Independent Americana/Folk/Rock guitarist, singer and songwriter from Chicago
Ernie Hendrickson’s new album, Roll On, will be released by LoHi Records on September 24th. Produced by Brian Deck in Chicago with a stellar roster of studio musicians, Roll On features thirteen new songs by the acclaimed American songwriter.
Roll On displays Ernie’s ability to tackle weighty themes with humor and a sharp eye for the details that make his songs humane and compelling. Influenced by everyone from Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter to Nashville humorist and songwriter Todd Snider, Ernie wrote a set of songs for Roll On that address the commercialization and alienation of American life. One song, “Dystopian Dreams,” makes explicit the looming political and social crises that characterize American life in 2019, but he gives the song an optimistic spin that comes from his new role as father to a young daughter, and as a family man who likes to spend time at home when he’s not on the road doing what musicians do to make a living.
Ernie Hendrickson is, as you will hear when you give Roll On a listen, one of American music’s bright lights. He’s illuminated his way throughout his career, and Roll On shines a light into areas that in other hands would remain shrouded in darkness. He’s grown exponentially since his last album, and Roll On is a testament to what maturity means when it co-exists with the yearning to describe the truth that the best American artists have always sought, in their own ways.
For Ernie Hendrickson, the process of writing and recording his new album, Roll On, has been bound up in the changes he’s gone through as an acclaimed musician who is a perceptive chronicler of life in America, as a husband and father, and as an artist who remains open to the challenges and rewards that living this ever-so-complex American life can bring. What Roll On does so superbly well is bring life-affirming humor, wisdom, and even doubt, to the stories Ernie tells throughout the record’s thirteen songs.
Ernie’s latest songs were written over a period that stretches from the release of his last album, 2013‘s One for the Dreamers, to late 2018, when he began recording Roll On with producer Brian Deck at Narwhal Music Studios in Bucktown, Chicago. Ernie Hendrickson’s journey from recording One for the Dreamers in Nashville–home of country music, Americana, and big dreams–to finishing Roll On on his home turf of Midwest, U.S.A., found him walking a path of self-affirmation and hard work that makes his new music his richest and most universal to date. In classic singer-songwriter fashion, Ernie writes about what he sees and feels, but Roll On is a record that speaks to the human condition in ways that transcend time and place.
Ernie Hendrickson’s new album, Roll On, was released in September 2019 on LoHi Records. Produced by Brian Deck in Chicago with a stellar roster of studio musicians, Roll On features thirteen new songs by the acclaimed American songwriter.
Six years after releasing his 2013 Nashville-recorded album One for the Dreamers, Americana singer-songwriter and guitarist Ernie Hendrickson returns to his Chicago home with Roll On, his most mature, observant and musically wide ranging collection.
CHICAGO–It was six years ago that Ernie Hendrickson, who was born in the Wisconsin region known as the Driftless Area and raised in Illinois, released his last album, One for the Dreamers. Hendrickson, who recorded One for the Dreamers in the fabled city of Nashville with producer Chad Cromwell and a cast of musicians that included legendary Willie Nelson harmonica wizard Mickey Raphael and harmony singer Lera Lynn, took away the myriad lessons of Music City, and the record displayed his songwriting savvy, guitar acumen and feel for the American language.
Ernie was recently inverviewed by Jeremy D. Bonfiglio, the Sight & Sound Editor at The Herald-Palladium. Ernie talks about his band, new music, fatherhood, inspiration and much more.
Here’s a bit of what they talked about:
A lot has changed for singer-songwriter Ernie Hendrickson.
There’s the addition to his name. The one-time solo artist has been playing under the billing of Ernie Hendrickson & Citizens of Love, a trio led by the Chicago-based multi-instrumentalist that typically includes drummer Devin Ulery and bass player Pete Muschong.
There’s the addition to his family. He and wife, Quinn, have a now 18-month-old daughter, Tansey.
Then there is time. Hendrickson recently turned 40, the age where mind and body welcome you to the joys of mid-life, crises and all.
What hasn’t changed, however, is Hendrickson’s commitment to his craft. Born in Wisconsin and raised in Rockford, Ill., Hendrickson grew up on a deep well of American roots music, which he continues to draw inspiration from.
I recently had the pleasure of talking with Vickie Jurkowski with the Chicago Tribunes Daily Southtown.
Here’s a sample of what we talked about:
It’s no surprise when musicians cover Johnny Cash or Bruce Springsteen. But when Ernie Hendrickson starts singing, there’s an unexpected maturity to his voice.
Not yet 40, the singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Palos Park is an old soul with a preference for Hank Williams, Bill Monroe and Jerry Garcia over any of today’s indie rock artists. And his modesty belies his albums featuring folks who’ve performed with Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill
and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Formative Years: “My brother and I had a band when we were kids. Around age 11 or 12, I had a half-size acoustic guitar with only two strings and I’d write songs with it. We made up our own stuff and performed around the house for our parents and aunts and uncles. I was bummed out to put all six strings on it when I
started guitar lessons on my 13th birthday.”