‘Shipwreck In A Bottle’ – Eric Barnett - penetratingly sharp observations(July 12, 2017)
This is a debut album. Recorded in a basement, backed by a Kickstarter project. The songs are deeply personal, revealing 'life-as-lived'. The artist, Eric Barnett, turned his back on what went before, concentrated on music and produced ‘Shipwreck In A Bottle’ – and if there’s any justice it should confirm the wisdom of that decision and establish the man as a recognised singer-songwriter.
There’s obviously reference to years as a third-shift blue-collar worker and all that entails, but there’s also some penetratingly sharp observations on the perseverance of love, tenacity of friendship, doggedness of hope and the downright refusal to contemplate anything negative like surrender or giving up. There’s elemental toughness to these songs, durability brought about by facing adversity and overcoming – with songs like ‘Graveyard’ and ‘High Road’, ‘Slow Sip of Whiskey’ and ‘Ashes of Erie’ (Barnett and Baumann)they express imagery that, direct experience or not, is so easy to understand. By the time he gets to ‘Won’t Lie Down’ (Baumann), ‘I Am’ and ‘Damned If We Do’ you’re right there living life with the man.
‘Shipwreck In A Bottle’ comes to you from Eric Barnett (vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, upright and electric bass, drums, percussion) with help on selected tracks from Matt Baumann (vocals, banjo, harmonica) Tim Frey (backing vocals, ambient guitar) Bart Summit (electric guitar) Brad Williams (mandolin) and Kate Westfall (backing vocals).
Review: Tom Franks