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Basic Folk 06 – Mark Erelli

By Cindy Howes

On Basic Folk this week I sit down with Mark Erelli, a singer-songwriter out of the New England area. Growing up Erelli did a little of everything: tennis, musicals, science, and then... he found rock music. This was all thanks to his high school science teacher who would play bootleg Grateful Dead tapes during exams. Once Erelli had discovered The Dead he said it was like all American music was waiting for him. In our conversation this week Erelli remembers his early start on stage playing the Elvis-type for his high school musical, he discusses his vocal journey to balance healthy technique, but not lose his authentic delivery, and he explains how booking concerts for his college allowed him to get career advice from all his acoustic heroes. For twenty years Erelli has been playing music with folks like Lori Mckenna and Josh Ritter. He has just collaborated with both of them as well as Anais Mitchell, Rosanne Cash, and Sheryl Crow on a song he wrote called, "By Degrees." This song is in partnership with Gabby Gifford's organization, Courage to Fight Gun Violence, and all the proceeds go to the fight to end gun violence in this country.

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