I Stand Corrected


2021 release. "I Stand Corrected is the debut of a new talent and the debut of a new label, Country Thyme. Yes -- a label was formed to release this artist, which means something special is in the air. Upon dropping the needle, you'll hear exactly what it is, too: an honest-to-god song cycle, riches-to-rags style, rising and falling on the songs of E.R. Jurken and his spectral tenor, refracted via multiple overdubs across an oft-deserted soundscape, like haunted incandescent orchestral pop music with the orchestra mostly erased. I Stand Corrected took some time to stand up . . . Ed bought a guitar off a stranger and Gene referred Ed to longtime Drag City A&R man Rian Murphy, who was indeed interested in the sound of the album Ed had in mind. With wounds just beneath the surface of his skin for so long, Ed began demoing songs on his mobile phone, turning out one a week featuring guitar and extensive vocal arrangements. After a few months, it was clear the cycle was complete. Sessions at The Loft with Murphy and Mark Greenberg (engineer/secret weapon of hundreds of sessions, including Wilco, Andrew Bird, Edith Frost, Mavis Staples, Eleventh Dream Day and Richard Thompson), slowly drew the album into full-fleshed form. The sound of I Stand Corrected is often just acoustic guitar, offset by a lush tableau of vocal arrangements. Ed's voice works the register, sliding easily into falsetto and adapting equitably to lower octaves as well, while populating the landscape with choruses of vocal color. These voices cover a wide swath of 20th-century popular music sensibilities, tipping the hat to everything from Paul McCartney, Beach Boys and The Mamas and the Papas to the Boswell Sisters and the Brothers Gibb. Murphy and Greenberg added just a touch of rhythm in places and Paul Mertens (Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Stereolab, The Sea and Cake, Poi Dog Pondering, Brian Wilson) provided several exquisite horn arrangements that complement the play of Ed's guitars, keyboards and vocals. Side one of the album dashes by in suite form, its eight tunes forming a travelogue that, while initially bright and cheerful, eventually descends into melancholic depths that are fully plumbed on the flip side. Ed's lyrics are obliquely coded -- beautiful and surreal, referencing something horribly wrong behind the curtain. The sweet sadness of a life spent waiting to be informs the music with comings and goings, drawing us into confusion and yearning, showing a heart that resembles our own..."