On “Silence,” the new single from songwriter-producer Eric Krasno’s forthcoming solo album ‘Always’ – out 4th February via Provogue/Mascot Label Group – Krasno explores the emotional havoc that a lack of communication can wreak on the human psyche.
“Silence is a song I wrote a number of years ago about the torture of not knowing,” he explains. “I sing about how the silent treatment can make your mind spiral into the darkest place where you assume the worst situation is inevitable. This was the first track I worked on with Otis McDonald for the album. The original track I sent him had just acoustic guitar, piano, and vocals. As we built the track, I think it set the tone and feel for the album as a whole.”
On his fourth full-length solo album, ‘Always,’ Krasno consecrates, commends, and celebrates the permanence of family. Across ten tracks with inimitable instrumentation, eloquent songcraft, and raw honesty, the Soulive and Lettuce co-founder, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning artist defines himself as not only an artist, but also as a husband, father, and man. “Before 2020, I was having a good time, but I wasn’t grounded at all,” he explains. “I was going from gig to gig. I was always running around without a purpose. During the last year, I found my people in terms of my wife and son. I’ve created a family who will always be there for me. That’s what the album is about.”
Something of a musical journeyman, Krasno’s extensive catalog comprises three solo albums, four Lettuce albums, twelve Soulive albums, and production and/or songwriting for Norah Jones, Robert Randolph, Pretty Lights, Talib Kweli, 50 Cent, Aaron Neville, and Allen Stone. As a dynamic performer, he’s shared stages with Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, and The Roots. Out of seven nominations, he picked up two GRAMMY® Awards for his role as a songwriter and guitarist on Tedeschi Trucks Band’s ‘Revelator’ and guitarist on Derek Trucks Band’s ‘Already Free.’
But as the Global Pandemic changed the world’s plans, he found himself thinking a lot and writing just as much. At the suggestion of old Lettuce bandmate Adam Deitch, he connected with musician and producer Otis McDonald and collaborated on a version of Bob Dylan’s “The Man In Me,” a song that had taken on a deeper significance for Eric in recent years. “My wife and I got married, bought a house, and had a baby,” he recalls. “I had heard the song many times before, but it had never quite hit me the way it was hitting me. I recorded it with just acoustic guitar and vocals, and I loved what Otis did to it. He sent it back to me, and I thought, ‘This is exactly how I want to make my next record’.”
Recording first virtually and then at the Bay Area’s legendary Hyde Street Studios, famous for 2Pac, Grateful Dead, and Digital Underground, Krasno and McDonald tapped into a shared spirit as co-producers, ultimately forming Eric Krasno & The Assembly with Otis on bass, Wil Blades on keys and organ, Curtis Kelly on drums, and James VIII on guitar and vocals. The release of “Silence” follows “So Cold,” an icy beat bolts down the groove as Eric’s soulful intonation cools the tense riff. In the wake of a hummable hook, a bluesy guitar solo takes hold as each bend wails.
“It’s about a relationship,” he explains. “This girl takes out her anger on other people, and the guy is trying to get to the bottom of what’s wrong and why she’s so cold. You’re trying to leave dark things behind and move into a more positive place. It has a hopeful tone because I’ve gotten past it.”
In the end, Eric welcomes everyone to be a part of his family on ‘Always.’
“If you take away a message of love and the Always concept, that’s great,” he leaves off. “Most of all, I want to put you in a happy place. In the past, I personally just felt like I was a guitarist, songwriter, and a producer. Now, I feel like a fully formed artist.”