Walk with the Saints
Erin O'Bryan - Biography As a songwriter, Erin has always held steadfast to an artistic conviction that 'even though a song may be layered with textures of instrumentation, a great song can be stripped down to a guitar and a voice and still have all the intensity and impact of a full band production.' Accordingly, she spends a great deal of time performing with her band, Free Dirt, and is also committed to performing gigs as a duet accompanied by guitars or as an acoustic soloist. 'It tends to give me a closeness to the music that is important for writing and is a very intimate experience with the audience.' Having the earthy-rock vocal feeling of a Chrissie Hynde and the warmth of a Jewel allows Erin to work on-stage with even the most complex band dynamic. Erin's songs strike a universal chord with most people, with her having the talent to write about such a diverse group of subjects, and still seem to get to the heart of them. Perhaps, it comes from many years of studying artists like Joni Mitchell, Counting Crows, Shawn Colvin and Fleetwood Mac. Whether it is getting down to the futile reality of materialism in 'Mansions in the Sky' - 'all those rooms in your mansion, filled with diamonds and touches of lace.....and now you're running out of time' or by exploring the pressure put on women to be society's ideal of beautiful in 'Plain Girl' - 'it's much better just to blend in, like a flower on the wall, the shit we like to say to ourselves before we take that fall....doors swing open for the beautiful faces....who will notice a plain girl.' It was the deaths of artists such as River Phoenix, Shannon Hoon and Kurt Cobain that inspired Erin to write 'Walk with the Saints' and delve into what it is like to be trapped by a world of expectation - 'I'm turned around and twisted, upside down again, in this city of lost angels is it too late to repent.' Erin has refined this search for the core essence of emotion in her debut CD 'Walk with the Saints.' Combining this level of lyrical candidness with frequently contrasting arrangements gives the songs an added punch. The result is a group of songs that are never predictable, yet have an important common message of tolerance, persistence and selflessness. The eleven-song album is the product of nearly two years of writing and refining more than fifteen songs. The CD benefits from a wide array of influences and courageous personal openness. It was critical to Erin to use as many organic instruments as possible to make the most of the honesty that comes through in her writing. While the songs express her roots as a guitarist and vocalist, a lot of nuance is added through the strength of the rhythm section and the use of piano, accordion, Hammond B3 organ and strings. When asked how she has been able to build such a base of songs, she replied, 'Insomnia is my friend.'