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Mark Erelli Unveils a New Music Video for 'The River Always Wins'

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Mark Erelli Unveils a New Music Video for 'The River Always Wins'

Boston-based singer/songcrafter Mark Erelli has unveiled a new music video for "The River Always Wins," a track from his highly-acclaimed new album, Blindsided. "I wrote this song with Berklee College of Music professor and singer/songwriter Susan Cattaneo," Erelli told Folk Alley, who premiered the video. "It started out simply enough, trying to describe the tension between a small town and a river. One needs the other, but the cycles of disaster and rebirth started to make us wonder if the reverse was true. When we decided to write it as if the river itself were the song's protagonist, things got far more interesting. The central riff of the song is one of the favorite things I've ever written. I could play it for days." Of the video, Folk Alley, who called Blindsided a "career-best," said, "the song leans into a darkly edgy groove that feels like something Steve Earle would throw down, as Erelli runs through the ramblings of life as viewed from the crystal clear perspective of the river, itself."

The album, an unflinching examination of the distance between innocence and experience from "the middle" of life's fantastic journey, is a step in a different sonic direction for the award-winning artist. "For Blindsided he has amped up with a superb band," noted The Boston Globe in its premiere of the album. "Blindsided says just as much about who he is as it does about where he's been. The secrets are embedded in the restraint of the 11-song set, a collection efficient yet varied, emotional yet exact," said No Depression, who called Erelli "an expert craftsman."

Blindsided was forged in a process of reckoning, of taking stock of the soul, and being pleasantly surprised. In it, Erelli contemplates the delicate tension between love and commitment, faith and family, disillusionment and hope. But this isn't a confession from the therapist's couch, it's rock 'n roll, and Erelli is clearly taking his cues from heroes like Petty and Prine. Against the backdrop of Blindsided's hungrier, hook-laden sound, with the inspired addition of a string quartet on half of the album, Erelli has never sounded more passionate or vital. Over the course of Blindsided's 11 tracks, the message of each song is distilled to its purest form, as fearlessly honest in perspective as it is straightforward in its delivery.

Erelli has forged a colorful career by making the art of "being everywhere all the time" seem effortless. It's hard to think of another artist who seems equally at home serving as a sideman for GRAMMY-winning artists like Paula Cole, Marc Cohn, and Josh Ritter, or producing albums for Lori McKenna, as he does writing and producing his own material, like last year's "By Degrees," on which he was joined by a host of voices including Rosanne Cash and Sheryl Crow. That song was nominated for "Song Of The Year" at the 2019 Americana Music Awards and served to reintroduce Erelli to a wider audience. And just in time, because Blindsided combines the exuberance of Erelli's signature sound with the wisdom that comes with over 20 years of songwriting, capturing an artist at a point in his career where he is clearly digging deep and swinging for the fences. "In one of my favorite Tom Petty songs, he sings 'it took a world of trouble, took a world of tears, it took a long time to get back here,'" Erelli says. "I think I know exactly how he felt."

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