CD Release 

Greetings all!

Last night we had our Red River Worship CD release concert at Good Shepherd in Moorhead, MN.  It was a great night - big thanks to everyone who came out.  It seems strange that the event is over - we spent so much time arranging and rehearsing the songs.  Then, so much time recording and mixing and reviewing.  Then, so much time planning and rehearsing for the release.  The project has taken up a lot of our time and energy for the past year and now it's out there in the world.  It should be up in all the regular streaming and download sites in the next couple days.  I hope you have a chance to check it out.

Now the focus is on promotion and gigs I suppose - we're excited to get out and play and share the new record.  Hopefully we'll have a chance to connect soon. 

Check out www.redriverworship.com to find out the latest.

Thanks all!
Eric

 

Recording 

Hi friends - thanks for checking in! 

Red River Worship - the CCM band I've been playing with - has been doing some recording and it's turning out great.  We're on the cusp of launching a kickstarter campaign that you are welcome to check it out.  For all things Red River Worship, visit www.redriverworship.com.  You can find out about the fundraiser, tour dates, etc.  It's a great group of guys to play music with and I'm thankful for the opportunity to make music with them.

 

Flatlands will be at the Concordia Cornfeed again this August 22 - we've been honored to play this great event for the past 8 or 9 years now I think.

 

I hope your summer is going well, and hope to see you soon.

Eric

Updates 

Hi.

I've updated a few things - taken a few old things down, put a few new things up.  You know...a little of this, a little of that.  I've got a couple gigs coming up that I'm looking forward to.  I'll be up in Ada, MN for a Beer & Hymns evening at Pub 21 and then again for a Red River Worship gig later in the month. 

Thanks for stopping by and be in touch.

eric

New News 

Hello folks,

Long time no update eh?

As you may have noticed from the calendar section of the site, I've been doing a ton of gigs with the Good Shepherd church band over the past months.  It's been my main guitar playing outlet for the past year or so, and I'm grateful for the opportunity.  Playing with a band has made me a better guitar player.  I've had the opportunity to play both electric and acoustic guitar with the worship band.  I've not really played electric guitar since playing with the Kipps back in 2009 or so.  And, prior to the Kipps, it was probably high school when I really played electric guitar much.  One of the first things I realized in picking the electric back up was how insufficient my gear was.

Generally, at church we're playing a silent stage and so I needed gear that would allow for me to play with no amplifier.  After some brief research, I picked up a Tech 21 Fly Rig to run direct to the board.  I like it so far and continue to tweak the sound each week that I use it.  It's pretty versatile and offers a good reverb sound that seems pretty necessary when it comes to worship band electric guitar sound.  It also has a delay channel with tap function that is also useful in a worship setting.  The delay section allows for a cool chorus effect by dialing down the repeats and time functions, but it does require tweaking mid-service which is inconvenient.  I'm not a big fan of having to crouch down and change tiny dials between songs, but I'm managing okay. 

The folks that play in the band at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Moorhead, MN are fantastic.  I think there are about 25 or so players in any given week between the wednesday evening or sunday morning services.  Everyone is easygoing and fun to hang with.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to play with good people each week. 

I've generally not been a big fan of "cheer leading for jesus" music that is often associated with contemporary christian worship.  My last adventure playing in a church band was in college at Concordia as the guitarist in the temple band some 20 years ago.  That too was a great group of people to play with and though the type of music we we're playing brought a bit of discomfort, I was happy to play music with like-minded people.  Things have changed in contemporary christian music since my days in the Concordia College Temple Band, but my relative discomfort remains.  I'm sure there is another blog post coming diving more deeply into the existential feelings I have about the contemporary christian music I'm a part of these days. 

In the meantime, I'm happy to continue playing some solo gigs as well as some Flatlands gigs.  Bill and I have welcomed back Brent Thorson into the fold with Flatlands recently.  Brent brings another harmony vocal as well as some great percussion to our set.  We continue to look for gigs so if you have a need for an acoustic trio with three-part harmonies, we'd love to come and play for you.  Shoot an email and we can chat about dates. 

Thanks to you who read this - I have no idea if anyone is checking this out or not.  I've been horrible at keeping up on what's going on.  Like other posts, I'll reiterate that I'm hoping to keep things more current.  Send a message if you've read this as that'll give me some sense of whether or not folks are looking. 

I'll keep writing - thanks for keeping listening.

cheers

eric

Shows 

Greetings everyone - I've added a couple of dates to the calendar.  Hope to add a few more soon.  Be well!

 

Eric

The Never Ending Quest 

As an acoustic musician, I'm on a never ending quest for new gear.  It's silly really...I have gear that works fine, but there is something about needing to tweak stuff that keeps me always looking at "what if I tried this?"

A few gigs back, I was having trouble with both my guitars...a horrible jarring sound would come out of the speakers at random times.  I brought my guitar into Paul Hvidsten who does amazing work and has always done all my guitar maintenance and repair, and he said there wasn't anything obvious he could find.  I read up on other guitar players experiences with the same pick-up and preamp configuration that I use, and a lot of folks mentioned that the pick up I use doesn't play well with the preamp I use.  So, at the Nights of Christmas gig we did in December, I tried using a standard direct box rather than a preamp, and it sounded great and there were no horrible unpredictable jarring noises.  Victory!  So, I bought a new direct box to replace my old preamp. 

Now...it's got me thinking...what if I got a new board to run the PA?  Or, what if I got some new powered speakers...or maybe I should change the pickup configuration in my guitar, because at the gig with Josh Harty last week I really liked the way his rig sounded....STOP!

When does it stop?  Never...I've been having this conversation inside my own head since I bought my first piece of gear when I was 16 years old.  It doesn't help that my partner Bill is the same way...we're constantly talking about what we should change up and how we should configure our sound system.  In a way, it's kind of fun...looking in the gear catalogs and on craigslist...imagining the possibilities limited only by disposable income and a spouse who is actually rational about money.  

Well, I'm off to the music shop to check on PA boards.  If I get a new one, I think our system will be perfect...almost.

Where does the time go? 

I noticed today that the last entry here is from 2011.  That's weak.  Coincidently, that's also the year my second daughter was born...so I suppose I can figure where my time has been spent.  Much has happened in the past few years in addition to starting a family.  Several new jobs and moves around the state and I find myself back in Moorhead, MN.  Today it's -18 F and the wind makes it feel like -37F.  I really missed living here these past 10 years.  There's something about this weather...it's right in your face and it impacts almost all the decisions we make on a daily basis.

Another plus to being back in town is the proximity to my old friend Bill Lempe.  Bill and I started Flatlands 18 years ago...I can't believe we've been playing together that long.  In the time I was away, we didn't play as often as I would have liked, but we still managed to eek out a few gigs together each year.  Now we're able to fill up the calendar a bit more which is great.  We just played up in Bottineau, ND for Camp Metigoshe's Nights of Christmas Celebration and it was a great night.  And, it brought us back together with our old friend and original Flatlands member Jon Halvorson.  The blizzard driving home the next morning wasn't as great, but it was a fun trip overall.  

And, tomorrow night, I get to meet up with another old friend.  I'll be opening Josh Harty's show at the Listening Room in Fargo.  Josh and I used to play a lot of shows together 10-12 years ago.  We traveled all around playing just about anywhere.  We covered a lot of miles in the van and I miss those days.  Josh has continued to put on a lot of miles in the meantime, and has really become one of America's best songwriters.  I look forward to seeing my old friend and hearing about his adventures across America and Europe playing his guitar.  

So, where does the time go?  Quickly to be sure.  I'm a bit of a sucker for nostalgia and senitmentality looking back on younger days.  But, I'm excited about the future as well.  I'm hopeful for new songs and new gigs.

Cheers,

Eric 

Good Times 

Thanks to all those who came out to the shows in Fargo.  I had a blast playing at the HoDo and the groom's dinner was excellent as well.  And, it was really great playing with Bill, Brent, and Kyle...I mean Alex.  

Performing on the Christopher Gabriel radio show was super fun too.  It had been a long time since I played on the radio.  It's always a bit tricky to hear each other with the headphones on.  

Hopefully Flatlands will have some more shows in the near future...if you are interested in hosting a house concert, or if you know of a fun place we can play in your town, drop me a line and we'll see what we can do.

Cheers,
Eric 

Gigs 

Hello website visitor.  Thanks for stopping by.

I have a couple of shows coming up, and I'm excited to get out and play again.  It has been ages since I performed last.  I'm always excited to play gigs with Flatlands, and we have a few shows coming up in the next few weeks and months.  Billy and I are playing at the Minneapolis and Moorhead Cornfeeds here in August.  These are usually fun shows and we get to see some old friends too.  Bill and I haven't really played together since last year's cornfeeds, so we probably have a bit of dust to shake off before we play.  Though, we've been playing together for so long, it doesn't take too long to fall into the old ways. 

There is also another potential flatlands show coming up this fall in Fargo.  This would likely be a more traditional flatlands show...possibly at a venue where they serve beer.  Stay tuned to my otherwise static website calender for more details about this show.  It is shaping up for early October. 

I'm just starting to get interested in doing shows again, so if anyone is looking for an opening act or would like to split a bill, let me know.  And, if anyone is interested in hosting a house concert, I'm certainly open to that too. 

Thanks!

Eric

Approaching One Year 

Well...it's been nearly a full year since I've written in to the site here.  I've been taking a hiatus from professional music to go to graduate school and spend some time with my family.  It's been a good break.  I've been playing a fair amount of guitar, though mostly "The Wheels On the Bus" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star".  Watching my daughter dance and sing along is really priceless.  

I can't believe it's been a year since I sold my main guitar.  I still get a bit nostalgic for it, but I think it was a good move.  My old Taylor is sounding better than ever.  I still remember walking to Marguerite's Music in Moorhead to buy that guitar back in 1995.  

I do have a wedding coming up in June that I'm looking forward to.  I haven't played out in front of people for quite a while, so it should be fun to feel those nerves again.  I am looking to get out and do a few more shows in the coming months, so if anyone is interested in hosting a house concert or if anyone knows of a cool low-key venue shoot me an email.  

Hopefully I can check in again before another year goes by.  If you are reading this, thanks much.

Eric

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