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Eric Gerber | Eric Gerber Three

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United States - Texas

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Folk: Singer/Songwriter Country: Americana Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Eric Gerber Three

by Eric Gerber

This is a combination of interpreted cover songs and originals. Vocals, guitar, percussion, dobro, banjo, mandolin, accordion, harmonica, and cello bring these songs to life. At the same time easy going, haunting, beautiful, energetic, and poignant.
Genre: Folk: Singer/Songwriter
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Mississippi Serenade
4:48 $0.99
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2. Devil's Gate
6:28 $0.99
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3. Mama Lou
5:10 $0.99
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4. If I Had Known
3:41 $0.99
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5. The Law and the Lonesome
6:23 $0.99
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6. Think About You
5:17 $0.99
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7. When Push Comes to Shove
4:05 $0.99
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8. Dont Ask Me How
4:54 $0.99
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9. Modest Proposal
3:32 $0.99
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10. What's in Your Bag
3:54 $0.99
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11. Sunny Day Rag
2:51 $0.99
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12. Out in the Country
10:20 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
I was born in 1974 in Atlanta, GA. I started playing piano around 3 or 4, learning from my mother before taking Suzuki lessons until I was about 11. At that point, I abandoned piano for guitar and started writing songs when I was around 12. Music became my focal point, both playing and listening. My early songwriting influences were stereotypical for that era, I suppose - Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Neil Young. At summer camp when I was 12, I was exposed The Grateful Dead, which led me, through Jerry Garcia's side project "Old and in the Way", to bluegrass and acoustic music. I dropped out of high school partially through my senior year, but quickly found that life leading nowhere. I earned my GED and enrolled in community college, eventually transferring to UGA to study psychology, but ultimately switched to World Religions. During college, I played guitar and sang in a bluegrass band, The Red River Ramblers, along with my brother Brian, his girlfriend, Kathy Parrish, and our friend Steven Glude on mandolin. Our major influence was Emmylou Harris and the Nash Ramblers.

Following college and the breakup of a long term relationship, I started using songwriting as therapy, not writing so much for performance anymore, but to ease my soul. I moved to Boston in 1997 to go grad school at UMass, but left the program shortly after starting. I had discovered the vibrant singer/songwriter scene and I dove in head first, entering a very prolific time period. At this time, thanks to Alan Gampel, I met Kevin So and Paul Erlich at The Casual Cup Coffeeshop in Brookline and jammed all afternoon. We played our first gig together in Jamaica Plain the same evening we met! I started playing all the open mics in the area (The Cantab Lounge, Club Passim, The Casual Cup, etc.), eventually hosting 3 different open mics at Cafe Ole, The Taiwan Cafe, and The Center For Arts in Natick. I was gigging both solo and with Kevin and Paul at venues throughout the Northeast.

I was on the road in 1998 with Kevin when he convinced me to come with him to Texas and go to the Kerrville Folk Festival. I had never been to Texas, never wanted to go to Texas, was scared of Texas. Needless to say, I absolutely fell in love with Kerrville and the amazing community of songwriters and music lovers and have returned every year since then. In 2000, I was a contestant in their Newfolk Songwriters contest. I was not one of the six winners, but that same year I met my wife at Kerrville, so I consider myself to have been the Grand Prize Winner for 2000. It was an absolutely storybook scenario. Thanks to a little intervention from Stephanie Corby, we started talking one afternoon, hung out all evening and through the night until we had our first kiss under the blue lights strung in the large oak tree behind main stage just as dawn was breaking. We spent a blissful week together until I had to bring Eric Schwartz to the airport, return my rental car, and fly back to Boston. Well, I just couldn't bring myself to get on that airplane. So, with no money in my pocket, I dragged my stuff the curb. The Austin Police stopped me because I was using an airport SmartCart! After hearing my story, they returned the cart for me and gave me a ride to the corner gas station and wished me luck (I love Austin!). I made a cardboard sign and stuck out my thumb to hitchhike, never having done that before. I got a ride with an evangelical Mexican fellow, then a drunk guy who chain smoked Lucky Strikes, finally finding a ride with Slaid Cleaves' manager who recognized my Kerrville t-shirt and brought me Home. Back on the ranch, our relationship solidified and after spending about 35 days at that 18-day festival. I cobbled together enough dough to get a Greyhound ticket back to Boston. Two weeks later, I arrived back in Texas, leaving my life in Boston behind.

With the generosity of my friends John and Carol Krause who also gave us somewhere to live for a time, I became a carpenter's assistant and learned how to build things. I also continued to do some substitute teaching, a job I had done in both Athens and Boston. I decided to get certified to become a teacher. I realized that the life of the road-dog singer/songwriter was not the life I was looking for anymore. I wanted a home and a settled life and to just enjoy playing music with friends and the occasional gig instead of hustling for gigs to make rent and feed myself. Right about this time, my wife became pregnant, so we married and prepared for this new adventure. Being a father is certainly the greatest thing I've ever done. Spending time with my family has been the most wonderful life I could have ever imagined. I became a middle school teacher, eventually falling into teaching a class called AVID, where I get to teach great kids how to become great students and dreamers and teach them how to follow their passions and turn those passions into a career. Eventually, I also started training other teachers in AVID strategies. Along the way, I've continued to gig every now and then, enjoying making music for fun, not for money. The skills I learned in construction afforded me the confidence to be both General Contractor and assistant on every crew building our strawbale house. We live on 5 acres in the country between Wimberley and Blanco, TX, are 100% solar powered, collect all of our water from what rains on our roof, grow a little garden, and have a wonderful life.

It was 2012 when I first started playing music with Jeff Hogan in a 5-piece acoustic blues outfit with Pat Green, Bob Slaughter, and Mike Fowler in a group we called Grey Hogg. We did a mix of traditional blues tunes, a bunch of Pat’s songs, and a few of mine. After a handful of gigs in and around the Hill Country, life changes led to a fizzling out of that group. In its absence, Jeff suggested we try a gig as a duo, me on guitar and vocals and he on an Udu. Due to my finger-style guitar playing with alternating and walking bass lines, we didn’t need a bass per se, rather just the low thump of the Udu combined with its wide range of possible tones. We had a rhythmic connection that required no rehearsal time, so we booked a gig. A few days before the gig, he calls me up and tells me he knows this guy, Greg Lowry, who can play almost any instrument with a sensitivity and virtuosity that would lend color to whatever songs I chose to play. I told him I trusted him completely, so I met Greg on stage at INOZ in Wimberley at our first gig. From the very first song, it was evident there was something magical between the three us.

We approach every song in a new way every time we play it, using different instrumentation, varying tempos, and a fresh feel. The idea is to present each song the way it wants to be presented at that moment. Our choice of songs has largely been my own, so they are all songs which are lyrically interesting as well as melodic with a deep sense of groove. There are so many great songs out there that don’t get much of an audience outside of a fairly limited fan base, so I have made a concerted effort to learn and interpret as many of my favorite songwriters’ songs as possible. I bring them to the gigs and we see where they go. The collection of 12 songs on this CD represents some of the best of what we were performing when we began the project in the Spring of 2015. In addition to four of my original songs, we also cover four outstanding Greg Brown songs, one groovy nod to southern gastronomy by Jack Williams, one dark and mysterious Jonathan Byrd and Corin Raymond tune, one Neale Eckstein epic, and one jolly love song by Steven Barkhimer.

We began the project at Naughty Audio with Val Roessling at the mixing console. Jeff and I went in one March day and cut 16 songs live in one day. Our intention was to choose maybe 5 or 6 good ones and have Greg come in and lay down some accompaniment for an EP. Well, upon listening back to the rough mixes, it was apparent we could turn this in to something more. In the meantime, in another stroke of musical genius, Jeff suggested we bring in a cellist he knew by the name of Mick Vredenburgh. Once again, no rehearsal. We met on stage again at INOZ and again, instant magic! We decided to have two more days in the studio – one for Greg and one for Mick. Greg brought in a dobro, banjo, accordion, mandolin, harmonica, and a small xylophone, and Mick laid down multiple cello tracks. Then, we decided we needed some backing vocals. My lovely daughter, Maya, has proven to be a heck of a good singer, and of course, I wanted her to sing on everything she was comfortable with, which turned out to be 3 songs. Her first experience in a recording studio, and she did an amazing job on Mama Lou, The Law And The Lonesome, and When Push Comes To Shove. Ever since I first heard her at the Kerrville Folk Festival, I’ve dreamt of singing with Kristin Dewitt. So, we brought her in to sing on the two other songs needing vocal accompaniment, Mississippi Serenade and Out In The Country, two very difficult songs to match. Of course, Kristin was incredibly professional and sounds just beautiful on both.

It took over two years to complete this project, mainly because I am a full-time middle school teacher as well as a father and husband. Also, our family sure loves to travel! But, the additional time and space gave us the opportunity to hone the vision of this project. One of the remarkable aspects of this project is the lack of bass guitar (with apologies to all the wonderful bass players I’ve played with over the years!). Filling the bottom with cello and Jeff’s percussion creates what I believe to be quite a unique sound.

I want to thank Cindy for your ever-present love and continued support; Maya for your spirit, your love, and for sharing your beautiful voice on this recording – you and Mom are my life’s inspiration; Val Roessling for your patience, incredible ear, and attention to detail; Jeff Hogan for your musical intuition and your phenomenal sense of groove and inspiration; Greg Lowry for your instinct, sensitivity, and respect of the song; Mick Vredenburgh for your remarkable ideas and flawless execution; Kristin Dewitt for contributing your immense talent and your devotion to the quirkiness of my delivery; all the great folks who have continuously supported the band at INOZ in Wimberley and The Redbud Café in Blanco; Greg Brown, Jack Williams, Jonathan Byrd, Corin Raymond, Steven Barkhimer, and Neale Eckstein for allowing me to record your wonderful songs; all the other songwriters whose songs I cover but haven’t recorded yet – your time will come, too; and finally a huge thank you to everyone in my Kerr-Family (far too many to name), whose love and support and inspiration has refueled and recharged me every year for the last 20 years. I would also like to thank my loving and supportive family - I'm so fortunate to have such an awesome birth family!

It has been an honor and a privilege to live with this project for so long. There are a lot of surprises in here to discover as you listen. Enjoy!

Recording and mixing by Val Roessling at Naughty Audio, somewhere in the Texas Hill Country

Mastering by Glenn Barratt and Erik Balkey at Morningstar Studios in Philadelphia, PA

Artwork by Maya Sahale Gerber

Graphic Design by Eric Gerber

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