Tim Eriksen unites a mastery of traditional American and world folk styles with innovative arrangement, original and experimental music. “One of the best singers in music” according to producer T Bone Burnett, he has contributed extensively to films including Cold Mountain, for which he worked closely with Jack White, Ralph Stanley and Nicole Kidman, and his song I Wish The Wars Were All Over was chosen by Joan Baez to be her final recorded musical statement. His singing and storytelling, alternately heart breaking and hilarious, showcase his ability to bring a rare depth of musical and emotional experience even to those who are completely new to his “hardcore Americana” and world music sound.
A multi-instrumentalist whose performances typically include banjo, fiddle, guitar, bajo sexto (Mexican twelve string bass) and kaval (Balkan end blown flute), Eriksen’s influences range from the American folksong canon and “shape-note” music to Ottoman-era Balkan love songs and otherworldly indie folk. His theater and dance collaborations have included live original music for Minnesota Dance Theater (“In The Shadow Of The Mountain,” 2006), Nimbus Dance (“Hollow Square,” 2019) and the play “Refugee” by Milan Dragicevich (2017-2019). He has performed his ongoing “Pumpkintown,” magic lantern musical theater from an imaginary village, at venues including Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Occidental College, Theatre
Thenardier (Paris), Konstepidemin (Gothenburg) and throughout the UK and US.
Eriksen’s primary musical training was in South Indian classical music, and he holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology, but he cut his teeth playing punk, world and indie rock in seminal bands including Cordelia’s Dad (post-punk and folk) and Žabe I Babe (Bosnian folk and rock). He has recorded with artists including Afro Cuban pianist Omar Sosa (on the twice Grammy nominated Across the Divide), English fiddle legend Eliza Carthy, and in composer Evan Chambers’ symphonic song cycle The Old Burying Ground. His recent and upcoming work includes a second collaboration with Omar Sosa, collaboration with legendary producer Joe Boyd (Nick Drake, Pink Floyd) and a posthumous recording project with Esma Redžepova, “the queen of Gypsy music.” With his longtime involvement in Sacred Harp or “shape-note” singing he has helped spearhead an international revival of the music, teaching workshops across North America, Europe and as far abroad as Singapore. Eriksen’s media appearances have included Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage and the Academy Awards, and he
has been called the only performer to have shared a stage with both Kurt Cobain and Doc Watson.