While sleepy college town Oxford, Miss., is a hotbed for great music, recording studios and the occasional awkward celebrity sightings – I've spotted Robert Plant in Daisy Dukes in the coffee shop once or twice – the idea that Wreckless Eric would actually be playing there shocked me.
The show exceeded my expectations by miles.
A few years later, I'd uprooted myself and skedaddled to Indianapolis. One of my best and only friends at the time asked me to DJ a show he was promoting. We were opening for none other than Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby.
So what does any uber-fan do in this situation? I promptly dusted off my collectable 10" vinyl for an autograph, packed my gear, and prepared for a once-in-a-lifetime show in my new stomping grounds.
At this point, Wreckless Eric had been travelling, touring and playing with Amy Rigby for couple of years – first as two separate acts that eventually merged into one. Partners in life as well as music, they continue to please audiences everywhere. They even play house parties.
It was apparent then and all of the other times I've seen them they love each other and they both love to play music.
In 2008 they released their first album together, aptly titled "Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby," to wide praise and a successful, yet hectic tour.
With another release in 2010, "Two-Way Family Favorites," they explored other musicians' writings with mixed reviews. Even though the names are familiar – Tom Petty, The Who, Yo La Tengo – most folks wouldn't be familiar with the songs. Without a doubt what makes this album in my opinion is the covers they recorded. It's obscure and quirky, but a truly great listen.
Wreckless Eric began his rock-and-roll escapades with Stiff Records – jumping off point to such musicians as Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and The Pogues. It's where Eric put out his most well-known – and probably most well-loved – release "Whole Wide World, " in 1977.
NOTE: This video has a few blips and jumps, but, hey, it's from 1980.
He left Stiff in 1980 for personal reasons, most of which seem to revolve around a dislike of corporate music-making. Even through ups and downs during the '80s and '90s, Eric kept writing, recording and playing his own music, a real example of DIY and lo-fi purism.
This quite possibly is one of the reasons Eric and Amy began working together, eventually sharing more than just a stage. Amy is quite the DIY kind of girl herself. Starting off in some notable late-80s pop-punk outfits in New York, such as The Shams and The Last Roundup, Amy eventually headed south to Nashville to continue songwriting on her own. Along her travels she and Eric came together, and this dynamic duo started churning out good, fun music and engaging live shows.
The proof of their do-it-yourself attitude is evident in their upcoming release.
They've funded their next album through a Kickstarter campaign, drawing in willing donors with their unmistakeably pure charm and unwavering honesty. Eric has even offered up original paintings with donations of certain amounts. It's an album crowd-sourced and funded by sheer elbow grease and hard work. It's the new-age garage sale.
Overall, the music they produce is not only full of real emotion about love and heartbreak, but also filled with sarcasm and hilarity most of the time. Their stage banter is smile-inducing and real, inviting you into their little world. Intelligently written lyrics with their twist of punk and pop make this duo a great band to get to know.
Twinkle VanWinkle ponders, creates and discovers cool stuff about music, movies, food, fashion and so forth. Her thoughtful writings and interactives give great advice about healthy food, cooking tips, DIY projects, fashion and more. She'll teach you a thing or two about music as well. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
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