Timber & Steel
The album cover is a tumble down shack in Tower Minnesota about an hour north of here....Highway 4 to up north and Hwy 61 up the shore are just littered with these places and one time coming back from fishing on a Sunday night I saw this place with an old orange truck out back, just abandoned on this beautiful property and started to think about what a history that place must have had and how great it would be to drop everything and reclaim it. That song became International Scout and the rest of the record became a loosely knit story of this young couple that reclaims this old farm with idealist country living dreams and of course it's never as easy as it seems and there's always a push and pull between thinking you want the security and solitude of a remote homestead and settling down but still being drawn reluctantly like a moth to the bright lights of being prone to wander. The ultimate hope of resolve is a gathering of friends and family, playing music in the kitchen on a Saturday night and achieving the balance of controlled chaos that a night of handmade acoustic music has offered to people for generations. So that's the story of record, the connection being Timber and Steel being huge industries up here, and alot of these old farmsteads left behind from the ebbs of the industry. The Timber and Steel that built the homesteads. And ultimately the Timber and Steel that makes the instruments that play the record. _________________________________________________________ Influenced by the likes of fellow Midwesterners Greg Brown and Spider John Koerner, Eric Rhame is rapidly becoming a musician steeped in the folk tradition. With a distinctive, uniqueness to his voice, one might think of Kelly Joe Phelps, especially with The Farmers and the Soil where Eric is joined by Emil Simoneau (Austin, TX) on slide guitar. As with all great folk singers, Eric prides himself with the lyrics, his favourite part of the songwriting process. Having to wait two years for Timber and Steel was like having one good summer followed by a lousy summer, looking up to the sky and praying for more than just rain. Eric's well-crafted songwriting revives some of those older Gitche Gumee acquaintances, specifically Gordon Lightfoot's The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald. The lore of Lake Superior's shipwrecks persists in Rusty Patina. A true harvest festival of musicians is celebrated with Thanksgiving Day, harmonious like fall hues, Eric's gentle voice and acoustic guitar is accompanied by longtime Duluth musicians: Timothy Soden-Groves (harmonica), John Erickson (upright bass) and Steve 'Chief' Johnson (fiddle). That old orange scout buried in the weeds behind the barn is brought back to life in International Scout, the lead track from the album. With Eric at the wheel, Emil's added lead guitar, John Erickson's upright bass, Greg Tiburzi's percussion and Deidre Heaton's additional vocals, the Midwest is embraced and given a voice. Jules Brazeau Altcountrytab. Ca.