Making A Scene Presents an Interview with Eric Brace
A Grammy-nominated producer, the front man of the acclaimed roots-rock band Last Train Home, half of a duo with songsmith Peter Cooper, and founder of East Nashville indie label Red Beet Records, Eric Brace is a prolific and admired artist.
A former music journalist for the Washington Post, Brace relocated to Nashville in 2003 for a full-time musical life. With Last Train Home, he has released eight records and one live concert DVD. After moving to Nashville, Brace began touring and recording with duo partner Peter Cooper, and the pair has three much-lauded albums to their credit. You Don’t Have To Like Them Both (2008) was a #1 album on the Freeform American Roots Chart, Top Five on the Folk Chart, and Top Ten on the Americana chart. The opening track on that CD, “I Know a Bird,” which was penned and sung by Brace, was the #1 Folk song on its release and a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. The pair’s second album, Master Sessions, is a tour de force that made its way onto numerous critics’ lists of the best albums of 2010. It features the instrumental work of pedal steel guitar legend Lloyd Green and Dobro master Mike Auldridge. April, 2013 marked the release of Eric Brace & Peter Cooper’s third duo record, The Comeback Album, a sparkling set of songs that feature their splendid harmonies and deft storytelling.
Brace lives and works in East Nashville, where he runs indie record label Red Beet Records. He’s a devoted champion of the rich and productive East Nashville music scene, having produced three compilations of East Nashville music featuring some of Nashville’s finest songwriters. Brace is co-producer of the Grammy-nominated I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow, on which he appears with his band Last Train Home, along with artists such as Buddy Miller, Bobby Bare, Patty Griffin, and Duane Eddy. In 2013 he completed Hangtown Dancehall, a musical about the California Gold Rush, co-written with Karl Straub, featuring Kelly Willis, Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott, Jason Ringenberg, and more.
Brace most recently produced Jerry Lawson’s solo debut, Just a Mortal Man, a stunning collection of 13 songs, featuring one of the greatest voices in American music. Lawson, the founding lead singer of a cappella legends The Persuasions, recorded 40 albums with his former vocal group, but had never made a record under his own name, or with a band. Now he has. Brace and Lawson got to know each other after Brace wrote a glowing preview of a Persuasions concert for the Washington Post, and got a thank you note from Lawson in return. They continued a correspondence that led – after ten years – to the recording of Just a Mortal Man, to be released April 28, 2015.