Erik Husman and The Golden Rule

Erik Husman and The Golden Rule

A real troubadour with a rare insight into people and an ardent ear for passion, Golden’s Erik Husman almost completely avoids the usual trappings of the singer/songwriter genre by combining a strong melancholia and a wry wit and blending it with a traditional folk style steeped heavily in psychedelia and solid, simple and cool rock and roll. A listen to the songs from his self-produced last record, the alternately lonely, prayerful and mercurial “American Gothic,” leaves you with visions both the torn havoc of recent, confused and transforming heartbreak and the solid resiliency to go on, albeit with a touch of bourbon for courage.

Born on July 14, 1974 into a musical family from Norwegian, German and Irish descent, Husman’s earliest memories include falling asleep to tunes from his CPA father’s record collection - including Boston, The Moody Blues, Al Stewart, Dire Straits, Asia, etc. - as his old man studied tax law each night. An early love of music, which, coupled with a refusal to “fit in” in school, formed the basis for a keen thrust towards honest, analytical observation of people and their varied and deep journeys into the human milieux. Isolation was a big part of his adolescence, fueled by solid rock and roll, and he began writing short stories at the age of twelve.

Through a youth filled with ice hockey that eventually ended too early in a life-changing injury in Massachusetts, Husman kept playing the Fender Stratocaster he got at fifteen, forever following the Neil Young Chord book - an influence that’s evident in his creations even today. Young joined the likes of Raymond Carver and Ernest Hemingway among Husman’s heroes and spiritual collaborators, providing fodder for musical stories and fruitful observations about life that he melded into his unique perspective.

Husman met Chris Bynum - son of outlaw country songwriter Hal Bynum - in his freshman year at the University of Denver, and the two became fast, lifelong friends and musical soulmates. Most afternoons they taught each other to play and write music while sipping bourbon, smoking and watching “Days of Our Lives” on TV. They learned to cover tunes from musicians and bands like Johnny Cash, Big Head Todd, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and others, and Bynum introduced Husman to classic country artists like Waylon Jennings, Willy Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams, Sr., and Merle Haggard. It was also about this time that Husman realized that he shared his birthdate with Woodie Guthrie - another folk hero.
Upon return from a month spent in Europe, Husman’s influence shifted slightly from classic country and rock to a more contemporary fare based on a healthy obsession with Radiohead’s “The Bends” and “OK Computer.” Another musical path led him to bands like The Old ‘97s, Uncle Tupelo, The Jayhawks, Wilco and Golden Smog - as well as to a deep desire to make his own music, and a name for himself. Out of that desire came his first album, “American Gothic,” recorded in a producer’s basement and mixed and mastered where “Rumors,” the Fleetwood Mac classic, was mastered. “American Gothic” had a 100 CD pressing, half of which Husman gave away, and it still carries a lot of clout around these parts.

His mother’s passing from cancer in 2001 and a life-changing trip to Burning Man finally convinced Husman of his own artistic foundation, and since then he has dedicated himself entirely to music. In the past year he’s played small clubs, restaurants, benefits and other typical first-time venues, to an ever-growing fan base. This past October, Husman was invited to play a fundraiser for the city of Drain, OR, to benefit their local non-profit organizations. He’s also been asked to return to Drain in July to play the North Douglas County Fair, and Cottage Grove's esteemed, Axe and Fiddle.

Husman’s music is informed by a mixture of icons, both literary and musical. In it you can hear influences from the aforementioned country and folk acts to the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre, Gram Parsons, Aimee Mann, Vetiver, Archers of Loaf, lyrical prose geniuses like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Franz Kafka, and aliens (the real ones - the truth IS out there!). The results of this mix are sometimes pointed, straightforward folk song/stories, sometimes stream of consciousness rants, thrust into the mix in Husman’s signature tortured and often bewildered, yet wise, vocals.

Husman will be recording a new album, completely live, at The Walnut Room on March 24, 2011. The songs will all be originals, straight from the heart of this new and edgy troubadour. Husman in Golden, and Bynum, in NYC, are currently collaborating on much of the new material to be released at the show.

Courtesy of Billy Thieme - DenverThread - Erik Husman, Singer/Songwriter from Golden


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