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To the Races

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Album Review

Recorded in the Tower Circle Hotel in the Hatteras Island city of Buxton, NC, Crooked Fingers and Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann's first official solo album — not counting his mostly instrumental soundtrack to the independent baseball thriller Ball of Wax — aims for the rural mystique of Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska. Fans of Bachmann's gruff Neil Diamond-meets-Steve Earle vocals and lonesome and literate subject matter will find everything they love about the Carolina native on display, while those who prefer his vocal affectations surrounded by the din of a full band should stick with his group efforts. To the Races gets off to a grand start with the tropical imagery-laden "Man o War," a sparse yet majestic opener that utilizes Bachmann's penchant for sharp and rhythmic fingerpicking and uses the lovely multi-tracked vocals of Miranda Brown as a string section. "Carrboro Woman" celebrates the dull ache of a blue-collar love affair, "Genevieve" sounds like an outtake from Mickey Newbury's 'Frisco Mabel Joy, and "So Long Savannah" wraps things up in a reluctant bear hug for Georgia's most colorful coastal town.

Customer Reviews

Another Peek Inside

Anyone who has ever written lyrics or sang a song needs to listen to what Eric does. The man is a master with a pen and his voice is so expressive, it's truly something to aspire to. This is another great journey into his superior talent.

One of the Best Songwriters...

Indeed a songwriter in a million. Eric has been at it a long time and this is a mature collection of tunes. Sparse but so thoughtful and full of what you want in a song. The classical guitar and tasteful additional instrument/vocal tracks provide a beautiful open space for Eric's lyrics and haunting voice to give it out straight. His falsetto in Man O' War will chill your bones. Buy the album. See him in concert. You'll not regret it.

Excellent Album

Saw him open for Neko Case at 9:30 Club in D.C.-- really, really great. Had never heard of him--how sad. Great lyrics and guitar. Soothing voice; unpretentious performer.


Born: Greensboro, NC

Genre: Alternative

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

North Carolinian Eric Bachmann's debut solo album may have been called Short Careers, but his musical career has been anything but. Beginning with his early-'90s indie rock band Archers of Loaf, the one-time Appalachian State University saxophone major has crafted a relentlessly independent and uncompromising rock & roll journey. With Icky Mettle in 1994, Bachmann's group unleashed a collection of white noise, Pavement-style guitar pop, and loopy lyrics that deftly matched the crunch of Chapel Hill's...
Full Bio
To the Races, Eric Bachmann
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Customer Ratings