Eric Harrison

Eric Harrison and his Good Intentions

Truth, Justice and the American(a) Way with NJ singer-songwriter Eric Harrison who just released a new five song EP, “Good Intentions”.

New Jersey singing and songwriting with a folksy swing and Steinbeck-like literary sway isn’t just for Bruce Springsteen anymore. Jersey boy Eric Harrison has had that vibe tangled up in blue ever since he dropped singles such as “Melody,” “Astor Place,” and “Relay Road,” a minute ago. Now, with the just-released Good Intentions EP (listen to the EP below), Harrison has included the influence of some heartbroken (and Heartbreakers filled) Tom Petty riffs to go with truthful, even blunt, nostalgia-driven stories that, in his words, are “born from community and bittersweet romance.” 

After falling in love with the newly released Good Intentions, dM’s intentions were to speak with Harrison.

A.D. Amorosi: Eric, where specifically in NJ are you from? And what specifically offered you your first influences where folk, country and Americana are concerned? I know you are a self-proclaimed Tom Petty fan. 
Eric Harrison: I grew up in East Brunswick in Middlesex County, NJ. Upper middle-class suburbia. With respect to Americana, I was steeped in Mr. Springsteen beginning at age 12 when I would crank “Rosalita” on my Soundesign stereo to get pumped up before soccer games. It was 1980 and I think the Florio administration may have instituted a tax credit, or at least a gasoline discount, for cars with Springsteen bumper stickers on them.

Eric Harrison

A.D. Amorosi: Defining without confining, what drew you to this sort of confessional and rootsy brand of storytelling song? 
Eric Harrison: I could say it is the early influence of The Beatles’ greatest hits “Red” and “Blue” albums that my grandfather bought me when I was 10. But really The Beatles’ music is a launchpad for any genre of music that elevates melody and metaphor. What attracted me to roots music? Probably the thought that I might be capable of making it one day. I loved Duran Duran, but somehow “Girls on Film” didn’t speak to me as deeply as “Tangled Up In Blue.” I did however learn all I needed to know about parachute pants from Simon Le Bon, and for that, I am forever grateful.

A.D. Amorosi: Speaking your mind and talking up what you believe in, it doesn’t always fly in the era of cancel culture, etc. What do you believe your songs are saying apart from, whatever norm, and how do you feel that you best speak to that? 
Eric Harrison: I don’t think I need to worry about being canceled. As an independent artist with a modest following, I’ve never really been… activated. My songs aren’t particularly controversial unless you’re opposed to love and joy. If you’re opposed to love and joy then by all means cancel me!

A.D. Amorosi: Have you received anything controversial in return for your work positive or negative and how does that drive you further? 
Eric Harrison: Let’s see… in the song “Before You Were Born” from my album “Mercy Road” I sing about “this one time at band camp when a color guard girl nearly blew my horn.” A few people have found that line sexist, but it happens to be true that I played the trumpet and that a color guard girl at band camp did in fact nearly blow my horn. Not every line is a salacious metaphor! So I suppose I may sing that line a little more gleefully based on the reaction it’s received and the defense I’m prepared to invoke if I’m challenged after the show.

A.D. Amorosi: Talk about putting together the Good Intentions EP. What time period do these songs exist? Why do all of these songs fit together as one? 
Eric Harrison: I wrote these five songs between March 2020 and January 2021, which between COVID, George Floyd and January 6 was the bleakest and scariest 10 months of most Americans’ public lives, certainly mine. In “The Fundament” I addressed some of it head on. In the other songs, I drew on ideas and feelings that probably would have come to me regardless of our national circumstances. But the need to record and release them was heightened by the madness. I guess that’s a long-winded way of saying that music is therapeutic for me.

A.D. Amorosi: Tell me all about Relay Road. The place, the vibe and the song lyrics. 
Eric Harrison: “Relay Road” is a metaphorical place where we take the baton from those that we love for having created what we love. We nurture that gift, treasure it and prepare it for handoff to those who are next in the race. In particular, it’s about the debt of gratitude I feel I owe to my musical heroes for the joy and hope they’ve given me, but I’d like to think it could be about anybody’s artistic or spiritual forebears in any field.

Eric Harrison

A.D. Amorosi: So, what comes next? 
Eric Harrison: I plan to continue releasing a single a month until June 2022, then an EP and a few months later a full album with additional tracks. Essentially, I plan to keep making music on a regular basis until the well runs dry or I drop dead, whichever happens first.

Eric Harrison

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