ACN FRIDAY FIND: Eric Burgett Gives A Nod To Love In His Uplifting New EP Hey Maker
Music has always been at the forefront of singer songwriter Eric Burgett's life. Growing up in a small town of 400 in central Illinois Burgett learned from an early age that music could be a gateway for him. Today Eric's bright and creative new EP "Hey Maker" is a nod to the values he learned growing up in the Midwest.
Growing up with vast influences and piano legends like Billy Joel and Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric gravitated to the things he had in a farm town.
"I grew up a farm kid," Eric tells All Country News. "I was learning things that I probably wouldn't have learned if I didn't grow up on a farm. Besides that I really gravitated towards the piano, it is acutely funny I picked that up before I picked up the guitar. Growing up in church, and playing piano, I played everything from the hymns and the Methodist hymnal to more modern hymns. I even played piano at a church here in Nashville. One of my first jobs was being music director at a church when I first moved to Nashville."
Thats where the title track of Eric's EP comes into play. The piano driven tune allows Eric's skills to shine. From the jump, the soft piano drives the slow love ballad. With lyrics like "Hey maker, I'm amazed by work." Burgett's faith is evident and is a driver for this stunning title track. The nostalgic double entendre wasn't always meant to be there however.
"It is actually funny how the song turned out," Eric laughs. "I wrote it with my producer, Matt McClure and our good friends, Kellys Collins and Liz Hengber. We were sitting in the writing room and Kellys had brought up this idea "Haymaker", but our original idea was more of a breakup tune. The idea was more centered around hey maker, can you bring her back to me? Can you make me a better man? It was that kind of pleading theme. Then we revisited it and we went, Hmm, how about we speak to a more universal crowd?"
The change was clearly a good one and speaks to the values that Eric still lives his life by. The title track tells the universal story of thanking the man upstairs for making the one you love. However, the creative twist on 90's and early 2000's country really makes this a career definer for Eric.
These themes are drivers for the project that is centered around love and thankfulness. "We wanted to kick off 2023 with a collection of love songs. We took a couple songs that I had already released and then we threw a bonus track in there at the end "Right In Front Of You." It's more of a piano driven tune, which is me as an artist a hundred percent. I have been sitting on a lot of love songs and wanted to give people a collection that showed all the different shades of being in love."
Some may say that boxing yourself in for a project can be a mistake, but we are tell you that this EP is the opposite. From top to bottom "Hey Maker" draws you in with its nostalgic stories and thrust listeners right into the lyric. Taking a theme that is often overdone in the genre can be a risk, yet Burgett takes the ideals of love and flips them on their head offering a more creative take on the emotional we all strive to feel.
Even more important, the EP allows Eric to lean into his passions and not shine away. The whole project is driven by a bright piano, something that is often missing in today's country.
Eric Burgett and Hey Maker is a testament to what can happen when you lean into your passions and not let the outside world effect your art. Through strong storytelling and a vivid piano, Eric Burgett has stepped into his own for a career defining project.