I had heard of Eric Ode (pronounced "oh dee") through my frequent collaborator Kenn Nesbitt, who had crossed paths with Eric several times on his travels through the Northwest and said what a great guy he is. We finally got to meet when we shared the bill at an event near Seattle in 2005 and became friends right away. I like to think that I'm a nice guy, and I think most people would vouch for that, but I could tell right away from meeting him that Eric Ode is about the nicest guy on the planet. He even gave me a week of his gigs at a theme park called Remlinger Farms near Seattle, where he usually plays every day from spring through fall. I tried to return the favor when I needed to cancel a gig and offered to have him fill in, but there ended up being a miscommunication with the event coordinator and Eric drove there only to find out that someone else was performing. So I really owe him big time!
But anyway, when I first met Eric we exchanged CDs (actually, Kenn Nesbitt had already given him my CDs, so I just got some of his... a nice exchange for me!) and I was eager to finally hear his music. And I really like his songs. Very catchy with clever wordplay and a remarkable amount of funkiness for someone who looks and sounds entirely unlike George Clinton. I particularly like his latest CD, I Love My Shoes, which includes cool tunes like the title track, "The Hippopotamus Song", "Horse of a Different Hue" and "A Pair O' Barracuda".
When I first moved out to Washington from New York, I was perhaps a little worried if the Northwest might be too small for two children's music performers named Eric, but it turns out that we're both doing pretty well, and I'm really glad that we've become friends and colleagues and try to help each other out when we can. And I think our styles are similar in some ways, both musically and in our concerts, but also different enough to distinguish ourselves, which is great. Eric and I collaborated for a song on my latest album, Snow Day!, called "My Lucky Day". Well, Eric sent me a poem he wrote that he had wanted to see as a song and I finished it up from there, but someday we do hope to get together and write something from scratch.
Eric is currently working on a video release and still performing every day at Remlinger Farms. Definitely check him out if you're in the Northwest.
Eric Ode's website
Check out the video for "This Song Has No Elephants" from Eric's DVD Welcome to the Workshop.
Friday, July 14, 2006
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