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Erik Koskinen Releases New Single 'Darlin''

Erik Koskinen Releases New Single 'Darlin''

Minnesota songsmith Erik Koskinen premiered the rustic new single "Darlin'" today via GLIDE ahead of its release this Friday. The track is featured on Koskinen's new albumBurning The Deal set to arrive June 28 via Real Phonic Records/Tone Tree Music. Produced by Koskinen andBernie Larsen (Melissa Etheridge, Jackson Browne) and recorded by Jason Mariani (Mumford & Sons, Kenny Loggins), the album has a moody, shadowy vibe and the songs carry familiar musical touchstones: the drifting-cowboy loneliness of Hank Williams; the understated melancholy of J.J. Cale. They're populated by people we recognize, in circumstances we might share (or feel fortunate we don't).

Listen to the single below!

Blending together American folk, country, rock-n-roll, and blues, Koskinen and his top-shelf band realize a sound that is distinctive and fresh while familiar and classic. "Darlin'" is inspired by his girlfriend's exes, and musically, the track reveals Koskinen's deep, early influence -- Chuck Berry.

Growing up in Northern Michigan and upper New York state, then living in Minneapolis and now, rural Minnesota, Koskinen knows the rhythms of factory towns and farmlands, and understands the lives of their inhabitants. His nomadic years also included time in California and Nashville, with plenty of stops wherever music or relationships took him.

Seeking is what Americans do - especially if they're trying to feed the muse. But it should not be assumed that his use of term in a musical sense leaves him open to genre-fication.

"It's not Americana music," he insists. "I learned how to play blues music. I learned how to play country music, and how to play folk, bluegrass, jazz, whatever. I learned how to play American music."

Burning the Deal's nine tracks sound oh-so-American, and yet, they avoid this country's penchant for excess. Marvels of subtlety, they share a stripped-down, almost naked quality, but complexities lie just under their skin, waiting to be discovered.

Part of that depth can be attributed to the top-notch players Koskinen recruited: the legendary Greg Leisz (Jackson Browne, Beck, Joni Mitchell, John Mayer) on lap and pedal steel and mandolin, plus the rhythm section of drummer Jay Bellarose and bassist Jennifer Condos (Marc Cohn, Ray Lamontagne). As for how he managed to gather them together - twice - for recording sessions in Ojai, California, Koskinen quips, "In the music biz, you're always one person away from knowing the president."

Larsen also had a recording studio in his garage, and they started working out songs together, playing all the instruments. Koskinen already played guitar, clarinet and oboe, but Larsen, who'd picked with Ry Cooder, played in David Lindley's El Rayo-X band and recorded with reggae legends, helped Koskinen expand his repertoire. He also taught his student how to find a song's essence, then put texture around it - and more importantly, to leave out what it doesn't need.

Koskinen continues his tour with frequent collaborator Jeffrey Foucault for a run of spring dates. A full summer run around the album release will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tour Dates:
Apr 25 - St Cloud, MN @ Pioneer Place on Fifth
May 01 - Evanston, IL @ SPACE #
May 02 - Findlay, OH @ Marathon Center for the Performing Arts #
May 03 - Oberlin, OH @ Riverdog Retreat #
May 04 - Worthington, OH @ Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music #
May 05 - Ann Arbor, MI @ The Ark #
May 08 - Cedar Rapids, IA @ Legion Arts #
May 09 - St. Paul, MN @ Vieux Carre #
May 16 - Madison, WI @ Shi-tty Barn %
May 24 - Shell Lake, WI @ The Potter's Shed
May 25 - Ellendale, MN @ Revival Festival
Jun 01 - St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
Jun 06 - Hillsboro, WI @ Bonfire Festival
Jun 07 - La Crosse, WI @ The Charmant Hotel
Jul 06 - Duluth, MN @ Bayfront Festival Park
Jul 13 - Minneapolis, MN @ Roots Rock and Deep Blues Festival
# w/ Jeffrey Foucault

Photo Credit: Darin Kamnetz

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