Sat. Jan 16th, 2021

I heard a story about a real Americana experience. A father takes two kids fishing and loses his temper shortly into the trip due to the kids constantly snagging the line. Instead of finding a rockier perch from which to cast, the father throws all the fishing poles in the lake in a tantrum. Both boys grew up to hate fishing.

Eric is into such stories. He doesn’t sugar coat his rural scenes with powder blues and country pinks. He talks about the environment, social justice, loneliness, heartache, getting old, and he does it all within a very familiar apple pie, main street, and musical framework. Harmonica included.

Just listen to what he does here with “Picture,” his most recent single. Such a familiar, comforting sound, down to the delay on the vocals. Yet, the chorus, simple and sad, played up-tempo.

I didn’t dive very far into Eric’s work before I landed on “Modern Dystopia.” It took me one serious listen to realize I owned a coffee table record for the ages here. I don’t want to give away too much. But as a reviewer trying to get your attention turned to it, I’ll say this:

Eric belts out an epic “Americana” concept album, recorded flawlessly with a great band. Influences include Roger Waters and Tom Petty and the subject matter is all over the Canadian map. It must be said that this is an apocalyptic album but it does not leave you hopeless.

He doesn’t sugar coat his rural scenes with powder blues and country pinks.

Eric takes his same sense of morals and character to another’s important song. Tim Ryan’s, 1970’s, “The Great Northern Road,” is revived by Eric and company in full telecaster glory.

As a former trucker of 12 years, I can tell you when I first heard this song, I got nostalgic for the open road. It is a traveling tune if there ever was one.

I can’t find anyone on today’s music market that acknowledges me while they search themselves. Eric does that. He genuinely wants us to think and be better. He sings from the top of his lungs about issues that matter not just to him, but everyone around him. He’s joined the upper echelon of artists who have converted art into a message that simply states, “Be good.” And don’t we need more of that? -K

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