Ez Jon Erikson
(The Acoustic Performancez)
Ez Comments

Ever since I was a child I have always loved the sound of the acoustic guitar. Some of the first musicians that I remember being captivated by as a kid include Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and The Crickets, The Everly Brothers, The Beatles, Roy Orbison, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Bruce Springsteen, John Denver, Neil Diamond, Cliff Richard and The Shadows, Big Country and Bob Dylan. Although I loved their fully arranged music, what struck me most was the immediacy and simplicity of their acoustic arrangements. The strength of the lyrics and melody to a good song really shine through when performed acoustically. There is also something very romantic about the acoustic guitar. I love the thought of being able to carry one around with me in the summertime with a harmonica in my pocket, finding a secluded spot under a tree in a field, and just playing without accompaniment or amplification. This truly is ezcapism and a freeing of the spirit. However, there are of course the dreadful buskers. Who the hell is that guy in Manchester that looks like a cross between Jimi Hendrix and Phil Lynott, thinks he's Marc Bolan, yet sounds much worse than even Bob Dylan can do on his worst days???!!!!

I have always loved various types of popular music though, especially a lot of folk rock, soul, soul rock, rock and roll and heavy rock, but my favourite moments of any rock band's career seem to be when they go unplugged. I thought KISS Unplugged was one of the best albums of their career, and they're my all time favourite band! When I first heard Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska album, I was astonished at how powerful and effective acoustic demos could be. It proves that sometimes you just do not need a big arrangement, and that actually some songs are better with a stripped down performance, and the message that the song is projecting comes across better because of it. The song can breathe freely and is not subjected to commercialism of its time. It has more chance of being timeless. Above all I think that acoustic arrangements appeal to the average Joe because anyone who is interested in music and can strum a few chords on the guitar can attempt to perform or write songs in this manner. That was probably part of the appeal of the sixties folk movement, although that was before I was born! But let's face it, what Bob Dylan was doing when he started out is as valid today as it was then. Very nearly every song I have ever written, or co-written, has started out from an acoustic guitar. If a song works in an acoustic format, then you have cracked it, you stand a chance of it working in other arrangements. The acoustic format is the core - the soul - of the song. The rest is just decor.

Anyhow, a few words about the recordings on the Ezposure album. Most of these songs were originally performed acoustically by myself and Paul Adshead to capture the basis of the songs, and also because I always had this acoustic album in mind. It was quite simply Paul on acoustic guitar, and myself on vocals and occasionally acoustic guitar and/or harmonica. I would then give my notes on arrangement and production ideas to Paul for the Summers Of My Life and Ramshackle World arrangements of these songs. Overdubs would then be added accordingly. In the case of this Ezposure album, we compiled all of the acoustic mixes and then overdubbed some additional acoustic instrumentation if we felt it was necessary.

These recordings are the acoustic mixes of the performances that appeared on the Summers and Ramshackle albums. Best Thing was the first Detours recording and is the same version that appears on the Debut album. The version of Live To Die that appears on Detours Debut is a totally different recording to this one. On this performance Paul plays guitar.
These three include alternate overdubs that were not included in the pop arrangements, namely a tambourine and an acoustic guitar solo in Masters, but with additional vocals excluded, an acoustic guitar track in For You And You Alone, and acoustic guitars and harmonica in Cadaverous.
This is the version that appeared on Summers.
Here we have a live in the studio performance from Ju and myself, recorded specifically for this album. This was then remixed for Detours Debut, replacing my shaker with Sam's tambourine and including backing vocals from Sam.
These totally unreleased songs were recorded specifically for this release. They were recorded live in the studio by myself and Paul, with a harmony vocal overdub by myself at the end of Young Again and also a nice piano overdub by Paul.
After being caught up in many years of trying to record full, band-style, commercially acceptable, pop or rock arrangements of my songs, it is very refreshing and satisfying to have now achieved an ambition of mine in completing the recording of this acoustic album, Ezposure (The Acoustic Performancez). I thank all of the people who have worked so hard or that have had to put up with me during the recording and compilation of this album.
Whilst compiling this album at the same time as recording Ramshackle World, the acoustic group Detours was formed. I feel that Ezposure compliments the acoustic Detours Debut release, a project that I am very ezcited about. Both acoustic albums define my direction as a singer/songwriter/musician for the immediate future, but we'll have to wait to see what my solo efforts bring next at some point in the unforeseeable future.
Hope to see you at a Detours gig soon. Cheers.
Ez  (EJE)    April 2003



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