Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Patrick Stolley
Whether they're supposed to feel this way or not, Wreckless Eric and Amy Rigby put a lot of hallelujah moments into the stories they write and set to music. They are the unplanned for moments that sneak up and bite you in the ass. They are awakenings or moments when all those cosmic tumblers have clicked into place, even if it's just for a fraction of a second or a tease of a peak. It's getting a phone call from the person you've been thinking about, while glumly and emotionlessly pumping gas at a lonely station in Cleveland, Ohio. It's that first steak dinner with some new person who feels as if they're going to change you irreversibly. You've been courting such things. You've been desperate for them. They are the only kinds of moments that we can build on. Not all of them turn out well.
Some epiphanies are begat from hitting bottom or slipping hard on the ice and smashing your hip or knee into the unforgiving pavement. Sometimes they come in the form of bloody lips and purpled eyes, but these two songwriters from upstate New York regularly follow the scent of fate and goodness.
Wreckless Eric's most famous song, "Whole Wide World," is devoted to the feeling of never resting until fate is satisfied, until the girl is found and made his own - all of which came to be because something clicked or there was an unexpected spark. The imagery in these four songs, taped here in Davenport, Iowa, after an exhausting drive from Tennessee, is that of people who are curious as hell about the states that they're in. They've seen some things and they've felt some things and they've all led somewhere - they've led here, more appropriately - but there's still a big ball of doubt in terms of where they are and where they're headed, though they suspect that they're alright, that they're mostly happy. It's a lot of pregnant doubt and some of these people feel skeptical, as they've learned they should be.
The man in "Days of Jack And Jill," is someone who sounds agitated. He's seen the good and the bad come and go and he's reminiscent for many things, but he's still very aware that he's currently in a room with a light from IKEA in it, that the walls are different, that the floor is different and as everything has changed around him, he's adapted. He's been forced to conform some of the time and others, he's just jammed his way into the available space and he sings, "I could never imagine a 57-year-old me, sitting under a flat screen, stirring my tea." It will go on like this, he's pretty sure, this bewilderment beneath a general understanding.
Wreckless Eric Official Site
Amy Rigby Official Site