Eric Woodring Reveals The Truth On The Upside Of Lonely
Songs that aren’t too pretty when they’re about hard-living and heartbreak while living on the edge
NEW ALBUM OUT ON 5/6
SOLD OUT SHOW AT HOUSTON’S MCGONIGEL’S MUCKY DUCK ON MAY 7
“Eric Woodring keeps his music close to the country road, swaying back and forth across the bar ditches just enough to confuse the purists… keeping the songs aggressive and in your face… that’s a good thing.” – Lloyd Maines
The Upside Of Lonely songs depicts a loner, a trucker, two lost souls, or a man walking around inside his mind. Eric’s booming baritone voice is distinct and smooth with the stories he writes about. Produced by Jack Saunders of Shake & Jack fame at his legendary White Cat studios in Houston, TX, the two had a team of all-star musicians backing Eric up; Lloyd Maines, Eleanor Whitmore (Steve Earle), and Geoff Queen (Reckless Kelly, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis). The album will be out on May 6, and Eric will be playing McGonigel’s Mucky Duck on May 7 to an already sold-out show.
Eric wrote all songs on The Upside Of Lonely except for “Someone Made For You,” an old song from producer Jack Saunders, which will remind listeners of the Jesse Winchester classic, “The Showman’s Life.” Set to the beat of a traditional honky-tonk, the song is about life on the road as a musician discovers that the telephone line is too long between them and their love. Of course, every country artist has a trucker song, recalling the long stretches of black asphalt and the sun in your eyes; “everyone from Roger Miller to Merle Haggard had one. “‘ Anywhere the Highway Goes’ is my trucking song, and it drives hard to a Waylon Jennings beat, with a trifecta of a telecaster guitar, fiddle, and steel guitar to set the tone of the album,” reflects Woodring. So, buckle up, buttercup…
“…his country, roots, Americana and folk prowess resonates the sort of warmth and timelessness that we can never tire of.” – Take Effect Reviews
Woodring’s song characters Jimmy and Maddie show up again, and this time they are up to their usual shenanigans of being from small towns and dreaming of city life, not knowing it’s the same. He sings about them in two songs, “This Cowboy” and “Why The Hurry,” with relatable lines about wanting more than you can handle and slowing it down, but for these lovebirds, it’s the struggle that makes them tick. A true Romeo & Juliet pair:
“Maddie’s got four wheels
And a purse of dollar bills
She puts ‘em in the tank and hits the road
She ain’t coming back till Sunday
Cause that city life’s a fun way
To spend her coin and keep up with the Jones” – “Why The Hurry”
Born and raised in South Texas, Eric Woodring launched his music career in the mid-nineties in the West Texas city of Lubbock while a student at Texas Tech University. He very much had a rural upbringing, working around tractors and livestock from an early age. Fans and critics often liken his sound to classic country artists of the past, but he levitates to more modern artists from the Red Dirt Country sounds like The Turnpike Troubadours and Reckless Kelly. As for songwriting influences, Eric’s run from Guy Clark to Townes Van Zandt to Billy Joe Shaver to contemporaries like Jack Ingram and Slaid Cleaves. “I always try to achieve a balance of high-quality songwriting with high energy instrumentation that can create a high-spirited show,” smiles Eric.
“clean and powerful voice” – Roots Time (Belgium)
In the late 2000s, Eric was a member of The Recollection, a group that toured actively around Texas and had some success. After the group’s final EP release, True Texas True, Eric was ready to focus on a solo career, and in 2019, he released a much-anticipated full-length album called Jackson County Line. One track on the record, “The River Walk,” was released as a radio single, spent several weeks on the charts, and even garnered international attention. Woodring closed out the year with more than 80 shows to support the release. In 2020 while the pandemic sidelined much of the live music scene, Woodring spent the downtime in the studio and released a full-length album, Campfire, TX, later that year and an EP in late 2021 titled The Vintage Sessions. The EP was a collection of classic Country covers from “Tennessee Whiskey” to “Walking The Floor Over You.”
Then I’ll turn and hustle West
Back to all that I know best
That little town I’d like to call my home
We all know that that ain’t true
Home is here and not with you
My truckin home is out here on the road
It’s anywhere the highway goes – “Anywhere the Highway Goes”
“Eric instinctively knows that the roots of Texas music run wide and deep – meandering through ethnic and folk and diverging into a convoluted journey to every steamy honky-tonk and dancehall, toward a more modern reimagining.” – Jack Saunders, producer of The Upside Of Lonely
Eric now lives in Hallettsville, TX, which lies in the middle of a Texas music triangle – he can get to Houston, Austin, and San Antonio within two hours – which is perfect for him and his family. Just on the fringe of everything, like Jimmy and Maddie.
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