Artist: Eric Harrison: Lead vocals; Kevin Salem: Drums, guitar, bass and keyboards; and Sasha Ostrovksy: Lap steel; John Conte: Upright bass on ‘Live Before You Die’
EP: ‘Dear John;’ Release Date: April 7, 2022; Produced and mastered by Kevin Salem; Recorded at The Distortion Tank in Woodstock, New York
The most heartwarming collections of songs are driven by emotional, story-telling lyrics that not only reflect on love and loss, but also emphasize the overall human condition. Prolific Fanwood, New Jersey-based Americana singer-songwriter, Eric Harrison shared his admiration for the late musical legend, John Prine on his newly released five-track EP, ‘Dear John.’ The melodic roots album relatably emphasizes how Harrison is still sad about Prine’s untimely passing from COVID-19 in April 2020. But instead of focusing on the pain, he’d rather concentrate on the joy of his fellow singer-songwriter’s long-lasting legacy.
‘Dear John,’ which takes inspiration from the music of such folk/rock/roots singer-songwriters as Elvis Costello, Cat Stevens and Tom Petty, begins with the upbeat entry, ‘Till You Make Me Home.’ Driven by a heavy bassline on the steel guitar and crunching percussion, Harrison’s vibrant, evocative tenor infuses the tune’s lyrics with romanticized ideals about love. In his alluring vocals that are also driven by a country twang, the musician shares his determination to turn his initial lust for a woman he just met into a long-lasting romance. While she initially refutes his proclamation of love, he declares his intention to eventually form a lasting relationship with her.
Another intriguing track on Harrison’s latest record is its third entry, ‘Hot Teardrops and Cold Compresses.’ The retrospective tune pays tribute to Prine’s Americana songwriting style, as Harrison cherishes the beauty of love and the human experience. The sentimental song, which is driven by Americana-folk guitar strumming, advises its listeners that they should strive to obtain a well lived life, much like the one Prine led while he was alive. Harrison also reminds his listeners about the importance of embracing the experience of making memories, and cherishing the experiences they have with the people they love and cherish.
The fifth and final entry on ‘Dear John’ is ‘Live Before You Die,’ whose inspirational lyrics offer a sense of hope. Driven by a slow tempo and low key melody on the folk guitar, the singer sentimentally and emotionally croons that no one has to face the world alone. He encourages his listeners to accept and embrace the path of life that’s presented to them, even if it initially appears to be intimidating, as the people they love will always be by their side, supporting them.
Taking inspiration from the work of Prine, one of his musical idols, Harrison crafted a heartwarming collections of songs, which are driven by emotional, story-telling lyrics, throughout his latest EP. From the vibrant, uptempo opening track, ‘Till You Make Me Home,’ to the retrospective ‘Hot Teardrops and Cold Compresses’ and inspirational ‘Live Before You Die,’ which encourage people to live the fullest life they can, ‘Dear John’ is a prolific examination into the human condition of appreciating whatever triumphs and obstacles they face.