"Dark and pretty songs. Ernie Hendrickson is finding a niche in the indie folk Americana segment. He is a storyteller like Harry Nilsson in a country mood."

- Hans Werksman
Here Comes The Flood

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For Ernie Hendrickson, the hill country is as much a state of mind as a physical locale, as the deep but beautifully casual songs on his new One for the Dreamers eloquently remind us. In the hill country of Ernie's imagination, the high ground provides an elevated vantage point that enables his listeners to perceive how time can leave important matters unfinished, or tie up loose ends with sometimes heartbreaking finality. Yet the hill country is, of course, a real place, and where Ernie comes from. The Wisconsin native grew up in what's called that state's Driftless Area, where Midwestern flatness gives way to a more rounded landscape, so it’s natural that that he chose to record One for the Dreamers nestled among the neatly arranged hills of Middle Tennessee.

Recorded at Lamplight Studios in rural Primm Springs, Tenn., 2013's One for the Dreamers was anchored by producer-drummer Chad Cromwell (Neil Young, Mark Knoplfer), songwriter-producer-bassist Kevin “Swine” Grantt (Brad Paisley, Jamey Johnson, Willie Nelson), and Pete Wasner (Vince Gill) on piano, organ, and wurlitzer. Special guests include legendary harmonica player Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson, Guy Clark), pianist Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy), and rising Americana singer-songwriter Lera Lynn on harmony vocals.

There's a concordance of topography and emotion at work in the new record that comes out of Ernie’s life as a traveling musician and an intuitive record maker—Midwestern openness meets Nashville experience, you could say. Like the great American singers and songwriters who have inspired him—performers such as Neil Young, Jerry Garcia and Willie Nelson—Ernie seeks the light amidst the ever-present perils of darkness.

Born and raised in the Midwest, Ernie Hendrickson grew up on a steady diet of Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Cat Stevens, and Jerry Garcia. These early heroes opened the gates to the deep well of American roots music which he continues to draw inspiration from. In 2007 he self-produced and released a highly acclaimed solo record, Down the Road, of which the Illinois Entertainer deemed "Groundbreaking" and pushed him straight onto the Midwest's radar as an emerging singer-songwriter. Hendrickson set the talent bar high in the studio for this album with a cast of players that included the subtle and angelic backing vocals of his sister, Kelly Hendrickson, and the legendary harmonica player, Howard Levy (Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Paul Simon), aligned with an all-star group of Chicago musicians.

Hendrickson's second record, Walking with Angels, began with a chance meeting between Ernie and veteran producer Bo Ramsey (Greg Brown, Lucinda Williams) in the spring of '08 in Iowa City, where Ernie was opening a show for an old friend of Bo's, Kevin Gordon. Even in early conversation, the two agreed that there was a chemistry evolving that would only deepen once the sessions began. At Bo's urging, Ernie sang and played nearly all of the songs on the record with a live band which consisted of Bo, Jon Penner on bass (Junior Brown, Bo Ramsey), and Steve Hayes on drums (Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey). This call was made by Bo to try and capture the energy of a great performance and the result could not have been better. All twelve songs on the record feel as though these four guys had been playing together for years. After adding legendary Chicago pedal steel player Brian Wilkie (Alison Krauss, Pam Tillis) on several tracks, Bob Black's banjo (Bill Monroe), and taking a trip to Nashville to record keyboardist Kevin McKendree (Delbert McClinton), the record shines as a true testament to Hendrickson's ripening powers as a songwriter. Radio promotion has taken the sophomore album's success to a higher level on both AAA and Americana stations, having spent over 25 weeks in the Top 20 on Roots Music Report's Folk charts and in regular rotation at nearly 100 different stations across the country including Nashville's award-winning WSM-AM The Legend.

Copyright 2009 Ernie Hendrickson
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