Eric Gerber - Boston By Friday

Boston By Friday

Eric Gerber

Scruffy Dog Records
Somerville, MA 02143
617/480-1415

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Roberta B. Schwartz
(rschwartz@oeb.harvard.edu)

Eric Gerber is a Boston area singer/songwriter with an engaging, accessible baritone that can turn soft and sweet with a love song, and then gutsy with a bit of a raspy edge when singing the blues. He's also an accomplished musician, often accompanying himself on mandolin, bass and percussion, as well as guitar.

The title track of his new CD, Boston By Friday, is one of the recording's best tunes. It's a pop style ballad which tells the story of a guy who is trying to make his way through this life with all of its ups and downs. It has a beautiful melody, which is made all the more striking by the addition of Lori McKenna on accompanying vocals. Kevin So adds a little magic on the piano as well. It's a wonderful song.

And who could miss with a perfect cover of one of Greg Brown's best songs, The Poet Game? It's a moving paean to the pursuit of the life of the singer/songwriter out on the road - the poet's game of the title. The song's outstanding lyrics and simple melody are enhanced by Gerber's lone vocal and solitary guitar accompaniment.

My favorite cut is Independence Day. It is a sweet, dreamy slice of life that tells the story of two people who meet by chance, dance a long time, and eventually wed. It has a catchy melody that you will find yourself humming days later. It's the kind of song that you wish you'd written yourself.

The recording rounds itself out with some nicely written traditional blues in When Push Comes to Shove and No Money Blues. The final cut is a live recording called The Box Fan, a humorous song, which describes finding love for the night on the Boston subway.

Eric Gerber is equally adept at writing and delivering a pop ballad, a country folk song, or an old-fashioned, down home blues. Due to this musical range, his work is difficult to categorize, which is a good thing. Eric Gerber's Boston By Friday is one of those recordings that you'll find yourself playing over and over again because it makes you feel good. We need more performers like Eric Gerber who are continually pushing and stretching the boundaries of contemporary acoustic music. Check your local listings. Eric Gerber is on his way to your town soon!

Track List:

  • Boston By Friday
  • You've Been On My Mind
  • The Sundance Kid
  • The Poet Game (Greg Brown)
  • When Push Comes to Shove
  • A Thousand Symphonies
  • No Money Blues
  • Independence Day
  • The Light of Dawn
  • The Box Fan

All songs by Eric Gerber except as noted.

Edited by Mark O'Donnell

Copyright 2000, Peterborough Folk Music Society and Roberta B. Schwartz.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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