Folk Duo ASH & ERIC Announce New LP + Tour Dates (2/19-6/11)
February 17, 2022 by 1888media
Ash & Eric weren’t so “Sure” in 2020. As the year battered down and destroyed most of what they held dear, they hung tightly to their last tattered thread. Until, finally, they just let go.
Disillusioned by religion, their own relationships and even their career, they walked away from everything that hadn’t been working for so long. They started telling the truth.
After spending most of their lives searching for meaning & fulfillment in external places – work, success – having it all taken away meant they had to finally ask themselves, “What or who is going to save me?”
“Sure” is an album for leaving, losing and everything you find when you do.
Hailing from the gritty heart of the Industrial Revolution, Worcester, Massachusetts, the twosome find consolation in discovering beauty from the challenges of being artists in the most stubbornly independent cities in the north east. Their musings reflect the hope and pain we all experience sung in voices as vulnerable and honest as their lyrics.
Their songs feel like a warm welcome, a shoulder to lean on and a hand to hold at the end of a long day. In addition to top tier writing that No Depression says will have you “…coming away from many of these [songs] cleansed,” their warm harmonies, swirling acoustic guitars, and easy stage presence have earned them a dedicated following.
If couple’s last record “Every Seed Must Die” (released under The Promise is Hope) was about dusting themselves off after tragedy, “Sure” sees the pair walking away from the wreckage. As Acoustic Guitar Magazine aptly noted, “Ash & Eric’s tapestry of shimmering guitars and enfolding voices goes beyond transcending sorrow. They imbue the route with meaning.”
This imbued hue is glowingly evident in “Autumn Hymn,” the first offering from the new chapter of their musical journey. Notes Ash, “It’s a hymn for the disillusioned. When the institutions and systems which once claimed to save us, failed us, we walked away from the dogmatic structure we were raised in.
We turned to the natural world for a renewed sense of since-lost hope. We lay under the trees and remembered everything we lost. We listened to the cries of the forest, let our feet become rooted in the earth as the birds sang us back into peace. We learned to listen and even sing again in the midst of the silence. These songs are truly our shelter from the storm.”
She sings a song for every sadness
A song for every pain
A song for every brokenness
That cannot be explained
As COVID dragged on and continued stripping the twosome of their relationships and work, the soulmates started to get more “Sure” of a few things: their love for each other, their desire to make great music & their own ability to heal and find hope.
This album is a return home – to nature, to truth and to themselves.
In the pure assuredness of their own abilities & strength, Ash & Eric set out to make this record entirely themselves. They first attempted to record it in their tiny apartment, battling the constant sound of sirens outside and vacuuming neighbors overhead, before a friend offered them her music classroom at a boarding school in Western Mass. The album was completed in 30 days, arranged and produced entirely by Eric.
In conjunction, a 25-minute visual companion entitled “A Song for Every Sadness” (a lyric from “Autumn Hymn”) will be released later this year with several clips arriving over the next several months (“Autumn Hymn,” “Do Something,” “Sure”) followed by the final two this summer (“In My Head,” “The Dogwood & I”).
Cinematic vignettes, the duo were inspired by visual albums by The Lumineers (III) and Beyoncé (Lemonade), their motif, story-driven presentations providing a taste of direction while also channeling energy from the avant garde work of René Magritte, the Belgian surrealist painter.
“Autumn Hymn,” filmed on the Greater Worcester Land Trust property in Spencer, MA, pays homage to Magritte’s masterwork, “The Lovers.”
Touring extensively since 2015, the pair have shared the stage with esteemed songwriters Livingston Taylor, Antje Duvekot, Michael Glabicki, Vance Gilbert, Mark Erelli, Jesse Terry, Gaelynn Lea, Crys Matthews, Kaiti Jones, Parsonsfield, and The End of America while also delighting audiences at the Black Bear Americana Music Festival and Falcon Ridge Folk Fest and are set to showcase at the upcoming Folk Alliance International Conference in Kansas City.
On Sunday May 8, they’ll celebrate the release of the new album at Club Passim in Cambridge, one of their favorite venues in front of some of their favorite people. A treasured mile-marker to be sure.
Ash & Eric Tour Dates & Performances
2/17 – Livestream (Anxiety Relief XXXVII // Autumn Hymn)
2/19 – West Hartford, CT @ The Sounding Board (opening for Mark Erelli)
3/05 – Bristol, CT (Acousticool House Concert)
3/06 – Southington, CT (Blues Cafe Lite House Concert)
3/08 – Woodbury, CT @ Woodbury Brewing Co (presented by CONNartists)
3/22 – Livestream (Music My Mother Would Not Like)
3/25 – Fairfield, CT @ StageOne (opening for Livingston Taylor)
4/22 – New London, CT @ All Souls (Friday Night Folk)
5/04 – Newmarket, NH @ Stone Church (Dead Archer Presents)
5/08 – Cambridge, MA @ Club Passim (Record Release show)
5/09 – New York, NY @ Bowery Electric (Map Room)
5/11 – Landenberg, PA @ Curryland Studios (w/ The Honey Badgers)
5/12 – Richmond, VA @ The Tin Pan (opening for Rupert Wates)
5/13 – Aberdeen, NC @ The Neon Rooster
5/14 – Bluffton, SC @ Roasting Room Lounge
5/18-21 – Kansas City, MO @ Folk Alliance
5/24 – Nashville, TN @ House Concert
5/25 – Nashville, TN @ Twelve Keys Saloon
5/26 – Knoxville, TN @ WDVX Radio (Blue Plate Special) [12pm EST]
5/27 – Asheville, NC @ Isis Music Hall (Lounge)
6/11 – Rockport, MA @ Old Sloop Coffeehouse (opening for Antje Duvekot)