Eric Britt has been on my musical radar for a while now. Back in 2014, I photographed and wrote a piece about his then new recording project with American Hologram. No stranger to a good collaboration, while Britt was a college student at the University of Georgia, he formed fit alt-rock band, Hazel Virtue.
Hazel Virtue toured extensively during the mid to late 90s throughout the South. They became part of the festival circuit, playing at events like Big Day Out, Music Midtown, and Crossroads. Now its the year 2020 and Britt is releasing his second solo album in what is a long and hard-working musical career. His latest album recording is titled “Full Circle”.
“’Full Circle’ is about returning to my roots as an artist, with the exact band I started with in Athens – the alt-rockers Hazel Virtue,” Britt said. “Our lead guitarist and co-founder Jim Hughes died about four years ago, this event brought us all back together. We disbanded in 1999. This album is dedicated to Jim and another very close friend I lost a long time ago. I've been playing music forever, but I didn't start releasing solo records until 2013. ’Full Circle’ is my second solo record. I went into it thinking it would be my swan song, but I've had so much fun being creative again that I don't intend to quit anytime soon!”
Britt has created a double album, consisting of one half acoustic music and the other half is rock. As a local live performer who plays acoustically in small venues, the acoustic part came easy, but for the rock portion, he recruited his old friends.
“The acoustic side are songs I've written over the last few years,” he said. “Most of the rock side are old Hazel Virtue songs that were exhumed and revisited It makes you want to get up and dance.”
Savannah artists and their projects are mostly homegrown. The recording of “Full Circle” is a testament to the local talent that’s available ready to create and collaborate.
“The local musicians featured on ’Full Circle's acoustic half are Jason Bible, Stan Ray, Michael Ray, and Eric Daubert. Jason played pedal steel and baritone guitars. Stan played drums and percussion. Mike played organ and piano. Eric Daubert (aka El Mustachio) played mandolin,” Britt said.
“On the rock half, local musicians include Kevin Rose on lead guitar and Britt Scott on backing vocals. I recorded the acoustic half with Jason Bible at Silver Buffalo Sound, and we sent all the songs to Ken Sluiter in L.A. to be mixed and mastered. Both these guys really put their heart into it, I'm very grateful. We recorded the rock half with Kevin Rose at Elevated Basement. Kevin mixed part of it and we sent the rest to Ken in L.A. This has been quite a process.”
These are hard times for everyone but with the global coronavirus pandemic, we are in uncharted territory in many aspects of our lives. Within the music industry, we have seen this start to affect a lot of artists and businesses especially within live music.
“Right now, is so weird for everyone. Most of the time, we are coping just fine at home with the new normal,” he said. “The new normal is a phrase I will never get used to. I've been busy with the kids and releasing ’Full Circle’ one song at a time. This extended release thing might be my biggest coping mechanism, I'm distracted from the news.”
“I'm not visionary enough to predict the future of music, but immediately, people are learning to do things themselves from home and reinventing. I'm guessing outdoor performances will be the first to return, and I'd be willing to wager there will be some great new music coming out! Every musician has been in their studio for weeks.”
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