Erik Stucky mixes his bluegrass roots with his positive writing style to bring a unique sound to the music scene. He just dropped two singles from his forthcoming album, Good Vibrations, which is due out later this year. I got to know him in this brand-new interview.
Nashville Noise: Who were your earliest influences?
Erik Stucky: My early influences range from pop icons like James Taylor, Paul Simon, country artist Lyle Lovett and the style bending bluegrass band New Grass Revival. Each one served a different purpose in getting me excited about music. I remember dancing around the living room as a kid to James Taylor and Paul Simon. As I got a little bit older and began playing the mandolin, Sam Bush from the band New Grass Revival was my absolute hero. He was my Jimi Hendrix. Lyle Lovett came into my life as an early teenager when my uncle gave my dad a copy of the album Pontiac. His lyricism and storytelling resonated on a different level with me. His ability to cross multiple genres while maintaining his unique voice as an artist has been a consistent source of inspiration for me through the years.
That’s amazing. He’s so talented. With this last year being so trying, how did you find yourself staying creative?
ES: This last year I spent a lot of time doing stream of consciousness writing. It was a good way to let elements of myself come to the surface without having them driven by goal or deadline. It’s a very pure form of expression as it is simply an expression for expression’s sake. This definitely allowed me to explore uncharted territory as a writer.
You have two singles (“Don’t Stop Raining” and “Easy On Me”) dropping today. Why did you pick these two?
ES: I picked these two songs because they are a bit of a contrast to each other and show two different sides of my sound. They are both a part of my forthcoming album, Good Vibrations, set to release on August 6 of this year. “Don’t Stop Raining” is track no. 1 on the album and comes out swinging with a live horn section, drums, and keys, as well as me on the mandolin and vocals. It is very upbeat and fun. “Easy On Me” is the most acoustic track on the album and, production-wise, is much more stripped down. I wanted to release these two together to give listeners a sense of the spectrum of the project.
Can’t wait to hear them live. Speaking of, what do you miss most about performing on stage?
ES: I love to travel and perform and meet new people. Luckily I have been able to start to do that once again here and there. When the COVID shut down happened, I just kind of gritted my teeth and did what I needed to do to make it through. Sure, I was frustrated and missed performing, but it wasn’t until my first performance back that it fully hit me. The communion of creating music with fellow musicians for an audience is magic. Thanks to the shutdown, I am more honored and grateful to be counted as a performing artist than I have ever been.
Can’t wait to see you live! So what’s next for you?
ES: This album has been a long time coming, and I am so excited to see it out into the world. I can only hope that I will be doing a lot of performing for audiences all over the country. And as always, I’ll be digging deep in search of that next song.
Check out “Don’t Stop Raining” and “Easy on Me” on Spotify.