Erich Collins Carey
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Erich Collins Carey

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Rock

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"Shelter Island Musician Needs Votes In Radio Contest"

By day, he's a practicing attorney in New York City. But the Shelter Island native has music in his soul -- and is reaching out to the public for votes in a local contest that will bring his homegrown sound to a wider audience.

Erich Collins Carey, 32, has deep roots in Shelter Island soil. His sense of home is so fierce that he released his new album "Could've Gone Either Way" -- which he recorded with friend and Grammy winner Matt Shane in New York and locally -- on his own label, Route 114 Music and Records, named after 114, Shelter Island's main thoroughfare.

Now, Long Island radio station WEHM 92.9 and 96.9 FM has chosen a track from the album for a Battle of the Bands contest sponsored by the station.

Currently, listeners are asked to vote -- to vote, click here -- for the Top 5 winners, who will be invited to a playoff at Bobbique in Patchogue on June 29.

The winner will be featured to play at the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue in July. Online voting ends Monday at noon.

"I am very proud of my album and am doing my best to get my independent music out to the local community in a grass roots fashion," Carey said.

Carey -- whose late grandfather, former New York State Governor Hugh Carey, recently had the Battery Tunnel renamed in his honor -- has loved music since his world began.

"Some of my earliest memories relate to music. I had a little Fisher Price record player when I was a kid and however it worked out, I wound up with two records in my collection: one by the Beach Boys and one by Billy Idol. I had a Hawaiian shirt and a tough little snarl to match, depending on which I was listening to," he said.

And from that tender age, music took hold of his soul. "I can remember getting lost in the sound; it’s a feeling I can still very much identify with. There’s a continuity there, all these years later. Music can just take you to another place and it still very much has the same effect for me."

Carey counts Bruce Springsteen as one of his greatest musical influences; the two share a birthday. "Could be just coincidence, but to me it’s always been symbolic. I’ve always felt a connection to Bruce more than anyone else. His music is transcendent. It’s something I’ve shared with my family and closest friends and that speaks volumes about his community impact."

Other musical favorites include Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Grateful Dead and the Dave Matthews Band. "With all of the artists I love, the emphasis is on songwriting backed by live performance; they are two very different skills but when they come together that for me is the essence of great music," Carey said.

As a musician, Carey said his style leans toward folk rock. "But I’ve got a lot of influences in there: blues, early rock n’ roll, alternative, even Irish traditional. The emphasis is on keeping it honest, organic, and homegrown. The aim is to appeal to the head, the heart, the soul -- and maybe get people moving and dancing just a little bit. When you put it all together it’s a unique blend that my father has affectionately dubbed 'barefoot rock n’ roll.' Still figuring out what exactly that means, but I think it’s an accurate description nonetheless. Best way to find out is to listen."

Carey has found inspiration in his guitar. "The acoustic guitar has been my passport to everything in music. We had one in my house growing up; took me a long time to figure it out, but from there I began to branch out. When I discovered the electric guitar, that took me to another planet. Then came harmonica to help me round out solo performances."

Above all, Carey said he considers himself a songwriter. "I tend to tinker with a lot of sounds and instruments that I have no rightful place playing to tease out ideas. That would include the drums, bass, piano, melodica, an empty bottle —whatever happens to by lying around, really," he said. "But at the end of the day it all goes back to an acoustic guitar. That’s where most of my songs have evolved from. I’ve still always got one on the overhead rack wherever I’m traveling."
Carey, a full time practicing attorney in New York City with the law firm Pryor Cashman LLP, said he has had the goal of releasing his album for many years, "but that had to wait on a lot things—applying to and surviving Fordham Law School, then the bar exam, then entering the practice. It’s been no easy feat," he said. "Nonetheless my law practice very much gives my music grounding and balance. I don’t expect that it will resonate or make sense to a lot of people, but I see it as a yin and the yang relationship, where seeming opposites actually rely on and support each other."

Shelter Island, Carey said, inspires his music. "Shelter Island has always been a blessing to have in my life and I’ve always been so grateful for it. I’ve grown up playing guitar at restaurants, bars and parties on Shelter Island. It’s always given me a forum and canvas to express myself as a musician and that’s something I don’t think will ever change in my life, especially as a working professional in the chaos that is New York City."

While most of the studio recording for the album was done in Manhattan, he and Shane recorded overdub parts on Shelter Island. "The vibe was perfect. On one of the tracks, 'Midnight Train,”'we recorded Shelter Island crickets on a late August night and laid that sound underneath the entire song, so you can actually transport yourself to a summer night on the porch if you listen closely. It’s just a little touch, but it means a lot to me to pay tribute to that inspiration in such a direct way, because that influence is really throughout my music in other ways that are more intangible."

His grandfather has shaped his dreams and future, Carey said. "My grandfather and my father Chris Carey are undoubtedly the greatest influences in my life. I’ve always revered my grandfather’s ability to move people with the spoken word; he could have a crowd in tears one minute and laughing in stitches the next. He knew how to summon sheer will to overcome adversity, be it as a soldier in World War II, as a father after losing his wife, with whom he had 14 children, or as Governor in dealing with the fiscal crisis of the late ‘70s that threatened to leave New York City bankrupt. His resolve is a constant motivation for me. And at the end of the day, even for him it all came back to song; he was always known to cap off a good party with his rendition of 'New York, New York.'"

Carey hopes voters will choose his track in the WEHM contest. "As a ground level, working musician, I can’t tell you how rare it is to have an opportunity to expose your music to a larger audience. I see this opportunity as consistent with my goals as a musician: to build up interest at the grass roots, community level, to turn listeners on to a new, local, independent homegrown product and hopefully, to get some people dancing or thinking along the way, just in time for summer." - North Fork Patch


"Quick Spins (album reviews)"

Erich Collins Carey – Could’ve Gone Either Way
The self financed debut album from New York singer / songwriter, Erich Collins Carey hears him baring his soul in sound and it is the simplicity of his sound that enhances his lyrics more. Much like Clark Kent, Carey is not what he appears to be, an attorney by day, at night he transforms himself into a musician. He takes his Irish roots and uses it to his advantage to become a clever storyteller, songwriter, and guitar player. The title of his record could possibly signify where this project could go, however, it seems to have gone in his favor and the promise of a new songwriter has been given to us.
FINAL GRADE: B+ - OfficiallyAYuppie.com


"Shelter Island Musician Makes Next Round in Radio Contest"

Shelter Island musician Erich Collins Carey is one step closer to realizing his dream.

Carey has made it to the next round in a contest sponsored by Long Island radio station WEHM 92.9 and 96.9 FM, which has chosen a track from his album for a Battle of the Bands contest sponsored by the station.

Recently, listeners were asked to vote for the Top 5 finalists, who are invited to a Battle of the Bands playoff at Bobbique in Patchogue on Saturday -- and Carey took a top spot in the round.

The winner will be featured to play at the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue in July.

"After 17 years of playing music, it was awesome to finally have one of my songs played on FM radio, and on one of my favorite stations, no less," Carey said.

The final round of the contest will take place on Saturday, June 29, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"I'm thrilled to advance to the final round of WEHM FM & Bobbique's Summer 2013 Real Band Battle," Collins said Monday. "It was a small feat just to hear my name on the radio. Since the last round was an active participation among listeners by way of online voting, I'm extremely grateful for what this represents: a showing of support among friends and family, with, hopefully, those groups growing just a little bit as a result of our collective effort."

Carey sent his thanks to everyone who voted for him. "I appreciate how much competition there is for attention these days. Nonetheless, I very much hope to do right by everyone in the final round," he said. "I'm also grateful for the opportunity to now turn to the live performance aspect of the competition; as a musician, that's what you live for."

While Carey admits to "butterflies," he said, " I'm up for the challenge. I very much have my eyes on the prize and would be elated to advance in the contest and perform at the Great South Bay Music Festival. After many years of hard work, it would be an awesome accomplishment, and a very fitting one at that, given my Long Island roots. It would truly make for a most unforgettable rock-and-roll summer for a dedicated local musician."

Carey, a practicing attorney by day in New York City, has long had music in his soul.

The musician, 32, has deep roots in Shelter Island soil. His sense of home is so fierce that he released his new album "Could've Gone Either Way" -- which he recorded with friend and Grammy winner Matt Shane in New York and locally -- on his own label, Route 114 Music and Records, named after 114, Shelter Island's main thoroughfare.

"I am very proud of my album and am doing my best to get my independent music out to the local community in a grass roots fashion," Carey said.

Carey -- whose late grandfather, former New York State Governor Hugh Carey, recently had the Battery Tunnel renamed in his honor -- has loved music since his world began.

"Some of my earliest memories relate to music. I had a little Fisher Price record player when I was a kid and however it worked out, I wound up with two records in my collection: one by the Beach Boys and one by Billy Idol. I had a Hawaiian shirt and a tough little snarl to match, depending on which I was listening to," he said.

And from that tender age, music took hold of his soul. "I can remember getting lost in the sound; it’s a feeling I can still very much identify with. There’s a continuity there, all these years later. Music can just take you to another place and it still very much has the same effect for me."

As a musician, Carey said his style leans toward folk rock. "But I’ve got a lot of influences in there: blues, early rock n’ roll, alternative, even Irish traditional. The emphasis is on keeping it honest, organic, and homegrown. The aim is to appeal to the head, the heart, the soul -- and maybe get people moving and dancing just a little bit. When you put it all together it’s a unique blend that my father has affectionately dubbed 'barefoot rock n’ roll.' Still figuring out what exactly that means, but I think it’s an accurate description nonetheless. Best way to find out is to listen." - North Fork Patch


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Erich Collins Carey is a roots and folk rock singer & songwriter from New York, NY, currently bringing live original rocknroll to the Big Apple in signature homegrown style and building up local buzz behind a string of great gigs in 2015.

Carey released his last album, "Could've Gone Either Way" on his own independent label Route 114 Music & Records in June 2013. "Could've Gone Either Way" is a collaboration between Carey and Producer Matt Shane (Grammy award winner, Flight of the Conchords). The album was recorded in New York City and on Shelter Island, New York in the Fall and Summer of 2012 and features Carey's original music backed by tried and true NYC session talent.

Carey's live backing band ("the Constituency") features NYC via Berklee College rhythm section Ryan Gleason on bass and Jason Lunardi on the skins, along with multi-instrumentalist Dan Purdom (from Denver-based "Kidnapping is a Good Business?") rounding out the sound on keys, percussion, mandolin, guitar, omnichord, melodica and vox. 

The album is Carey's first release since his debut "The Bachelor of Arts" which he recorded his senior year at Amherst College. Two songs from that album, "Remedy in Miles" and "Northeast Lament," received honorable mention in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

In the decade since, Carey has been active performing in and around New York City, both original material and the music of his influences, including Dylan, Springsteen, Dave Matthews Band, Paul Simon, Bob Marley, Van Morisson and the Grateful Dead, while developing his own brand of music, both as a solo act and with local bands. While studying law at Fordham University, Carey fronted the group The Small Claims. Carey categorizes his music as a unique blend of folk rock he affectionately calls barefoot rock n' roll.

The album "Could've Gone Either Way" concludes with a ballad Carey wrote for his late grandfather, former NY Governor Hugh L. Carey. The younger Carey performed the song at services honoring the late Governor, both in New York and in the Governor's beloved Ireland.

Band Members