Today's Dose comes from an artist I worked with on a private listener concert a decade ago. Eric Hutchinson was great to work with and it's great to see him still making creative music choices.
Here's info rom Let's Break Records:
SING ALONG! with Eric Hutchinson - six new, original, gospel-inspired folk and protest songs that feel instantly timeless. “I believe that anybody with a voice can sing,” Eric says. “Using your voice is powerful and the fun of making music and singing together in harmony can be universally healing and unifying. It’s been a hard few years for everyone. Since I was a kid, what I’ve always done to heal in any times of distress, was to sing.” Today, Eric releases the latest track off the EP, “Everybody’s Gotta Beating Heart.” “I wrote this song to celebrate that no matter how different and strange people can act sometimes,” Eric explains, “everyone must be treated equally, and that deep down we all want the same thing - a happy and healthy life.”
SING ALONG! with Eric Hutchinson is the artist’s eighth studio release and his first new work since the fierce global reckoning with racism that was illuminated by the historic actions of the Black Lives Matter movement. “I grew up in a diverse suburb of Washington D.C., surrounded by people of all colors, speaking multiple languages,” Eric says. “So I was ashamed to learn how many blind spots I still have. The past few years have opened my eyes, in new ways, to how so many people, especially those of color, are marginalized and robbed of their basic civic rights.”
Eric’s new collection of songs touch on togetherness, tolerance, inclusivity, progress, and justice. “These themes felt like the only thing I could possibly write about right now,” he says.
Together, the songs create a guiding force that is schooled in the traditions of American folk music. SING ALONG! was heavily inspired by Black artists like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Big Bill Broonzy and Elizabeth Cotten, as well as the recorded works of Alan Lomax, an American ethnomusicologist, best known for his numerous field recordings, which played an important role in preserving the folk music traditions of the early 20th century.
In early 2022, Eric assembled an elite and diverse eight-member band of musicians to perform and record his new project, live in the studio. He recruited Clyde Lawrence on keys, Ian Allison on bass, Jimmy Coleman on percussion and Wayne Tucker on trumpet, plus vocalists Caleb Hawley, Melanie Nyema, and Veronica Frommer-Stewart. The group united in NYC’s Lower East Side, in the middle of a blizzard, to make music in person, together, and document the party. “I was determined to make the album totally live and with no headphones. Just musicians in a room, making music together. A very antique idea these days,” Eric says with a laugh. “I loved the idea of setting up a few microphones and recording something live and true - with no edits, no tricks, and nowhere to hide as a songwriter and a performer.”
Eric hopes that his new songs and his own examination of his place in this world will inspire others to look inward and at the community around them. “I don’t claim to have the answers and I know that my music won’t solve our problems,” he says. “But I am hopeful these songs will lift the listener, and invite the listener to celebrate diversity, look around at the injustices currently present in life, and question how he, she or they might make even the smallest difference in the name of good.”