The amazing and talented Eric Himan as released a new album, and of course I needed to order it right away. It is interesting, but over the past 10 years, Eric's music has been driven by the guitar, his prime instrument. That is, if you discount his amazing voice. But the decade of music represented by six studio albums, one studio EP, one group EP from Eric & the Adams, and one live album was written for and on a guitar, and was played at countless clubs across the country that way. At the most recent show I saw in Philadelphia, Eric mentioned the purchase of a piano, and played a few of his songs on an upright piano. It was interesting, adding another layer to an established part of the playlist. So, with the advent of his latest release, Out With The Old, Eric offers up a compilation of sorts, pulling songs from his album, only rerecording them with a piano arrangement, putting a new twist on some treasures.
The 12-song collection includes two songs from 2008's Resonate, 2006's Everywhere All At Once, 2005's Dark Horse, and 2003's All For Show, and single songs from 2002's I Go On and 2000's Eric Himan. There is also a song from the Eric & the Adams 2009 EP. To round out the songs to 12, there is the great new song, Gonna Make It Work. Check it out here.
So, as we traverse this great cross-section of Eric's musical life, pulling from his many moods of the last decade, I can't help but notice how the change in instrumentation can either soften a song, or make it a stronger statement. I thought Clyde was damn near perfect on Dark Horse, and yet on here it is texturally different, a touch more melancholy. But on a song like Frozen In The Sun, you can see how the new arrangement can bring something new out in the vocal, as the sparse piano accompaniment brings a much more intimate experience. The same can be said for One Night Stands, with the piano a more personal expression, while the guitar version was more of a principled statement, of sorts.
I am fascinated that while both the guitar and the piano are string instruments, they can have such different impacts on the song. But I can ell you what they don't have an effect on, and that is the amazing voice and talent of Eric Himan. No matter how often I see him perform, when I hear of a new release, I get a feeling of excitement, which builds to giddy joy when the CD is in my hands. And I am never disappointed. The same goes for Out With The Old.
From 2000 to 2009, this disc represents an impressive song catalog. And there are still one or two songs I wanted to be included, but can't think of one I would replace. To get your copy of Out With The Old, check out CD Baby here, or order it directly from the artist himself here. By the way, I will be catching Eric performing with Levi Kreis at the end of the month, and already the anticipation is starting to build!