The Journey to Greener Pastures
Photographing musicians comes with many perks. Music playing in the background, as I work, is one of the best. Another favorite perquisite of my job is meeting, and often becoming friends with the musicians I shoot. To my delight, there have been many.
Most of the artists I've had the privilege and pleasure of meeting are super talented and deserve recognition as being so. Then, there are a handful of artists who stand out to the point that you wonder why the hell they're not on the "big stage." I have been fortunate enough to encounter a few of these virtuosos. One, in particular, is Eric Britt.
Eric performs his magic in and around Savannah, Georgia mostly, although he is well known and admired in many other cities throughout Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. His resume is extensive and includes a stint as front man with his former band, Hazel Virtue. Now, he's gone solo and has been to hell and back to get to where he is today.
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." ~ Helen Keller
Eric's musical journey, which began during college, has taken him down the darkest of roads, fueled by angst, depression, manic episodes and alcohol. Dark times, indeed.
"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words." ~ Albert Camus
Thank goodness for great friends! Fast forward a few years and with the help of good friends, who never gave up on him, it seems Eric is three-for- three. With his soul strengthened and his ambition (re)inspired, much success has been achieved. Eric endured the darkness and found the light. The dark days are behind him and soon he will celebrate his fourth year of sobriety. He is whole again …and better than ever.
His newly released debut solo album, ‘Greener', tells the story of his finding his way back to greener pastures. It has been described as a blend of Americana roots and indie rock. As for me, I love everything about it! Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Charlotte, North Carolina CD release party for Greener. Others, who were in attendance, had this to say:
"Having grown up in the same hometown, and having been high school classmates, I always knew that Eric was charismatic, creative, and a musical talent. What I didn't know was what a talented song writer he is. The tracks on his new solo CD, Greener, evoke a plethora of emotion, that seem to span from utter elation to the depths of sorrow, and questioning one's own existence. We've all been there, at one time or another in our lives. Eric's lyrics really make me feel, they make me think, and get me dancin'!! Winning combination!" - Rebecca Price, Charlotte, NC
"Great music and a great show! Would love to see him live again. But, until then, I have his album to listen to. It is quickly becoming one of my favorites." - Amy Jamal, Greenville, SC
"I highly suggest that you go pick up a copy of Greener, for your collection will thank you." - Jason Robinson, Spartanburg, SC
After the show, I had some other questions for Eric. This is what he had to say:
ABK: What are your fondest musical memories?
EB: Playing in front of a sold out house on my 25th birthday at the Georgia Theatre. Happiness found me for the night.
ABK: Any loves, other than music?
EB: If I can't play, I'm listening! If I had to pick between giving up playing or listening to new music, it would be a tough one. Other than that, we love to get out to the surf at Tybee Island and kayak or swim.
ABK: How do you like to enjoy your time away from the music?
EB: I love my simple life in Savannah, spending time with my family – going to the beach, grilling out, every day stuff.
ABK: Who are your favorite musicians and why?
EB: Fortunately, life doesn't suggest a monogamous relationship with your favorite musician. My favorites change depending on where I am on my path. Right now I'm enjoying listening to Neil Young and new stuff like Fleet Foxes with my son, and jamming the Bee Gees with my 7 year old daughter Gracynn.
ABK: If you had the chance to perform with anyone in the world (dead or alive), who would it be?
EB: Chris Cornell.
ABK: What has been the biggest challenge for you, as far as your musical career?
EB: The biggest challenge for me, after all these years, is accepting where I am. I used to race up and down the east coast in my twenties and put so much pressure on myself to make it. Slowing down to enjoy the process, and the moments, that's where it's at.
ABK: What is your wildest story, pertaining to your music career?
EB: I don't think you could print it legally.
ABK: Which of your songs do your love performing the most?
EB: I love getting to the part of our show where "up for air" appears on the set list. My band mate Craig Tanner makes it sound perfect.
ABK: What song of yours are you most proud of?
EB: A Good Year off the album "Face and the Shine" remains my favorite work thus far. We are planning on re-releasing it with a video in the next few months.
ABK: A Good Year is one of my favorites too. What is the best advice you've ever been given?
EB: The best advice I ever heard was "chill the f*$k out" – for the most part, I did.
ABK: What's next for you?
EB: In the coming weeks, we'll be releasing two videos for "Equal" and "Asheville Mountain Blues". Craig and I also begin work on a live record in July. (Since our interview, Eric's new video for "Equal" has been released. It can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XxPXC-PPCaA)
ARTIST: Eric Britt
LOCATION: Savannah, GA
Courtesy of Mother Shutter Photography