Today on the podcast we are featuring the NJ-based Eric Harrison. Learn more about him and listen to his track “Till You Make Me Home.”
Show Notes and Full Show Transcript
Hey everyone welcome to the Eat Sleep Breathe Music podcast. I am your host Jeanette Kimszal. For those of you just joining us, this is the podcast where I talk about different musicians and how their music affects me and then play a track for you to listen to.
So you can check it out and form your own opinion as well. And I’d love to know what you think of the track. I’ll have details where you can tell me if you want to share your opinion at the end of this show.
Today I”m talking about NJ singer-songwriter Eric Harrison. Being from NJ I always get excited when I can feature a hometown musician.
So here’s is a little background on Eric. He hails from Fanwood, NJ which is just a town away from where I grew up in Union County NJ.
He is no stranger to music and has been in the music scene since the late 80s.
It all started late at night in December 1988 at the Pheonix, a pub in London. There he was making his musical debut to his Kings College classmates.
They were excited to hear a real Yankee folksinger serenade them with covers of James Taylor and Neil Young. Little did they know he would be entertaining them with his own music.
Fifteen songs in he were not getting the reception he expected. Regardless of this defeat, a songwriter was born that night.
In 1990 Harrison returned to the States and formed the first iteration of his band the Crash Chorus. Their first release, Anyone Can Fill Your Shoes, was met with great local acclaim according to Harrison’s webiste said their moms really liked it
Harrison continued music releasing solo projects to positive reviews. He was praised for his lyrics, vocal, and songwriting abilities drawing comparisons to Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan.
Then in 1999 Crash Chorus released their debut CD. It was followed up by 2005’s A Little Bit of Sickness.
From that release, he took a 10-year hiatus from music and then released Mercy Road in 2017 which was recorded over two years with musical collaborators Domenico, Eric Kvortek, Mike Doktorski, and Seth Tieger, and Kevin Salem.
Salem was a new producer Harrison began recording with a new due to the untimely death of bandmate and producer Eric Kvortek in late 2017.
And please forgive me if I have butchered any of those names.
The new collaboration with Salem resulted in the production of the album Gratitude in November 2020.
Music was also something that Eric turned to during the Covid pandemic of 2020. He was providing music to audiences via Facebook and Instagram.
These continued into 2021 with a Sunday night series called “Live from the Porch.”
February that year he also wrote a song in response to the DUI arrest of New Jersey musician Bruce Springstein called “A Jersey-Sized Disgrace.”
In 2021 Eric release a five-song EP entitled Good Intentions.
Then, unfortunately, he was met with another heart-wrenching loss. Country-folk music singer-songwriter John Prine lost his life to complications from Covid-19.
Prine was a big inspiration to Harrison and he felt he wanted to pay homage to the late musician. So he went to work with Kevin Salem and other collaborators and what resulted was a new 5 song EP entitled Dear John.
The EP came out earlier this year on the second anniversary of Prine’s death, April 7th, 2022.
The idea for the album came to Harrison from his friend, producer, and confidant, Kevin Salem.
Prine’s music has been described as “pure-hearted Americana with reflective, story-telling lyrics about love and loss.”
His music evokes emotions in the listener that makes them relatable and enjoyable.
Harrison has also done this with the track “Till You Make Me Home.” It’s got a very vivid storytelling aspect to it at the beginning.
There is this romance blossoming and you don’t really know what is happening. It seems like the person singing the song is really head over heels while the other person is not really sure what is happening, you know?
And Harrison says he is not a direct copy of Prine, but he says he wants to try he tries to write with a big heart. He doesn’t sing like Prine but he had a conscious effort to write like and know sing…evoke influences of him in his EP.
So in regards to the track, I’ll be playing later, “Till You Make Me Home” is the first song on the EP.
This was also the first song that Harrison had written. And it is really a great opener for the album because it really just clings to you, you know?
There is just this opening beat that is like catchy and influential and just kind of tugs at your heartstrings and the lyrics kind of come in and just get you excited about the song and you wonder what is going to happen with this romance.
And you kind of gets invested with the characters with the song. And this is the first song that Harrison has written.
His intention was to kind of add lyrical influences from John Prine with musical influences from Buddy Holly and Marshall Crenshaw.
And I wasn’t too familiar with these artists so you know I looked them up a little bit.
It was interesting to find that Marshall Crenshaw, is a guitarist and singer-songwriter and has been described as having like roots in classic soul.
Some critics have called his music new wave and power pop but he felt power pop has a dodgy connotation.
His main influences seem to be from the 1950s and 60s top 40 music according to what I found on Wikipedia and he has been compared to Buddy Holly. Buddy is a big fan of his who he’s a big fan of.
Crenshaw even played him in who played him in the 1987 film La Bomba.
I listen to a little John Prine and Marshall Crenshaw and I can hear the influences of the big heart that he describes in these songs from Prine.
You know Prine has a specific way of singing but you know uh Harrison is not really invoking that. But he is invoking the heart and feel of John Prine.
At the heart of this song, it is a love song. To me, it feels like a little one-sided love song. One person is all in while the other person is unsure of what is happening.
And it is really love or lust?
The chorus’ goes
You say it’s lust – I say it’s deeper /You’re feeling strong/ I need you weaker / Revvin’ me up from zero to full-blown /I found a girl I wanna keep her / I wrote it down – read ‘em and weeper /From a gentle breeze to a full cyclone /Till you make me home
It seems like they are going through the motions and that can be how relationships are sometimes and you don’t really know what is happening.
And you don’t really know if it is something that is going to be a long-term thing and it does kind of paint this story and picture and very vivid just kind of storybook romance and things.
And it kind of shows how the singer is feeling. Then by the end of the song, you kind of realize that the couple has been together for a while and has been going…going for keeps.
The lyrics go
Let’s take it back behind the counter / We’ll tell our kid of that encounter / Watch her laugh, maybe roll her eyes
This part of the song sounds to me like it’s kind of wrapping up the story and it also has a different sound to it. It’s a little more upbeat and a little more hopeful.
Whereas in the beginning it seemed like “what’s going to happen with this romance?” You know?
It’s just an interesting and engrossing story being told. It’s just so eloquent and just complimented by like the continuous guitar and drum beats.
When I first listened to the track I was trying to place the sound that it reminded me of. And it does have that 50’s rock-n-roll Americana feel. And it does have that Buddy Holly sense to it, you know?
I don’t know if this is just what I thought after I was looking up about Crenshaw and John Prine but it kind of reminds me because I couldn’t place my finger on like what the sound reminded me of.
But it does have like that you know knee-slapping thing continuous but also intricate chord progression, you know?
It’s catchy and it has this infectious sound that gets into your ear and sticks and it is just this easygoing song that you can find yourself effortlessly liking.
It has a catchy melody and it is something you can put on and get engrossed in.
The song also has these vocal harmonies that are just melodious and sweet sounding. It tops everything off and makes it a fun song to listen to.
Eric has also been said to appeal to Cat Stevens, John Hiatt, and Tom Petty fans. As well as the Smithereens, and Bruce Springsteen. So if any of these artists are on your playlist you may want to check out more from Eric Harrison.
But you don’t have to take my word for it either. You can also see the features and praise that he has been getting out there on the interwebs.
He has interviews and write-ups in the Global Texan Chronicles, Rock at Night, RAWCKUS Magazine, Imperfect Fifth, Happy Mag, Vents Magazine, Divine Magazine, Stitched Sound, Grubs and Grooves, Dosage Magazine, Adventures In Americana, Music-News, and The Asbury Park Press.
I’ll have links to those in the show notes if you want to check them out.
Eric has also been working on a new album with Kevin Salem that is planned to come out later this year or early 2023.
Now I see I am at the 10-minute mark and I don’t want to take up too much of your time so without further ado here is the track “Till You Make Me Home” by Eric Harrison.
We would love to know what you think about Eric Harrison and his track “Till You Make Me Home.” You can tell us in a comment on the podcast webpage. You can also leave an audio comment at the link in the episode summary.
For more information on Eric Harrison, you can check out his official website EricHarrisonMusic.com. That is www dot E-R-I-C-H-A-R-R-I-S-O-N-M-U-S-I-C dot com.
He is also on Twitter at the handle EricHarrisonMsc. That is E-R-I-C-H-A-R-R-I-S-O-N-M-S-C
If you are looking for more new music be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you will get the latest updates on our artist features. You can also find more music features on our website at www.EatSleepBreatheMusic.com. That is E-a-t-S-l-e-e-p-B-r-e-a-t-h-e-M-u-s-i-c dot com.
Thanks for listening and see you in the next episode!
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