The Road to Gratitude
The Eric Harrison story begins in December 1988 on a cold and rainy Sunday night in London. Scores of pasty Kings College students have filled the Phoenix and Firkin pub to witness the debut of their nervous American classmate. It's been a while since the last Don McLean revival tour and Eric's British peers are excited to hear a genuine Yankee folksinger serve up "American Pie." Little did they know he'd rather eat glass.
Sixty minutes and fifteen originals later Our Hero had completely alienated his audience and forfeited any chance of bedding an English lass with the aphrodisiac strains of "Sugar Mountain." But a songwriter was born.
Upon returning to Princeton University in 1990 Eric began performing his original material throughout New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. That summer he formed the Crash Chorus with his brother Evan Harrison on bass, Matt Krajewski on guitar and Mike Krajewski on drums. Over the course of three days the band recorded and mixed ten songs with the guidance of Eric Rachel at Trax East in South River. The band's first official release, Anyone Can Fill Your Shoes, debuted to great local acclaim in the Summer of 1990. (Their moms really liked it.)
Over the next eight years Eric obtained a law degree from Georgetown University, began a career as a civil defense attorney, honed his performing skills and released four more critically-acclaimed collections of original material: Pathosaurus, Storm Your Revolution!, The Serious Cafe and Cutting Edge.
The recordings received positive reviews in local and national press: "Exhibits the strengths of Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan" -- The Georgetown Review . . . "Original lyrics which border on genius" -- Option . . . "Acoustic-oriented punk death poetry" -- The Insider . . . "Strong songwriting, good singing, thoughtful production" . . . The Splatter Effect . . . "Clever, passionate lyrics and a melodic, catchy, sound" -- The Sentinel . . . "Tight pop-folk gems bristling with wry sarcasm and desperate longing . . . radiant with more incandescent moments than most songwriters can muster in a career" -- Georgetown Weekly
In 2000 Breakfast was served. The debut CD contained 14 songs -- eight remixed favorites from past releases and six completely new tracks. Recorded and mixed by Steve Evetts at Trax East, Breakfast was the band's most fully realized project to date.
In April 2005 the YES Network began to use "Opening Day" in "Pride, Power and Pinstripes," their annual Spring Training preview of the New York Yankees. The team went on to rack up their worst April record since 1944. This we attribute to the network's decision to use only 30 seconds of the song while the credits rolled, as opposed to playing the entire song with video of the Crash Chorus rocking 55,000 fans at Yankee Stadium. (Don't underestimate the power of Photoshop: https://youtu.be/kWRON5nweFI)
2005 brought A Little Bit of Sickness, 11 new songs recorded and mixed by Eric Kvortek at Trax East in South River. Superb contributions from guest musicians Seth Tieger and Andre Thompson on electric guitar, Cynthia Landon on banjo, Martin McGowan on acoustic guitar and Bill Levinson on piano contributed to a final product that Americana-UK called "a rugged and organic collection of rock songs . . . that sits snugly somewhere between Buffalo Tom and early Soul Asylum."
Marital bliss and fatherhood posed a challenge to the tortured artiste, whose musical output temporarily slowed as he focused on his princess tea party coordination skills . . .
In 2011 writer's block gave way to EP 2012, five new recordings featuring guitarists Seth Tieger and Mark Bodino and the production skills of Eric Kvortek, who engineered and mixed the project at Gasworks Studios.
Inspired by Eric's reflective years in Asbury Park, the songs included "Before You Were Born," "Born to Fade" and "Salt" - profound and tuneful reflections on mortality, joy, loneliness and what happened this one time at band camp.
In April 2017 Eric released Mercy Road, which was recorded over the course of two years with primary musical collaborators Domenico, Eric Kvortek, Mike Doktorski, Seth Tieger and Kevin Salem. The Crash Chorus 3.0 featured founding member Matt Krajewski on guitar, Eric Kvortek on keyboards, Mike Dok on bass and Charlie Jackson on drums.
In August 2019 the band released their first live-action music video to accompany the new single "Our Band," an autobiographical tribute to dad rockers railing against indifference, back pain, furious club owners and eye-rolling daughters while pursuing a rock and roll glory that never was . . . or might it be?
View the video here:
Recorded in 2019, the new album Gratitude is scheduled for release in December 2020. As he releases new singles Eric continues to perform Facebook Live shows from his front porch.
The Crash Chorus, meanwhile, look forward to returning to the stage and picking up where they left off entertaining enthusiastic audiences throughout the tri-state area.