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Eric Kilburn spent the mid/late 1980’s working his way up the food chain in the east coast folk music scene, playing regularly at nearly all New England’s folk clubs and touring as far south as the Carolinas and as far west as Illinois.  Bob and RaeAnn Donlin of the legendary club Passim in Harvard Square were particular boosters and he played at Passim over 40 times in that period, initially opening for established artists like Shawn Colvin, Tracy Chapman, Eric Andersen and others, before playing a dozen times as the feature.  He released 4 acclaimed albums over 7 years, had songs covered by Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger, performed in a PBS pilot with Shawn Colvin, John Gorka, and Fred Small, had lots of fun and made “dozens of dollars”.

In 1984 Eric started a small recording studio, Wellspring Sound, that grew gradually over the next few years. In 1989, when Eric and his wife Kate started a family,  he decided to cut way back on performing, and concentrate on studio work , which he hoped would provide a stay-at–home income.  Over the next 28 years, Wellspring grew into one the largest studios in New England, and over 800 CD’s have been made there, including Esperanza Spaulding’s Grammy winning debut CD.  Artists such as Catie Curtis, Martin Sexton, Robbie O’Connell, Vance Gilbert, Crooked Still, and many others made albums at Wellspring, and the studio continues to this day.

Not wanting to give up performing completely, Eric played a  few annual festival gigs,  took up the mandolin,  and started a swing band called Swing Café, with Billy Novick on clarinet and sax, along with other heavyweights from Boston’s jazz scene.  He also formed the roots/gospel  multi-ethnic band Meeting Across The Water with Louise Grasmere, Fred Griffeth, and Jonathan Singleton.  The group plays around the Boston area at folk clubs, benefits, churches, and other venues.

In 2019, with his youngest child graduated from college, Eric began work on his first album since 1990.  Filled with stories of life through both a child’s and parent’s eyes, “My Own Mistakes” is a song cycle starting with the reflections of an expectant father, and concluding with a story of the oldest man at the Thanksgiving table. “Fresh and insightful lyrics, a distinctly expressive voice, and top-notch musicianship… a real gem” said Catie Curtis of the CD.  A host of superb Boston-area musicians joined Eric on the CD, including Jackson Browne alumnus Kevin Barry on various guitars.

In 2019 , Eric was among the 32 finalists from over 800 applicants at the Kerrville Fold Festival’s annual New Folk Songwriting contest.   Going to Kerrville was a major highlight of the year  for Eric, and he came away inspired and invigorated to continue working on his music.

In a poor choice of timing, “My Own Mistakes” was released just as the Covid 19 pandemic got underway, and like every other performer in the music scene, Eric’s performances were limited to online concerts and a few outdoor events.  With a sudden abundance of free time, the songwriting muse returned, and Eric began work on a new album which he recorded mostly in his living room. “Reckonings” was released in February 2023, and again features Kevin Barry on Dobro, lap steel,  and electric guitars, along with keyboard virtuoso Joe Barbato on piano, organ and accordion.  “Reckonings” contains several songs that deal with racial justice in America, as well as several humorous and ironic songs about life and relationships in the 21st century

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