Tim's self-titled, all-acoustic solo CD draws material and inspiration from the Anne and Frank Warner collection of American folk songs, the early American hymnody of the Sacred Harp, and a host of other historical and personal resources. This collection of songs about love and death, joy, despair, redemption and, ultimately, hope confirms his prowess as a stunningly intense vocalist, versatile multi-instrumentalist (guitar, fiddle and banjo), and true believer in the timeless spirit of American music. The CD was recorded in one five-hour session using no overdubs, providing an undiluted dose of Eriksen's passionate voice, instrumental skills and deep respect for musical tradition. Eriksen's star is currently ascending with his role as arranger and vocalist in the Christmas 2003 blockbuster historical film, "Cold Mountain," which is bringing his love of "shape note" singing to a new and receptive audience of critics and music fans.
"...connects the present and the ancient with an immediacy that will make your bones tremble."
-Pulse of the Twin Cities
“Sublime, ferocious simplicity and directness.”
– Boston Phoenix
“The songs here are staggeringly good…This is an album that needed to be made…If you have any interest in acoustic/folk music and its heritage, then buy this album.”– Get Rhythm "Eriksen's songs have a rare sense of purpose...and the single guitar or
banjo or fiddle that accompanies each song gives his remarkable voice room to do its stuff. "– Q Magazine
Eriksen’s stark, no frills approach makes every song spring to vibrant life, proving again the depth and power of American folk music in it purest form.”
"Tim Eriksen came to the attention of folk on these shores when Cordelia's Dad burst onto the scene a few years ago. Widely regarded as the best traditional American ballad singer of his generation, Tim has taken a break from his front man duties with the band to create this stark, powerful debut solo album. His immediately distinctive voice and choice of material make him stand out from the crowd, but his undeniably Carthy-influenced guitar accompaniment is also a delight.
He's got a supreme confidence on stage that transmits itself directly to CD and in no way gets diluted by the studio process. This is most notable in his singing, but comes across in the instrumental tracks here such as 'Mobile Serenade Polka/Shep Jones Hornpipe'. He tackles a full-throated version of 'Farewell to Old Bedford', which often opens Cordelia's Dad live sets, with as much strength as the spiritual narrative 'Hick's Farewell', learnt from the singing of Doc Watson, but by strength I don't mean to imply volume. There's a lot of wonderful volume in some of the songs here but each track sits on the bedrock of Tim's strength as a performer. He does more than justice to all the songs he's chosen and the years of tradition they are rooted in. Even the self-penned and more contemporary tracks sound as full of history and relevance as the ones he's researched from the 19th Century.
In the liner notes Tim tries and ultimately fails somewhat to stop himself
enthusing too much about each track and where it came from, wanting the listener to listen and find his/her own associations. It's as if the passion he has for the music simply won't allow him to not share the stories behind it and Martin Carthy's quote on the sleeve, 'The watchword is passion … a marvelous musician and singer!' makes perfect sense.
Finally, there is one song in particular that stands out as a result of the times it's released in, as much as the skill of its performance. 'I Wish The Wars Were All Over' makes you stop whatever you're doing and listen. Tim writes that the words came from scraps of other songs, of characters and events that seem more real than contemporary writings on war hardly ever are. "Newspapers say horror is 'out there' happening to 'them'. I think this song says 'It's here'", he says and it's a chillingly relevant piece of work as well as a beautiful performance to listen to."–Kit Bailey - BBC
"A founding member of Cordelia's Dad and Zabe i Babe, an ethnomusicologist who's done extensive research in Bosnia, and a visiting professor of American music at Dartmouth College, Eriksen's credentials are impeccable, though only the tip of his musical iceberg. He is also one of the best hopes for keeping the chain of Anglo-American balladry - a traditional stretching across an ocean and many centuries of oral tradition - unbroken after one century of recorded music. His latest self titled release is about as solo as it gets - just Eriksen's voice, guitar, fiddle and banjo, recorded live without overdubs. His haunting vocals can floor rock fans with the same ancient quality that allowed Sixteen Horsepower's David Eugene Edwards to send shivers through the unsuspecting world of popular music. And his deep, seemingly spiritual connection to the music's ancient roots is a sure draw for growing audiences hooked on Celtic and Nordic roots music. Throw out any notions you have about 'folk', Eriksen connects the present and the ancient with an immediacy that will make your bones tremble."–Pulse of the Twin Cities "Eriksen cut his teeth with Massachusetts-based arch-experimentalists Cordelia's Dad and is remembered - with some shaking of heads - as the support act who opened Nirvana and Weezer shows singing 'Farewell To Old Bedford', unaccompanied.
The old-timey style of music favoured here is more familiar post O Brother, Where Art Thou? and, as with Gillian Welch, Eriksen's songs have a rare sense of purpose, from the stark 'I Wish The WarsWere All Over' to 'Leave Your Light On', which describes the return of a farmer's wife, accidentally - gulp - buried alive.
Vocally it’s as if Michael Stipe had fallen in with a Baptist preacher and the single guitar or banjo or fiddle that accompanies each song gives his remarkable voice room to do its stuff"–Q Magazine
"Eriksen, a versatile musician and singer-songwriter, is a keen student of music's bygone traditions both from his homeland and the British Isles. This was the first night of his tour and he was careful not to let the music stagnate in any one area. Such was the varied manner of styles that the Massachusetts based Cordelia’s Dad bandleader, made as his debut as a solo act. With his shaven head and large heeled, high, black boots, Eriksen was the mirror of the music he performed; tall and proud.
Switching from guitar to banjo, then to fiddle and back again, (with an a cappella tune thrown in every now and again), Eriksen eased through the evening without any hiccups. His anecdotes were extremely well weighted and hugely informative. Hearing him play material from his beautiful self-titled solo recording ‘Tim Eriksen’ (Appleseed) coupled with a handful from Cordelia’s Dad's including the 1998 recording ‘Spine’, Tim surpassed all expectations both as an entertainer and a musician.
He excelled with the engaging, soft-feeling claw-hammer banjo on Dock Boggs’ ‘Sugar Baby’, with his foot tapping out a gentle rhythm, akin to the sound of horses hooves trotting through gravel. ‘Last Chance’ had me yearning for more of the same. When he took up his fiddle for the mournful ‘The Southern Girl’s Reply’ and ‘Oh Death’ he utilised the voice of the audience for it’s sing-a-long chorus. With ‘Spencer Rifle’ he warmed the room like an open fire in winter. Nothing unusual there as one of his many virtues is his ability of being able to impart his knowledge and understanding of the music to others. Eriksen spoke of West Virginian fiddler Dwight Diller (and played a tune he learned from Diller, the plaintive ‘Yew Pine Mountain’) and how the man influenced his music. There was the march-paced fiddle set of tunes ‘Clyde Davenport’s Tunes’ and he eased through the old favourite ‘Gypsy Davy’. The evening left me thinking that traditional musicianship doesn’t get much better, or entertaining for that matter, than this."
- Maurice Hope
“Cordelia’s Dad vocalist Tim Eriksen has probably seen the inside of more New England flea markets and garage sales than your average grandmother. The results of such musical searches having previously provided material for Eriksen’s band, they likewise are sources for his self-titled solo CD (in fact, sometimes both; this CD includes only his most recent recording of ‘Farewell to Old Bedford’). What’s particularly interesting about the pared-down interpretations of ballads, hymns, and other folk material on Tim Eriksen is that Eriksen didn't start out as a folk preservationist. Cordelia’s Dad was initially plugged-in and punk, and their catalogue provides some interesting listening as it chronicles the transition from garage rock to roots music. However rooted in tradition Eriksen is these days, though, there’s still something of a punk aesthetic at work here: the songs on Tim Eriksen are unabashed, forthright, honest, and were recorded in just a few short hours one November afternoon. Eriksen’s also evolved considerably as a singer from those early days, and here, often unaccompanied, his voice is full of raw power and emotional intensity. As always with any of Eriksen's projects, the liner notes provide enlightening courses in American musical history.”
– Genevieve Williams, Amazon.com
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Tim Eriksen Music- All Rights Reserved.