Eric Bolander has a new album out, Can’t Get There From Here. The record was produced and mixed by Duane Lundy of The Lexington Recording Company; co-produced by Eric Bolander and mastered by Justin Perkins of Mystery Room Mastering. The album artwork was designed by Jimbo Valentine of Amalgam Unlimited.
Bolander’s 2019 release, The Wind, was an album about family and personal experiences that were universally recognizable and emotionally connective. And whether you liked that one or missed it, you’ll want to sit down with this one for sure. There’s a new layer of stunning depth to Bolander’s songwriting this time that explores the very meaning of life with a palpable valiance. He doesn’t flinch. And on this album his expanse has grown wider to the whole human experience.
The first note you hear on the album is chilling cello. “Window” is an exciting song with Seth Murphy’s dark cello strings combined with a high-driving rock beat. It’s a memorable song — “time stood still…. I see you crowing out the window.” This won’t be the last time you’ll appreciate the presence of the shadowy emphatic cello on the record either.
“Beggin’ For Change” is a heavy groove moving swiftly up to heady heights with saxophone by guest musicians on the record Matthew Polashek and Southern rock organ by Lee Carroll.
“I Wonder” is another song that draws on featured guests; this time J. Tom Hnatow on banjo and mellotron and Hugh Lindsay on trombone. This song is a moving ballad of human innocence and wondrous love, and is bursting with a gently glorious enthusiasm, culminating in “It’s gonna rain!” This one will pull some tears.
“Wade Out Alone” again braids in the murky magic of the cello with Bolander’s driving awareness of being alone, and the song is all about the courageousness within that feeling. Of many beautiful songs on this album, this one could be the top.
“Smooth Finish” hosts guests Lee Carroll on piano and Abby Hamilton on vocals. This song is the album closer and “pour myself another glass of bourbon to try to wash away all this hurt.” Memories behind a curtain, will it go down smooth, will this grow into a habit, wanting to hold on — these images will haunt you.
The production is crisp and clear, with tiny imperfections that help you feel like you’re there in the room as strings are being plucked, and it renders a true, live feel. There’s a lot of music out there folks, but trust me — this is one of those rarer gems that’ll have you listening all the way through. Put it on the top shelf for this year.
Core musicians on the album are Eric Bolander on vocals and guitars; Seth Murphy on cello and bass; John Ferguson on keys and vocals; and Ben Caldwell on drums.All songs written by Eric Bolander with the exception of ‘An Introduction’ (composed and performed by Seth Murphy) and ‘The Fighter’ (written by Derek Spencer)