Tim Eriksen

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Tim Eriksen
Tim Eriksen performing at the Iron Horse, Northampton, MA, Feb 29, 2008
Background information
OriginNorthampton, Massachusetts
GenresTraditional folk, punk rock
Occupation(s)Musicologist, professor
InstrumentsViolin, banjo, guitar, vocalist, bass guitar, saraswati veena bajo sexto
Years active1987–Present
Associated actsCordelia's Dad, Trio de Pumpkintown, The Feral Woods

Tim Eriksen is an American musician, musicologist, and professor. He is the leader of the band Cordelia's Dad, a solo artist, and was a performer and consultant for the award-winning soundtrack of the film Cold Mountain.[1][2][3]

Cordelia's Dad[edit]

Cordelia's Dad combines old-time music and punk rock influences to create a unique sound. The Village Voice describes the band as "semi-reformed punks turned shape-note singers...recently gone entirely acoustic, but buzzing with metaphorical electricity". The band has released nine full-length albums, played festivals such as The Newport Folk Festival, and toured with notable bands Nirvana, Uncle Tupelo, and Weezer.[4]


Eriksen successfully defended his PhD in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University in May 2015, having received an M.A. in the same discipline from Wesleyan in 1993, and has served as a visiting music professor at Dartmouth College, Amherst College, Hampshire College and the University of Minnesota.[5] He has also taught in Poland and The Czech Republic.[1] Additionally, Eriksen is a collector of variations of folk songs, and has conducted extensive research on traditional Yugoslavian music.[2][6] Eriksen shared his extensive knowledge of folk music while a consultant for the soundtrack of the film Cold Mountain.[1][2] In 2011, Eriksen taught a class on the history of The Sacred Harp at Smith College.[7]

Solo artist[edit]

Eriksen performed on the Cold Mountain soundtrack, singing with Riley Baugus on traditional songs such as "I Wish My Baby Was Born" and "The Cuckoo".[8] He was part of The Great High Mountain Tour, which celebrated the traditional music of Cold Mountain and O Brother, Where Art Thou?[9]

T-Bone Burnett, the producer of the Cold Mountain soundtrack, had Eriksen teach performers the complex style of Sacred Harp singing.[10]

Eriksen has also released seven solo albums: Tim Eriksen; Every Sound Below; Northern Roots Live In Namest; Soul Of The January Hills; Star in the East; Banjo, Fiddle And Voice; and Josh Billings Voyage or, Cosmopolite on the Cotton Road. Pop Matters review of Every Sound Below describes it as a "stunning mixture of traditional hymns, songs from the American Civil War, and Eriksen's own compositions".[8]

The Sacred Harp documentary Awake, My Soul's accompanying soundtrack Help Me to Sing: Songs of the Sacred Harp features a song by Eriksen and one by Cordelia's Dad. Paste Magazine describes Eriksen's performance of Sacred Harp songs at an Atlanta concert as "stand-out" and said Eriksen "was best at adapting the raw power of sacred harp to his own arrangements."[1]

Eriksen has also been a guest on the radio show A Prairie Home Companion, where he performed the traditional folk song "O, Death" October 29, 2005.[11] He also played Bosnian Pop music with the band Zabe I Babe.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Jackson, Josh (September 26, 2008). "Sacred Harp in a Strange Setting". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
  2. ^ a b c "TIM ERIKSEN". University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance. Archived from the original on September 10, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2008.
  3. ^ Hogeland, William (November 21, 2004). "MUSIC: PLAYLIST; The Answer, My Friend, Is... Mono?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
  4. ^ O'Connor, Keith J. (June 13, 2008). "Wednesday Folk Traditions begins at Porter Phelps". The Republican. Springfield, Massachusetts. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
  5. ^ Wells, Bonnie (May 1, 2009). "Singing the world acoustic: Tim Eriksen at the Iron Horse". Amherst Bulletin. Archived from the original on October 19, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  6. ^ Mason, Stewart. "Tim Eriksen: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
  7. ^ Leahy, Jackie. "Faculty Member Tim Eriksen Releases New Star in the East Christmas Album". The Sophian. Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Metivier, Michael (September 10, 2004). "Tim Eriksen: Every Sound Below". PopMatters. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
  9. ^ Pareles, Jon (May 29, 2004). "MUSIC REVIEW; In Praise of the Lord and Fear of the Reaper, With a Twang". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-10-27.
  10. ^ a b Hukill, Traci (April 22, 2009). "Northern Star". Santa Cruz Weekly. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
  11. ^ "A Prairie Home Companion: October 29, 2005". NPR. Retrieved 2014-10-27.

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