Eryn has developed a reputation as one of the premier up and coming voices on the scene today. Initially, from Maryland and now living in New Jersey, Eryn’s style is heavily influenced by the musical traditions of the south. Her respect for the traditions of jazz, blues and country — fused with her modern pop style and brought together by Eryn’s incredible vocal ability — has been said to give even the most hardened critic chills.
She has performed at venues such as the Mayo Performing Arts Center, The NJ State Theater, Newton Theater, the legendary Stone Pony, Bluebird Café, Count Basie Theater and others throughout New Jersey, New York City, Florida, New Orleans and Nashville.
Eryn has found inspiration in her musical family and chose music as her career at an early age. She has been singing in public since she was 10, wrote her first song at 14 and hasn’t stopped writing since. She taught herself guitar to help facilitate her songwriting and performing, and even trained as a sound engineer so she could better understand some of the science behind the perfect sound.
“Music has always been my passion, my therapeutic outlet. I’m not just chasing fame; this is my career. I will always work in the music industry in some capacity,” says Eryn.
Eryn began singing professionally at age 13 when she started a 10-year run singing with the country band, Sundance. By 16, she was also singing backup with Jody Joseph and the Average Joes. In 2005, she spent several months in New Orleans winning over audiences while singing with the national touring band, The Soul Project and Walter “Wolman” Washington.
In 2007, Eryn started her band The Eryn Shewell Band, performing mostly her original compositions. Within the first year, Eryn and her group were recognized with three Asbury Music Award nominations and had been nominated each year in more and more categories. In 2009, Eryn won the Top Female Vocalist award. In 2011, she won Top Female Vocalist and Top Blues Band.
Eryn embraces every opportunity to perform and write music. She is sought out by other artists as a backup singer because of her natural ability to harmonize. While in New Orleans, she was honored to record vocals for blues veteran Walter “Wolfman” Washington’s album, Doing the Funky Thing.
“I love working with other artists and experiencing their music. I have learned something from everyone I’ve had the pleasure to perform or write with. It’s not the same if I can’t share it anyway,” she says. Since then she has then recorded and shared the stage with other artists such as Don McLean, Gregg Allman, Gin Blossoms, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray, Little River Band, Glen Burtnik, Marsha Ball, Eric Lindell, Sonny Landreth, Steve Ferrone, Bernard Purdie, and many more.
Eryn’s latest EP combines some of the industries finest players and songwriters and includes writers such as Cheryl DaVeiga, Anthony Krizan, David Bryan, Lindsay Vinarsky, Matthew Gerrard, Alice Leon and Eryn herself. The list of players is a cornucopia of names long associated with the industry and include local players such as Matt O’Ree, Marc Ribler, Jack Daley and Layonne Holmes just to name a few. The disc was mixed and produced by Jack Daley (Lenny Kravitz, Joss Stone, Beyoncé) and recorded by Joey DeMaio over at Shorefire Recording Studios.
Eryn spans the decades on this latest disc and hopes to capture the ear of young and old with her directive sound. She blends the sounds of the ‘60s and ‘70s with some of the newer sounds in music today, and it’s an outstanding set of songs. Let’s take a listen to some of the songs and delve into this latest effort by one of the area’s premier vocalist/songwriters.
The very first song on the disc is called “Hallelujah, You’re Gone.” Eryn takes a hard look at her past and the poisonous people in her life. The song represents a rebirth of sorts and sees her embracing the present and future without negativity in her life. The song itself is upbeat and defiant, layering bass, drums, guitars, organs and saxophone that come courtesy of Steven Salcedo (Gideon Luke and the People, Darlene Love and Little Steven), along with vocal assists from Eryn’s chorus of industry pros that include Jaquita May Perkins (Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul), Sara Devine (Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul), Khadijah Muhammed (Lenny Kravitz, Luther Vandross, Puffy), and Layonne Holmes (Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Phoebe Snow, Darlene Love, Ben E. King, Lesley Gore).
Eryn gets down with the best blues singers on the planet and slides, from dirty growl to high toned power within the piece. Choruses are addictive, and the verse work synchs up to bridges like clockwork.
The next song was written for Eryn by Bon Jovi’s own David Bryan. Eryn says that when she first heard the song in David’s studio, it brought tears to her eyes. That song is called “The You Missing From Me.” Pianos start things off with Eryn’s soulful vocals. The song represents the search for meaning and love, and Eryn is the perfect singer for this piece. Utilizing an extremely intimate approach, Eryn reminds me of Adele here. Backing vocals chime where needed with a religious fervor. When the band comes in, drums, bass, strings and guitars all place well within the mix as Eryn sings the hell out of this sure fired hit song. The chorus is extremely drawing and pulls you into the sonic reality of the piece immediately. The song mixes a great deal of melancholy with redemption and hope. I also think that the teaming of Bryan and Eryn is a winning combination and this song is a contender to get her to the next level on her musical journey. My favorite on the disc.
“Just Jump” is a look into the age-old fear of getting hurt when approaching a new relationship. Sometimes you have to “jump” into it, and that’s what Eryn is singing about here. I love the ‘60s soul approach with Jimmy Nolen (James Brown) styled guitars as the horns spread arrangement savvy across the board. The rhythm section kicks as Eryn takes a step back to a time when singers such as Aretha Franklin or Etta James ruled the roost. I also hear a little bit of Amy Winehouse influence here as well. The girls back her up with tons of era correct moxie and the composition itself is pure genius. Verses, bridges, and choruses all click correctly, and the entire song is an absolute joy to listen to.
“Stranger in my House” addresses the situation of waking up one day and realizing that the person in your life is someone you don’t know. Mourning dove violin comes courtesy of Rachel Golub (Frank Ocean, Bruce Springsteen, Florence and the Machine, James Taylor and Roger Waters). Cello is courtesy of Dave Eggars (Coldplay, Evanescence, Beyoncé). Acoustic guitars roll melodically on this melancholy song, and Eryn’s voice is completely encased in a sort of beautiful sadness for the desolation of the topic. Rachel Golub’s solo in the middle-eight is breathless and outstanding. Once again, Eryn scores well as far as arrangement and a compositional co-writing with Alice Leon.
“Our Love Won’t Die” brings Eryn and the band back to that groovy 1960s soul sound. Eryn reminds us all that every relationship has times when not everyone sees eye to eye, but in the end, love prevails. Guitars are jazzy, bluesy and align with sax and organs perfectly. This song is another bouncy, upbeat tune and comes courtesy of Cheryl DaVeiga and Anthony Krizan. Eryn is the perfect singer for this soulful Stax sounding song, and she spares no expense when it comes to maxing out her talents here. Eryn has always been a powerhouse vocalist but she shines brightly on this EP, and this song is as massive as you can get. Drums come courtesy of Charles Haynes (Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Queen Latifah) and the bass is courtesy of Jack Daley. Daley did a fantastic job producing this EP, and everything sounds fantastic. Genuine, era correct and filled with celebratory triumph, Lady E smokes.
The last song on this superb EP is called “Running Red Lights.” Eryn brings it down a bit for this lazy, hazy ‘70s Motown-sounding gem. Carole King comes to mind as I listen to Eryn sing this sure thing. The point of the lyric is running red lights to get to the one you love. In other words, the faster you get there the better. The rhythm section nails it down as the girls shore up the background. Guitars are supportive and reasonably mellow as they leave the brunt of the emotive work to Eryn. I love the organs here as well. I believe they come courtesy of Glenn Patscha (Cheryl Crow, Marc Cohn, Ryan Adams and Roseanne Cash). Strings soar as guitars plunk out John Turnbull (Paul Young) styled riffs.
Eryn has always put out a consistent product, but Lady E is her masterpiece to date. Between the vast array of great musicians, Eryn’s singing and co-writing partners, combined with the production of Jack Daley make Lady E a sure fired winner for Eryn and I can’t wait to hear these songs in a live environment as well.
For more information on Eryn and Lady E head over to erynofficial.com and pick up the EP for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.