Down from the Treehouse
Brooding, dark, and utterly gorgeous, Down From the Treehouse is a moving study in thick sonic textures and emotion. With Eric Underwood on guitar and vocals and his wife Eladia playing some of the moodiest, most versatile cello you'll hear, this record fluidly moves from churning rock to baroque Simon & Garfunkel-esque folk. Eladia's cello serves as an apt foil for Eric's vocals, which range from the snarling bite of Trent Reznor to the reflective glint of Elliott Smith. On tunes like 'Marianne,' the cello flutters and swims around Eric's guitar and vocal, alternately serving as a melodic lift and a grounding bass, gypsy viola and it's own string section. The standout track 'Carousel' perfectly represents this record-smart, dark and lovely.-PERFORMING SONGWRITER ERIC UNDERWOOD DITCHES THE BAND, COMES DOWN FROM THE TREEHOUSE by Seth Rogovoy Eric Underwood worked his way up on the regional music scene headlining a band that bore his own name and, with a violin in the group and lots of minor-key folk-rock anthems in the repertoire, one seemingly patterned along the lines of the Dave Matthews Band. But with Underwood's brand new CD, Down from the Treehouse, the follow-up to the Eric Underwood Band's The Light Behind You, the singer-songwriter has done a 180-degree turn. While the minor-key melodies are still prevalent, the band is gone and in it's place are just Underwood's voice and acoustic guitar accompanied by the versatile, haunting cello stylings of Underwood's new duet partner, Eladia who also lends occasional vocal harmonies. Down From the Treehouse is a dark, intimate album, colored heavily by Eladia's gorgeous cello, which lends a timeless, mournful quality to the already timeless, mournful ballads composed by Underwood, an Adams (Massachusetts) native who was himself something of a childhood prodigy on violin, performing with the Berkshire Symphony at age 12. Something of the texture of violin and classical music informs Underwood's songs on Down From the Treehouse, which with few exceptions-most notably 'Jericho,' which works up a sensual froth-are contructed of delicate latticework of Underwood's whispery vocals, his rhythmic guitar strumming, and Eladia's moody counterpoint. Here and there one hears traces of the Beatles-another folk group that once put cello to good use-and other late-1960's/early-'70s English folk groups, as well as hints of some of the more angst-laden grunge-rock of the early-'90s, albeit unplugged-style. But for the most part, on Down From the Treehouse, Eric Underwood and Eladia have invented an original sonic blend. -THE ROGOVOY REPORT Eric Underwood is currently living in New York City and continues to perform as a singer and songwriter. Although Eric Underwood and Eladia no longer performing together, Eric traditionally uses string players to accompany him both live and on recordings. The use of strings has become Eric's trademark throughout the years.