A Rare Bird: Eric Peters In Others’ Words

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“I’ve seen Eric play his songs probably hundreds of times, and every time I’ve been struck by how blessedly peculiar he is. He’s self-effacing and passionate, he’s wry and gracious, he’s funny (especially when he doesn’t mean to be), he’s shy about his gifting and bold about his brokenness–and his songs are some of the most precariously honest songs I know. I need them. I think we all do–every peculiar one of us.”  –Andrew Peterson

It seems like everyone who knows Eric Peters can articulate the unique genius of his music better than he can. It’s kind of strange, since he’s a lyrical alchemist, making gold appear mysteriously from the bubbling cauldron of his soul. I can remember describing his music in writing on one occasion and his response was something like, “Seriously? I never thought of that before. Well, I guess so.”

I’ve always loved the music. Catchy and able to catch you off guard. Somehow, the careworn and carefree are often separated only by a soaring note from the most unique of all his instruments, his voice. That voice has always hooked me (and many others).

Eric’s music is a burrowing owl, digging down into the earth of your heart. It lingers there, nestling deep. It breathes and sleeps and sings. Just when you think it’s confined and heavy, it takes flight, shaking off its clinging clods and soaring into a sunlit sky.

I think that always happens with Eric’s records, but I believe this is part of what his new project is about. It’s one of many reasons I’m excited about supportting his Kickstarter campaign (which you still barely have time to help with). I’ve heard most of the songs that will be on this record and I expect it will be his best yet. You can be a part of making it. That is a pretty fun thing to do.

Eric is migrating. The new record, Birds of Relocation, is your ticket to ride. Beetles will be eaten, new heights will be reached, new sights will be seen, and new nests will be built. (People will not be pooped on.) Perching at the intersection of catchy pop-folk and liberated introspection, this is one songbird you shouldn’t miss. Open your window.

But don’t take my word for it.

“The thing I love about Eric Peters is that he is a master craftsman with words; a poet, even in his prose. I’m always one to connect first with the lyrics of a song, like I have to trust where the artist is leading me before submitting to the spell of the music. With Eric, you have that unequivocal trust in one who both knows exactly where you are and calls you higher in the same breath. Like the best writers, he pricks you out of complacency with the exquisitely disconcerting reminder that we’re not yet all we’re meant to be—but we’re on our way. And we’re not alone.” –Lanier Ivester

 

“Did you ask me to indoors Eric Peters? Oh sorry, well, I wholeheartedly endorse Eric Peters whether indoors or out. The vulnerable beauty of Scarce, Chrome or any of the Ridgely rarities I own are at home anywhere I go and I wouldn’t hesitate to put my money where my heart will inevitably be once I hear these tunes. –Matt Conner

 

“The vast complexity of even Eric Peters’ minor and inchoate work puts one in mind of the greatest pillars of our musical landscape: Beethoven, Handel, Dylan, Esteban. That such a man, so small and so coarsely bearded, should alone possess power to rive asunder the very foundations of the acoustic/folk establishment and institute instead his own solitary and tyrannical vision of songcraft in a glorious Eric-ocracy of his own making, is cause indeed for raucous and limitless celebration and, in the end, unbounded hope.” –A.S. Peterson

 

“A lot of people don’t realize this, but Eric Peters is younger than me. And yet he writes songs way better than I can. He supposedly cooks better than me too, but how would I know, since he’s never invited me over for his famous gumbo or étouffée or whatever it is? I’m pretty sure I’m better at board games than Eric. In any case, when he came over and ate my food, I beat him at a board game. I digress. This endorsement is mostly about Eric, not me. And from where I sit–a place of impeccable judgment and unimpeachable rectitude–I consider Eric Peters’ work to be brilliant. It grows out of an honesty and self-awareness that would terrify most other artists. But if the emotion in Eric’s music is raw, there’s nothing raw or unformed about the music itself. It’s thoughtful, challenging, excellent music. That’s just my opinion. But I’m rarely wrong.” –Jonathan Rogers, Ph.D.

 

“Eric Peters doesn’t write songs as much as he opens up a vein and bleeds them. That’s why his songs feel more like a transfusion than anything else.  His music is most meaningful, I think, to others who have lost some blood of their own. To them his songs are life giving and saving.

Not to belabor the metaphor, but I think we live in a culture that by and large refuses to bleed or otherwise enter the gift of our pain. But the slow death of denial keeps us from finding our hearts and ultimately from truly coming alive.  Into this world, then, comes the gift of Eric Peters’ music that wounds while it heals. Eric’s audience is likely to always be that brave but small group of people who aren’t afraid of the sight of blood because they recognize it as the life-giving force that it is.

It often falls upon the living to care for the dying. Most of the hymns of our pop culture are broken anthems to self-indulgence and escapism that lead to a literal dead end. In a culture that sends Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed A Girl’ to the top of the charts, the humanity of Eric Peters’ ‘Chrome’ is especially meaningful.

The more I hear Eric’s music, the more aware I am of how generous he is, always giving away every bit of hope for the journey as he finds it. I’m grateful to be able to give back and help make space in the world for songs that bleed life, truth, hope, and beauty.” –Jason Gray

Support Eric’s new project here.



27 Comments

  1. Janna Barber

    I agree with the words of everyone here, except AS Peterson, but that’s only because I didn’t understand all of them. Otherwise, I’m sure we feel the same. I also think, like Sam, that this will be ep’s best album yet. And finally, as for the words from Jason, I would only like to add “Exactly.”

  2. PaulH

    “Eric’s music is a burrowing owl, digging down into the earth of your heart. It lingers there, nestling deep.” – S.D. Smith
    Exactly.

    “Esteban” – Pete
    Very funny

  3. PaulH

    So sorry Janna for totally borrowing your “exactly”. I didn’t read your post until I had already posted. Again sorry.

    Either way, Eric Rocks.

  4. Eric Peters

    @ericpeters

    I’m blushing. And astonished at your generous declarations. I had no idea this post was coming. Man, you guys are sneaky and incredibly kind. Thank you for spreading the word about this album. To say that I am excited about these songs is an understatement. I cannot wait for you to hear them, one way or another. And yes, I am younger than Ph.D. Jonathan. Barely.

  5. James Witmer

    I discovered Eric’s music only recently, and I can express why I love it with two words.

    1. Beauty – This is what brought me back day after day, until the lyrics began to soak in.

    2. Brokenness – Admit it or not, we’re all damaged goods. Eric’s writing explores this truth in a way that transmutes despair into prayer, and endures long after the hooks have worn smooth.

  6. S. D. Smith

    @sdsmith

    Wouldn’t it be nice (cue the Beach Boys) if the Rabbit Roomers put Eric over the edge for his Kickstarter campaign? We can do it if we believe in ourselves and the power of our dreams and hope and unicorns and candy corns.

    Eric is the trash. Let’s get this record made, people!

  7. Dan Kulp

    I’m excited for this album. Hearing a few of these in concert I’m interested in the gems that Eric hasn’t shared yet. Let’s get these gems polished up and reflecting the light for the world to see.

  8. Drew Zahn

    Hey, now.

    I like Eric Peters. He’s a good guy. Gush all the superlatives you want.

    But when you talk about Def Leppard that way, this child of the ’80s has to register a complaint. 🙂

  9. Ugly Biscuit

    Eric is wonderful! I came to his music late and by way of the RR. Chrome is the only album I have and I love the sounds of The Traveling Onion. Can’t say enough.

  10. Aaron Roughton

    Whoa whoa whoa, Drew. Let me just respond to your smiley emoticon by saying I’m not looking for a fist fight. You’re mistaking me for S.D. “Bareknuckle Brawler” Smith. In fact, we’re in total agreement about Def Leppard’s awesomeness. I’m just saying Eric Peters is way, way, way better than even the most awesome thing you can think of.

  11. James Witmer

    If Def Leppard, Chuck Norris, and the Guy on a Buffalo formed a band, they would almost be awesome enough to open for Eric Peters.

    WORD.

    …hey, wait… I once opened for Eric Peters!

    Does that mean? … *faints*

  12. Peter B

    David Tennant?

    or, you know, that feechie researcher guy.

    I would love to open for Eric Peters — though I’m probably more suited to background vocals, since I don’t actually have a repertoire of songs to share.

    Eric rocks. Has that been said already?

  13. Eric Peters

    YES! The goal was met (and surpassed) early this morning, courtesy of one of our very own Rabbit Room couples who just so happen to live somewhere in middle America.

    Thanks for your zealous enthusiasm, folks. Consider the mind of Eric Peters officially blown. Can’t wait for you to hear these songs.

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