Eric Lichter
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Eric Lichter

Band Americana Rock


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The best kept secret in music


"Left Coast Sounds Good"

"Chorduroy". Eric Lichter's debut CD, is an intriguing document of an emerging artist. It's primarily a DIY project, with Mr. Lichter writing most of the songs, playing the bulk of the instruments, and producing and engineering the disc himself. The result is a melodic collection of songs that serves as an impressive calling card for his musical talents. The disc opens with "Drag" which introduces the signature sound of the album. A blend of soft drum beats, acoustic guitar strumming, Southwestern styled electric guitar notes. and soothing high vocal harmonies. Mr. Lichter sings, " Down and out in Baker California. Nothing to my name except this worn out pair of shoes. And friends that live inside a burned out trailer. They don't do a thing all day but shoot bad dope and drink cheap booze." He has done an immaculate job capturing the sensation up being awake at 2am during the 1970's, and several of the tracks sound as though they could be lost outtakes from the Eagles, "Hotel California" sessions. He hits his stride on "Run", a melodic song with the power to stay stuck in your head for days with it's wistful chorus of, "Run, Run far away from home". His eloquent sensitive voice is put to fitting use on "Sad", where he slides into tenor notes with ease as he conveys weary, bittersweet feelings. Collectively the songs on "Chorduroy" have a low-key, down tempo mood reminiscent of a midnight drive through the desert. The quality of the musicianship and engineering is a remarkable testament to Mr. Lichter's blend of skill and taste. "Chorduroy" is a deft exploration of Southern California rock, and it leaves one curious what Mr. Lichter will sound like on future recordings if he elects to explore other facets of rock-n-roll. "Chorduroy" leaves the listener with the impression that Mr. Lichter is a musical talent to keep an eye on. - Martha's Vineyard Times

"The Classic School of 70's California Singer / Songwriters"

"From the classic school of 70's California singer / songwriters, all is sweetness and light (apart from the odd dark lyrical twist) and the songs sound like they've been around forever. So why did Josh Rouse get all the attention for this sort of thing ? Bloody nice bloke too..." - Sweet Billy Pilgrim's Progress

"MAKING A MIX: Eric Lichter"

Who: Multi-instrumentalist Eric Lichter. Eric’s a busy guy of late, playing solo gigs, band gigs and manning the bass for the Shellye Valauskas Experience. On his recent release, "Chorduroy," Eric’s created a 15-song record filled with laid-back, quasi-countrified singer/songwriter vibes that really work.

Where you can see him: Eric will be playing with the Experience at 9 p.m. Saturday at Cafe Nine, but he’ll also open while fronting a band featuring Dean Falcone, Dick Neal and Johnny Java that night, which is a record-release party for Brooklyn-by-way-of-New-Haven local legend Spike Priggen.

But this is a column about mixes, and here’s Eric’s:

• "Farther On," Jackson Browne — I could pick any track off "Late For the Sky" and not go wrong, but this one brings me to tears every time. Jackson succeeds in exposing our human faults in a way only he can. Perfect.

• "Nobody’s Fault," Beck — Having just been dumped, I felt this track was written just for me to suffer to. This was Beck’s first journey into a less stream-of-conscious style of writing.

• "Strawberry Letter 23," Shuggie Otis — This tune, from "Inspiration Information," just kicks it! Not sure what it’s about exactly, but I love Shuggie. Man, this tune is a perfect little summertime nugget ... they used it when Nate died on "Six Feet Under." I could die to this, too.

• "Ambulance Blues," Neil Young — How can I choose? Well, with Neil’s Martin d-45 tuned a whole step down for maximum slackness, he takes his time in telling us that "We’re all just pissin’ in the wind."

• "Loose Ends," Dan Fogelberg — One of the most underrated artists ever, IMHO. This track is an emotional roller coaster, culminating in a sweet-ass guitar duel between Dan and Joe Walsh, and harmonies courtesy of Henley, Frey and Meisner. Sure he cheesed out in the ’80s, but every ’70s album is genius.

• "Highschool Lover," Air — I was living in Santa Monica when "The Virgin Suicides" soundtrack came out. This tune was gorgeous and spooky while prowling the Hollywood hills. The use of the vintage keys by these Frenchmen is always nice. Oddly, this song now makes me want to wear Levi’s low-rider jeans and drive off a cliff.

• "The Blizzard," Judy Collins — Having spent my share of time in the wintry Rockies, this song makes the cold days less frigid. It’s a song about a one-night stand. Two people meet by chance at a diner in Estes Park during a blizzard that snows them in. They make the best of their time while stranded.

• "Thoughts of You," Dennis Wilson — Beach Boy Dennis’ first and only solo album "Pacific Ocean Blue" is a masterpiece, and this song is its finest moment. Karen Lamm must have really hurt Mr. Wilson cuz this song aches. Then he goes and drowns looking for her picture in the cold water five years later.

• "You Don’t Have to Cry," Crosby, Stills & Nash — My folks used to play this, the first CSN album, a lot. And, this song returns me to those carefree childhood days cruising along in my car seat.

• "I Better Be Quiet Now," Elliott Smith — It’s hard to narrow it to one Elliott song, but, if I must, it would be this one. Hearing his voice rips the heart from my chest, and this song takes that same heart and runs it over with a truck. - New Haven Register


Chorduroy (AMPhetamine Crown Records/Eyesee Music)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Singer/songwriter Eric Lichter is a mess of styles...Sure, his debut album "Chorduroy" (AMPhetamine Crown Records) sounds sensitive (cuz it is!), but his live show will blow you away by kicking out some high falsetto soul or lull you softly with his gentlest songwriter shit. Think Jackson Browne vs. Prince. Neil Young vs. Beck. This is Eric: a freak of fucking nature behind a guitar.