Eric McCauley Music
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Eric McCauley Music

Orillia, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Orillia, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Folk Rock




"McCauley Searches Souls For Songs"

Eric McCauley isn't hiding his talent.

Chances are, anyone who has attended any of the many festivals or sidewalk sales in downtown Orillia this past summer has caught a taste of McCauley's musical stylings.

Whether it was the Harvest Festival, with a bitter wind blowing, or a sunny day at the annual Classic Car Show, the young local musician has always leapt at the opportunity to share his music.

"I like the idea of being proud of where I come from," said McCauley, who described his audience as positive and uplifting.

While known for using crowd-pleasing covers of songs from bands like Mumford and Sons, MGMT and others to draw passersby to his stage, his band, Eric McCauley Music, is hoping its recently released album, From Almost Nothing, will hold the ear of local music fans.

Recorded with the help of a six-piece band, including Shawna Ballik, Phillip Cooper, Cody Heighington, Ricardo Martinez and Lorne Downer, the songwriter is anxious to share his honest, lyrically driven album with the world.

"I like to make sure the message is clear and precise. I take great pride in my lyrics. Not only do you need the right beat; you need the right message," McCauley said of the 12-song release. "It was something I was going through at the time. I knew I had to record it for a reason."

Using the home of his manager, Stephen Shirk, to record the instrumentals, From Almost Nothing is as much a homage to how the record came to be as it is to McCauley's meagre beginnings.

Because he has never met his father, it was his own early musical choices, and those of his mother, that shaped his values.

"The message was always there for me. That was something I looked for in the music I listened to," he said.

"It has the ability to make you see the world in a completely different light."

Once a die-hard country fan — his first introduction to music was a Garth Brooks tape from his mother — the 23-year-old's musical tastes, and his own sound, have evolved from the alternative and pop-punk stylings of his younger days to more mature, mellowed-out folk.

"My hope for the album is that everyone in the City of Orillia feels a need to have a copy and that they are blown away," he said of the storytelling record.

Eric McCauley Music will be playing from its newly released album at the Brownstone Café on Saturday, with special guest performances by Aaron Mangoff and solo banjoist Sean Patrick.

From Almost Nothing is currently available at Gilbert Guitars and Apple Annie's. - Miranda Minassian (Packet & Times, Orillia, ON)


'From Almost Nothing' - Oct. 29th, 2011

'Red Light' Music Video - Released Nov. 2011



Three years ago, Eric McCauley was on the brink of quitting music.
Feeling down and out following a break-up with his then girlfriend, the local man hadn’t the heart to pursue his passion for songwriting and performing.
A friend encouraged him to press on.
McCauley did just that plugging away on his guitar and putting pen to paper.
“I’m glad I did,” he said moments before a recent performance at the Orillia Opera House’s intimate Studio Theatre.
McCauley is a familiar face on the local music scene, playing regularly at the youth center’s monthly coffee house gigs, as well as performing solo at downtown bars.
Committing his music to CD was the next logical stop, and represents a dream come true for the 23 year old.
That CD, ‘From Almost Nothing’ was released in late October.
The songs find inspiration in a broad variety of themes, from the novel ‘Lord of the Flies’ to 19th Century slaves and life as a starving artist in a dying music industry.
Songs were recorded at the Warminster home of friend Stephen Shirk.
“I just couldn’t record at home, and when I had been recording out in the country, I felt driven towards making music in its truest form,” he says.
Which isn’t to suggest the process of writing, playing and recording a dozen tracks is a walk in the park.
“I honestly felt like I was going to drop dead,” says McCauley, who additionally runs an online booking company for up-and-coming acts.
He survived, of course.
The result is a compelling mix of folk and rock tinged with the country influences of his youth.
“There are country roots in there, but it’s not as cheesy,” he says with a laugh.
While the CD was largely a solo effort, the songs are receiving the full band treatment these days.
Comprising the group is Cody Heighington on bass, keyboardist Ricardo Martinez, drummer Lorne Downer, and Philip Cooper on mandolin and Bahron drum.
Providing backup vocals is McCauley’s girlfriend and fellow music enthusiastic Shawna Ballik.
The two met through a mutual friend at the 2010 Orillia Beatles Celebration.
“It definitely brings a chemistry to the live performance,” he says.
“Possibly a chemical reaction,” Ballik adds with a laugh.
Songs from the album were adapted for the band, with individual players adding their own touches to the music.
The group plays its share of covers, too, interpreting tunes by the likes of Arcade Fire, Mumford and Sons and MGMT.
“It has really become a group project,” Ballik says, noting an enthusiastic reception to a live performance at the CD release party. “I love having people dance. That, to me, was an eye opener.”

- Frank Matys, Orillia Today