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Although best known as the shaven-headed and earringed lead singer of the traditional folk band Cordelia's Dad, Tim Eriksen is also a respected teacher as well as a collector of folk song variants. Perhaps surprisingly, Eriksen's musical roots are in the western Massachusetts hardcore punk scene of the '80s, the same scene that spawned Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh. While playing guitar in a variety of punk bands, Eriksen also became immersed in traditional folk music through his parents' influence. The combination inspired Cordelia's Dad, an electric rock band that plays only traditional American folk music. However, Eriksen's interests are more widespread than even that seemingly divergent background; he formally studied South Indian Carnatic music while in college, and he holds a degree in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University. Besides Cordelia's Dad and its short-lived all-rock offshoot band Io, Eriksen also sang in the vocal quartet Northampton Harmony with Cordelia's Dad bassist Cath Oss and played guitar in the Bulgarian rock band Zabe I Babe with his wife Minja Lausevic. In 2001, while working as a visiting professor of ethnomusicology at Dartmouth College, Eriksen released his self-titled solo debut, an album of largely traditional tunes recorded live in one five-hour session, with Eriksen accompanying himself on guitar, fiddle, and banjo.