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Every Sound Below

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Album Review

The cover of Every Sound Below notes that Tim Eriksen had something to do with the Cold Mountain soundtrack, but it's almost hard to believe that something so traditional would have been included in a commercially made Civil War melodrama. Be that as it may, Every Sound Below is so much of a throwback to yesteryear that one could almost take the "neo" out when describing Eriksen as a neo-traditionalist. After all, when compared to a happening guy like Tim O'Brien, Eriksen sounds as if he was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains and taught to shape-note sing at a local Primitive Baptist Church. Having said this, with rare exceptions — like "Omie Wise" — these old songs aren't overly familiar, and Eriksen's intense performance style brings an immediacy to traditional fare that drags it into the 21st century. In this way, his versions of "Friendship," with its accompanying fiddle, and "John Colby's Hymn," with its old-time banjo, remind one of Dirk Powell, another young lad who runs in neo-traditionalist circles. This method of interpreting older material may seem a bit strange, but it allows a musician to be true to the time-honored styles without mimicking them. For those more attuned to Alison Krauss and Sting's contributions to Cold Mountain, Every Sound Below will seem a bit rough-hewn. For those who like their roots music to actually have roots, however, Eriksen's lively interpretations will hit the spot. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., Rovi


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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Every Sound Below, Tim Eriksen
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