Erik Koskinen
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Erik Koskinen

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States | INDIE

Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States | INDIE
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Erik Koskinen"

Erik Koskinen has been playing and recording his
own style of roots-rockin’ blues and American
music since he was 14 years old. As the son of two
writers and college professors, he grew up along
Lake Superior on Michigan’s Upper
Peninsula and partly in the remote mountains
of northern New York. Koskinen’s
childhood home continues to have an enormous
impact on his singing and songwriting. The geo-
graphic landscape of the U.P., with its blue-blood
industries of copper mining, logging, and big
lakes shipping, provided an excellent backdrop
for this young musician who was inspired by the
lyrical genius of Williams, Dylan, and Cash.
Somewhat of a vagabond dreamer, Koskinen’s
musical pursuits have prompted him load up his
old four-wheel-drive pickup truck and relocate to
various American musical Meccas, including
Nashville, New York, and California. Erik has
found his way to minneapolis, Mn. Making it his
home as a studio owner, producer, sideman and
band leader playing over one hundred shows a
year. With sturdy playing and lyrical content that
upholds enlightenment beyond his 24 years, Erik
is becoming one of the Midwest’s premier writers
and singers of american music. - Bay Front Blues Festival

"DIY 360 - Americana Songwriting with Erik Koskinen"

DIY 360 – Americana Songwriting with Erik Koskinen

Erik Koskinen came to DIY 360 last Friday. Erik is a great Americana songwriter hailing from Detroit, MI and settling in Minneapolis a few years ago. He has been building a reputation as an outstanding songwriter and guitarist largely through his weekly Nye’s Polonaise Room gig with Molly Maher, a destination point for local music journalists, musicians and music fans on Wednesday nights. Erik has established himself as a reputable producer with an emphasis on using older analog gear.

DIY 360 is a weekly event hosted by Adam Levy. The goal is to introduce students to professionals in the field who have been successful, frequently by adapting to changes in the business where they make use of multiple skill sets. Guests share information about their careers, their philosophies about professionalism and their art. Guests often give advice to budding artists, entertainment business professionals, producers and engineers. DIY 360 is an opportunity for students to network with those working in the field and with each other as they work toward career success.

This entry was posted by Travis Norman on Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 at 1:27 pm and is filed under Newswire, Newswire Events. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. - IPR

"Erik Koskinen at the Turf Club in Saint Paul"

erik Koskinen has been playing and recording his own style of roots-rockin' blues and American. music since he was 14 years old. He's been called a "latter-day Hank Williams Sr." - CultureMob

"erik koskinen "sorrowville" record"

writes like dylan, looks like hank williams, walks like john wayne, smokes like james dean, and plays like no one else. recorded at duluth’s sacred heart studios in in a confessional booth. - spinout records

"The Real Deal: Erik Koskinen's authenticity comes through"

Timelessness and authenticity have been essential to country music since Hank Williams first bled his heart out to the masses, and you don’t need Erik Koskinen’s personal resume to hear a similar dirty depth to his new CD, “Keep It to Yourself.” Still, a sketch is in order.

Koskinen grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where, well before the Great Recession, people figured out how to survive by working hard and with their hands.

“Both my parents are English teachers, and professors at college,” says Koskinen. “My parents took me to lots of bluegrass and old country music festivals, and I’d buy cassette tapes of the stuff I liked: Dave Von Ronk, Dave Moore, Spider John Koerner, The Red Clay Ramblers. Growing up, every summer we built log houses by hand out in the woods, so we did things like deck foundation by hand, and peeled the logs and cut the trees down. My twin brother, Matt, and I and our older brother, Chris, did that for five years of our life; lived in a tent all summer long.

“When my parents got divorced, I moved to a little mill-and-factory town in New York. My dad was staying in Michigan, and when we were leaving, he gave us his guitar. When I got to New York, I didn’t know anybody, had myself a guitar and started playing chords.”

Koskinen, now 31, has worked as a truck driver, snow blower, construction worker, songwriter, producer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist. These days, music is his main career - with the occasional construction or pipe-fitting job thrown in to help pay the bills - and his blue-collar roots rip through all 11 songs on “Keep It to Yourself.”

“I always want to write about real stuff, real emotions, and I think it comes from living in a place like Northern Michigan,” says Koskinen, who celebrates the CD release with performances tonight at Lee’s Liquor Lounge in Minneapolis and Saturday at Fitger’s Brewhouse in Duluth. “It’s a relatively poor place, and everybody has to work really hard. There’s not a lot of work, so you just see that come out in people. People don’t talk about it, like, `Oh, I’m poor and I work hard. I’m a hard, heavy guy.’ They just are, and there’s a sense of pride in yourself to do everything as hard as you can all the time.
Erik Koskinen
Photo by Jenn BarnettErik Koskinen

“It’s situations like hard livin’, poverty and drinking. I just grew up around all that stuff. There was no fabricated lifestyles. And it wasn’t really always that happy. It’s not like it’s the greatest thing, but it’s completely real at the same time.”

You’d think material that rich would be a natural for Nashville and Music Row. Koskinen thought so, too, until he relocated there for a year in 2003 and encountered a superficial hit machine that inspired his terrific song “There Ain’t No Honky-Tonks in Nashville, Tennessee.”

“I wouldn’t call my stay in Nashville a disaster, but it was ... a waste of my time but full of lessons,” he says. “You walk around the old honky-tonks there and they’re full of Tim McGraw wannabe bands. And all the songwriting nights would be taken over by pretty Faith Hill look-alikes.

“I didn’t know anybody in Nashville, so [in 2005] I moved to Minneapolis, which was the only music town I knew anybody in. I knew Molly Maher. I met her at the Green Man music festival in Duluth. She was playing with a band right before us, and she played to us. My band. That’s all. They sounded great, and we got to talking and I ended up moving to Minneapolis and doing some recording with Molly.”

Like a classic bunch of lost Sun Sessions recordings, “Keep It to Yourself” brims with crack playing, true-life experience and adventure. “Detroit Detroit” is an anthem to America’s most beleaguered city; “Pretty Girls” is a melancholy confession from a drinker-slash-girl watcher; and raves like “Smile Nice and I’ll Give You a Kiss” and “Devil’s Blues” showcase the talents of Koskinen’s slithery and ferocious band that performs every Wednesday at Nye’s Polonaise Room with Maher and Her Disbelievers.

“I’ve become very hands-on,” concludes Koskinen, when asked how his healthy work ethic translates to his music. “I like to do everything myself, as much as possible. When I’m working with an artist, I’ll play the drums, the bass, the guitar. I want to mix it, and if I can, I want to master it. I want to work until it’s done. I’m not lazy about anything, and I want to do it right. And if it’s not right the first time, we’re going to have to do it over again.” - Minnpost .... By Jim Walsh

"Like James McMurtry? Michigan's Erik Koskinen Will Scratch That Same Itch"

One of the biggest surprises of last week's SXSW fallout was young Erik Koskinen. Koskinen, originally from Michigan, drove down from Minneapolis to play guitar with Randy Weeks, and LOM met him at KPFT's 40th-anniversary soiree at the Mucky Duck. We've been listening to his new EP pretty much non-stop the past few days (sorry, Drive-By Truckers).
Erik Koskinen, "Detroit, Detroit"
The EP's packaging isn't finished yet, and there are no credits, song titles, etc. on the package Koskinen gave us, and that's usually a real bad sign. But once this one got into LOM's player, it stayed. And stayed.
LOM's first thought was that it sounds like early James McMurtry without the budget and hired guns like John Mellencamp's band. Check out the new demo of "Pretty Girls" and see what you think.
And it can't hurt that Randy Weeks is now covering "Detroit, Detroit" in his shows. Weeks just told LOM about an hour ago that Koskinen will be opening for him back at the Mucky Duck on July 30. - Housten Press

"Keep it To Yourself"

Best known as an ace guitarist (for Molly Maher, Randy Weeks) and a producer/engineer (Trampled by Turtles), Erik Koskinen should also be recognized as a masterful songwriter and rousing country singer with the release of his solo album, "Keep It to Yourself," which he's promoting Friday at Lee's Liquor Lounge with Maher and Dave Simonett's Dead Man Winter (9:30 p.m., $6). The Upper Peninsula native comes off like a twangier Greg Brown or a moodier John Hiatt in down-and-out gems such as "Treat Me So Bad," several rambling rockers and one downright horny gem, "Pretty Girls." ... - Star Tribune


-Keep it To Yourself - July 2010
-Mandan Hayseed - EP erik koskinen music 2005
-Sorrowville - LP spinout records 2002
-Letters and Postcards - LP spinout records 2000
-Duluth Does Dylan Revisited Silvio - spinout records 2002

-other performance

-Temptation by The Waifs/ guitar
-Bright Lights by Dead Man Winter/ guitar, slide guitar, baritone guitar, organ
-Tinted Windows to The Soul by Ray Barnard and he Reverberation/ guitar, bass, drums, keys, loop/programing
-Balms of Gilead by Molly Maher/ producer, guitar, bass, drums
-Cast Your Bread EP by Molly Maher/ producer, guitar, bass, drums
-The New Folklore by Teague Alexy and The Feelin' / guitar
-Sing! by The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank/ co producer/guitar/bass

-more studio credits

-Temptation by The Waifs .... Number 1 Australian charts and mixing engineer
-Bright Lights by Dead Man Winter ... recording and mixing engineer
-Plamino by Trampled by Turtles .. Number 1 Billboard Bluegrass Charts ... engineer
-Tinted windows to The Soul by Ray Barnard .... producer, engineer
-Wolves EP by Dead Man Winter / engineering/producing/guitar/slide



Erik Koskinen grew up in the heart of the middle of nowhere .. northern Michigan. Playing solo and band shows since age 14. Both in the country and in the town erik has formed his own brand of American music based heavily on and for, quite simply "people". Koskinen's musical pursuits have prompted him to load up his old pickup truck and relocate to various American musical meccas, including Nashville, New York, and California finally to find his way to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Making it his home as a producer, recording engineer, sideman with Dead Man Winter and Molly Maher but most of all as his own band leader and songwriter playing over one hundred and fifty shows a year. Erik's band has been a mainstay at Nye's Polonaise Room (best bar in America, Esquire Magazine) for the past five years and continues to build a scene out of the establishment alongside Molly Maher and Her Disbelievers as her band leader. Erik has producing and engineering credits with The Waifs, Molly Maher, Trampled by Turtles(Billboard Bluegrass #1 for the album Palamino), Dead Man Winter, Teague Alexy, The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, Ray B and The Reverberation, and many more. When Erik isn't fronting his own shows he is out on the road with Molly Maher, Randy Weeks and Dead Man Winter, always trying to establish an honest music scene that seems to have lost it's footing in recent years.

Erik has opened for Pieta Brown, The Texas Tornados, Hank III, Jimmie Vaughan, Trampled by Turtles, John Hiatt, Al Kooper, Ray Bonneville, Randy Weeks, The Pines, Kevin Russell (of the Gourds), The Grass Roots, The Devil Makes 3, Richie Havens, Spider John Koerner and more....

Erik has played with Lucinda Williams, Al Kooper, The Waifs, Trampled by Turtles, Tom Rush, Randy Weeks, The Pines, Will Sexton, Ray Bonneville, Ramsey Midwood, Dead Man Winter, Charlie Parr and more ....