and I'm hoping 2006 is even better. As a performer, I find attending other folks' shows is a great learning experience for me. I find myself stealing bits here and there from performers' stage shows just like I steal bits and pieces from their songs when I write and play. it's always fun trying these bits and pieces on in my own voice to see how they change.

2005 Favorites

 
Here are some of my 2005 favorites in no particular order...send me your lists too. Favorite Shows of 2005 Nickel Creek - Orpheum Theater; Minneapolis, MN The Hopefuls - Fitzgerald Theater; St. Paul, MN Loudon Wainwright III and David Wilcox - MN Zoo; Apple Valley, MN Todd Snider - Cedar Cultural Center; Minneapolis, MN Nanci Griffith - Fargo Theater; Fargo, ND Dougie Maclean - Theatre du Mississippi; Winona, MN Phil Keaggy - Benson Great Hall; Arden Hills, MN Eric Taylor - Great Northern; Fargo, ND Favorite Albums of 2005 Sexsmith & Kerr - Destination Unknown Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine (Jon Brion Version) Imogen Heap - Speak for Yourself Nickel Creek - Why Should the Fire Die? Eric Taylor - Great Divide

End of the Year

 
2005 is coming to a close, and it's been a good year. I've been going back over the shows I played this year, and it's been fun looking back. In all, I drastically cut back on the number of shows I played. I think I played 38 shows in 2005. In years past it had been closer to 100 shows per year. I guess I have mixed feelings about cutting back. It's nice being home a bit more, and I find I've had more time to work on new songs some. On the other hand, I really enjoy playing shows and I wish I had played some more. Finding a balance between working on new material and performing has always been hard for me. My 2006 schedule only has one show booked right now. I'm hoping to finish a bunch of new songs that I've been working on for a while early on this year, and then I'm hoping to have a busy tour schedule again. Thanks to all of you who have been so supportive this past year. All the folks who buy records and come to performances really make this pursuit worthwhile. I appreciate the emails of encouragement a great deal. It's always nice to know someone is listening.

Winter

 
I realized winter had arrived yesterday when I watched my car slide backwards out of my driveway. It didn't hit anything, thankfuly. I thought it was pretty funny actually. It's been a cold few days in Minnesota. Though, I have to say St. Paul is tropical compared to Fargo/Moorhead where the interstates have already been closed several times. I can't say I miss the wind up there. Musically things have been interesting. You may have noticed my schedule recently has become quite sparse. This is sort of intentional. I'm feeling really excited about some of the projects in line right now, but most of them don't involve performances right now. It seems strange to me to have so much music going on and yet no shows coming up. This is the first break in touring that I've taken in as long as I can remember. Not that I tour all that much to begin with, but I usually have several shows per month booked out. After my January 6th show in Bemidji with Lance Benson, I have nothing scheduled. I'll consider shows if a venue is interested, but I'm not devoting much energy to booking right now. I'm feeling really good about some writing that I'm doing right now. I'm hoping to buckle down and really flesh out some new songs in the coming months. I've also been having a lot of fun learning some new cover songs. As a songwriter, I've sort of put off learning covers for the past few years in order to develop a catalog of original material. However, looking back, I got to where I am as a guitar player and songwriter by learning to play other people's songs. So, I'm revisiting some old cover songs that I used to play and I'm learning some new ones as well. I'm really excited about these new songs and ideas I'm having. And, I'm sure, in short time, I'll be ready to be back out on the stage playing these new songs and some new covers too. Thanks for reading. eric

Time Machine

 
I sang in a weeding this past weekend in North Central North Dakota, and it was as if I traveled through time to get here. It is full on fall at Lake Metigoshe already. I left near 90-degree weather in St. Paul and arrived in Bottineau to find temperatures in the 60s. The leaves have changed and the lake is quiet. It’s really quite beautiful, though I don’t like missing out on any of the fall season. It’s my favorite, and it never lasts long enough for me. I guess I can see this trip as a sort of preview of what’s to come in a few weeks back in Minnesota. The wedding went well, and it was good to see some old friends. I managed to squeeze a few extra days into this trip so I could spend some time at the lake with the family. As I write this, I’m sitting on the pontoon boat on a perfectly quiet lake. There are some folks down the shore a ways taking out their dock for the season, but otherwise it’s just Kecia and I. The sun is shining and it’s great. I’m drinking a beer, and I caught a small northern off the dock about five minutes ago. I guess I don’t have much to complain about. Tomorrow it’s a nine-hour drive back to St. Paul where I can expect this fall season to catch up soon. And, after the preview I’ve had these last couple of days, I look forward to it’s arrival.

Whirlwind

 
It was a whirlwind trip to Montana this past weekend for some friends' wedding. I had an interesting journey. I flew out of Minneapolis/St. Paul International airport on Friday evening around 9:30 or so. This was my first time flying with my guitar, and I'm happy to say America West Airlines were commendable in their flexible-ness with my paranoia. I’m not really much for flying, so I decided to stop into the airport bar to take the edge off. Oddly enough, Christopher Walken was the barkeep. Seriously, this guy looked and sounded just like Christopher Walken. I connected through Las Vegas and I had about 45 minutes of layover. Coincidentally, 45 minutes in the Las Vegas airport is exactly how long it takes to lose $20 in a video poker machine. I arrived in Billings at a little past 3:00 am Saturday. I was pleased when at 7:00 am two hotel workers decided to have a deep and meaningful conversation about hotel towels right outside my room. My friend Bill called and we decided to grab some breakfast and check out a Volkswagen shop in town. Word to the wise…don’t eat at Denny’s in Billings, Montana. I realize this is common sense for most, but I just wanted to throw it out there. The wedding was great on Saturday afternoon, and then it was off to the reception, which was big fun as well. Sunday morning Bill and I had brunch with some friends before hitting the road for Fargo, ND. It was a great car ride and I’m thankful Bill was able to give me a lift. It was great singing with Bill again in the wedding, and it was great catching up on the car ride home. I think we may try and do a few shows together again in the near future. We hadn’t sung together just the two of us for a long time, and we both thought it felt pretty good. We only managed to get one speeding ticket on the way home, and the trooper was kind enough to knock a few miles off the radar to prevent Bill’s insurance from taking a hit. We arrived back in Fargo around 11:30 Sunday night and pretty much hit the bed right away. Up again at 7:00 Monday morning to catch the Greyhound back to Minneapolis. The bus ride was uneventful and didn’t take as long as I thought it might. We only stopped three times…once in Alexandria, once in Fergus Falls, and once in St. Cloud. Overall it was a fun trip that came together sort of last minute. I’m notorious for last minute travel plans, and I should really try and be more on top of these things. I’m glad it all worked out. It was great to see friends and mountains, and I really wish I would have had more time for both. Trip Listening: David Sedaris Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim; John Gorka Temporary Road; Extreme Pornograffiti; Back episodes of Michael Feldman’s WhadYa Know; Those who actually read this journal may have noticed that Extreme’s Pornograffiti record has been getting a significant amount of iPod time as of late. It’s really just that I can’t get enough of Nuno Bettencourt’s solo in Decadance. That’s really the only song I’ve been listening to I swear.

Nanci Griffith

 
Kecia and I road tripped to Fargo, ND this past Friday evening to see Nanci Griffith play at the Fargo Theater. Traffic leaving the twin cities was absolutely ridiculous. Trying to travel north on I-94 on the north side of Minneapolis/St. Paul sucks. I honestly didn’t think we were going to make it to the show on time. I was doing the mileage in my head the entire trip. I’m the type of person who likes to be insanely early to events like this. Movies, games, concerts…I’m only comfortable if I’ve arrived an hour before the promoter. That’s a slight exaggeration, but only slight, as Kecia would gladly tell you. I don’t know why…I just need to be really early much to the annoyance of anyone going to a show with me. Which is why I like going to shows by myself. But, that’s neither here nor there. We made it to our seats just as Clive Gregson was starting his opening set, which was fantastic. He handles the lead guitar work in Nanci’s band. He’s really great. He plays parts that you almost don’t realize are there. Very smooth. Nanci was great as well. I hadn’t seen her play live for a long time, and she didn’t disappoint at all. Highlights for me were “Workin’ in Corners” and “It’s A Hard Life”

Folks Festival

 
Hello Reader, Well, last weekend I participated in my first songwriting competition at the Highway 61 Folks Festival. Needless to say, I did not win. Or even place for that matter. But, as they say, songwriting is a subjective thing and just being recognized is winning enough. I'm a little torn with the competitive songwriting thing...part of me thinks it's a little silly to try and judge something like songwriting. Part of me also thinks it'd be sweet to be named a finalist in some of the big folk festival competitions. In any case, I'm not sure if I'll continue to submit songs for competitions or not. I suppose it depends on how desperate I get to list some sort of accomplishment in my bio. On to the festival details…. It was held at Rob’s Mahtowa Tavern in Mahtowa, MN. For those geographically inclined, it’s south of Duluth, MN about 30 miles I think. It’s a shame to me to have been that close to Duluth without actually going into town to see the lake. There were 25 of us in the songwriting competition, and the top five won prizes. Each writer performed two original songs. To demonstrate the subjectivity of songwriting, of the 25 people involved, none of my personal top 5 were in the actual top 5 that the judges picked. Not to say that the judges top 5 weren’t good. I actually enjoyed most of the performances of the day. The weather was beautiful, though my fair skin forced me into the bar several times to get out of the sun…and to have a beer. The organizers of the festival were very organized and very kind. I felt fortunate to be involved. When the competition wrapped up at about 7pm I jumped in the old car and proceeded to drive to Devil’s Lake, ND. I arrived there at about 1AM. I was on my way to Minot, ND for a friend’s wedding reception, and I probably could have made the whole drive the night before but I didn’t want my sleep schedule to get too out of wack. I rose early Sunday morning and made it to town in good time. I was able to spend a full day at Lake Metigoshe with the family, which is always restful and good. I really don’t have much in the way of cell coverage up in the Great North and so it feels good to unplug for a few days. Kecia and I made the drive back to the Twin Cities on Tuesday. All told I put about 1500 clicks on the ol’ odometer, but it was well worth it to get out of the city for a few days. iPod Listening: Extreme – “Pornograffiti”; Garrison Keillor – “A Life In Comedy”; Storyhill – “Dovetail”; Dar Williams – “The Honesty Room” Culinary Highlight – Aside from the home cooking at the lake, I had an excellent bratwurst at Rob’s Mahtowa Tavern. I’m pretty sure a lot of it had to do with the cold beer and hot sun environment. Culinary Low Point – Burger King in Grand Rapids, MN. Enough said. That’s all for now, Check ya later. Eric

June

 
Another month gone by with no update in the news section. Wow, I am sucking at keeping this updated! Let's see...what's going on? Not much with me. The tour schedule is very slow for the summer. I'm hoping to pick up a few dates yet while the weather is nice, but I'm starting to shift focus to the fall. I'm hoping to add as many college campus' as possible to the tour schedule for the coming school year. I've had so much fun this past spring playing at a few colleges, and the response has been really positive. So, I'm hoping this fall will bring more college performances to the schedule. I've also been writing new songs, and I'm preparing to enter the studio to start some demo tracking of these new songs. I really don't know what will come of these sessions. I'm not sure if I'm going to put another cd out or not at this point. Dragonfly has done well enough to pay for itself, but I'm not sure if there is demand for another record. I'll definitely be recording new material, but I'm not clear what I should do with it yet. I really enjoyed the process of making Dragonfly, and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. It's been almost two years since it's release, and now is the time to be thinking about releasing another record. At least, industry stereotype rules would suggest it's time for another record to be released. But, then again, I'm not really in the industry for the most part. I'm just a guitar player from Minnesota who has written a few songs and played them for a few people. Fortunately for me, the few people who have listened to these songs have been incredibly supportive and I appreciate that more than I could ever say. So, I guess I'll just see where these new songs take me in when I start laying them down in the studio. All I can do is follow their lead I suppose.

What's New

 
The show wednesday night in brainerd with Donny, Keith, and Darrin was fun as always. I felt a little hyperaware of the cameras, and I don't feel like I played as well as I could have. It was fun hanging out backstage and filming the Q & A with the guys though. In other news, Dragonfly recently was reviewed by Dan MacIntosh at Indie-Music.com. You can check out the review at: www.indie-music.com Thanks for your kind words Dan! I hope everyone is well, and I'll see you soon! eric

catch up

 
Hello! Well, I've been doing a crappy job in the news section...sorry to the faithful reader. I spent a weekend at the Redwood Room down in Rochester and had a good time playing at my favorite bar. It was a fun gig because I was just sort of background music. I was able to practice some new songs, and that's always a good thing. Last weekend I had another show in New Ulm, MN at Martin Luther College. I played outdoors during their end of the school year bash. There were inflateable games, a dunk tank, a pig roast, and yours truly. The weather cooperated, with the exception of the wind, and I had a great time. Big thanks to Michael Wendt for bringing me back and making me sound so good again. I'm off tonight to Brainerd for another Writers in the Round show with my good friends Donny, Keith, and Darrin. It's always fun to travel north and play with these guys. And, with Michael running sound, I never have to worry about sounding bad. Unless of course I screw up. It'll be a late night coming home tonight, but well worth the journey I'm sure! Be well, Eric

The Boo Brodie Show

 
Hello all, and thanks to those kind folks at Martin Luther College who came out and saw me perform on the Boo Brodie Show. I had a blast playing for you! I'm always grateful for a room full of people who listen so attentively. Big thanks to Mark, Becky, Mike, Justin, and Kevin...sorry if I forgot anyone or got anyone's name wrong...you all put on a great show, and it was my pleasure to work with you. Thank you for the opportunity to play at Martin Luther College, and hopefully I'll make it back again soon.

It's Been Awhile

 
Hellooooo It's been awhile since I've visited this page of the website, so I thought I'd better put in an update just in case the two or three people who actually read this start sending me hate email. I went and saw Jimmie Dale Gilmore at a bar in Minneapolis the other night, and it was absolutely amazing. This guy is one of the best texas songwriters out there, and it was so cool to see him playing in a tiny little bar. It's encouraging to know that you can still see a mind-blowing show while only spending $15 for a ticket and also get to watch the show from 15 feet away from the stage.

Brooks West's New CD

 
Greetings reader of this journal. I'm here to rant about how good Brooks West's new cd is. Brooks is an old friend from Fargo, ND and we used to do a lot of shows together back in the day. He's since relocated to Pennsylvania. He just put out his second cd, and it is just awesome. He's got so many great lyrics that I wish I had written! I'm hoping he'll be touring around the midwest some to support this disc, as it's been too long since I've seen him play. In any case, do yourself a favor and look into purchasing this cd. You can find a link to Brooks' website on my link page. Check it out!

Shetek Bible Camp

 
I had a blast playing out at Shetek Bible Camp again this past weekend. The weather was unbelievable. It had to have been close to 60 degrees! The folks at Shetek are always so gracious, especially my friend Chad Christianson. This was my second time out to camp to play, and both times have been great due in large part to Chad's hard work and generosity. Thanks to all of you who sat and listened so politely, and thanks to those who bought cds...I hope you enjoy them, and I hope you had as much fun listening as I did playing. I'm always appreciative of a crowd who listens so intently. Thanks! The ride out to lake shetek was relaxing. The cd player in my car isn't working right now, but minnesota public radio stayed with us most of the way out to Slayton. The sun was shining, and it was good to get away from the city for a bit.

Another fine night at the Ginkgo

 
Hellooooo. Last Saturday turned out to be another great night at Ginkgo Coffee in St. Paul. I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with three good friends and awesome players. Niall Munson, Jason Lee, and Kevin Taylor. I was so amazed at how many people came out for this show. I am humbled by and grateful for such amazing friends! The calendar is looking a little empty right now. I better get on booking some shows. I'll hopefully have some updates soon! Thanks for reading.

Brainerd Show Last Night

 
Greetings! Last night's Writers in the Round show was great fun. Thanks to all of you who came out...it was so nice to have such an appreciative audience. Big thanks to Michael and his crew for the great sound and lights. And, as always, big thanks to Donny, Darrin, Keith and Steve for sharing their stage with me. I had a lot of fun playing. It was nice to be on the road a little bit again too. I hadn't had a road trip gig for some time. My friend Jason Lee came along for the ride. It's always nice to have someone along on the road gigs. Then, if no one shows up, I at least know one person will be there. After the show last night the whole gang headed out for a drink and it was nice to hang out and catch up. I always feel really lucky to have such great friends in the other towns I play in. I didn't make it home till almost 3 this morning so this day is turning out a little hazy. But, I look forward to doing it again soon.

House Concert

 
Greetings! Last Saturday's show at Mark Deering's house was a blast. Many thanks to those of you who came and hung out. It was awesome to see Mark play a few tunes and show me up on the guitar :) and it was great to have Mark, Josh Baesler, Brent Thorson, and Kevin Taylor add harmonies and percussion to some of those tunes. I do have to say a huge thank you to Mark Deering for hosting me again at his home. Without the support of friends like him, I'd be nowhere.

Ginkgo Show last Saturday

 
The show at Ginkgo last saturday with jeff ray was really fun. I was pleasantly surprised at how many people were hanging out. It was really cool to hear jeff play. His style is so laid back, and I really enjoyed the vibe of his tunes. I screwed up the words on 'insignificant' so sorry about that! If you want to hear how it's really supposed to sound, you can listen to it on the music page. Ginkgo is a great place to play, and one of the subtleties that I've learned to appreciate playing in coffeeshops is when the workers wait with the noisy drinks till between songs. Thanks for that!

RSS feed