Erik Koskinen’s America Theatre is a translucent eulogy to the genuine. Musically sprouted from the blend of 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. From the tender opener, “First Time in Years” to the defiant “Six Pack of Beer” to “Boomtown,” a track that flays the history of the west’s settlement from bedrock to fracking with a locomotive’s force of barbwire guitars, marching bass and cracking drums, Koskinen moves the listener through a landscape of personal and social struggles, as well as small triumphs, of our nation and its people. Ending on the quiet heartbreaker and breath taker, “Slow Burn,” Koskinen’s album is a lyrical and musical metaphor of American’s theaters of war, of history, of relationships, and of the reflections in the mirror. Knowing but not didactic, Koskinen channels the ways of Whitman and reverently enters the anthology of uniquely crafted wry songs with the likes of Woody Guthrie and Ry Cooder while speaking as plainly as your neighbor. Koskinen joins the ranks of chief musicians and sharp wordsmiths.
Since moving to Minneapolis eight years ago, Koskinen has amassed a following as a musician, songwriter, producer and engineer. With experience stemming from years of traveling north to south and coast to coast, Koskinen taps those adventures and encounters in his second album, the follow-up to the acclaimedKeep It to Yourself.
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