Dirt Floor Recording & Production: Catching up with Eric Lichter
Profile by Ali Kaufman with Photos by Denis Semenyaka
ric Lichter is creative energy personified, you can’t help but feel the vibration he puts out as he shares what keeps his passions stoked and his spirit fortified. We sat down to speak in the place he calls his musical home since moving from Chester in 2015. Dirt Floor Recording Studio is found in Haddam, down a twisty, forest-lined driveway that allows you to leave the main road far behind and literally transport yourself to this idyllic and acoustically excellent, cabin in the woods. Perched above the banks of the Connecticut River, the view is as vast as the skill set that Lichter brings to each project and the foliage as varied as the artists that choose to seek out this diamond in the rough.
This was one of my first visits to anyone since the pandemic changed life for all of us, and I asked about its effects on Eric’s life. Since musicians and record makers were, arguably, not deemed essential workers by the state, things came to a halt, and Lichter took time through April to pause, refocus, and work on his own musicianship. “Our well goes deeper,” he mused about his craft. “I also got around to finishing up writing for an album I started years ago!” Referring to music in general during this oddest of times, Lichter says, “People are connecting with music in a way they haven’t in a long while. It’s like comfort food. They are hungry for the arts.”
Moving forward, the magic of technology allowed for remote connecting, keeping Eric busy mixing and mastering as the careful progression to safely returning to the studio with live musicians became once again a possibility.
While Dirt Floor Studio is clearly a business, Eric draws a distinction between what he offers and the many other options artists have for getting their work pressed. It’s a delicate dance that happens, “but the record is ultimately about the artist, not me,” Eric expressed. The already animated Lichter becomes even more so when bringing up Kerry Powers and the two albums they have made together. He describes her as someone who “gets it,” she is not afraid to, as he likes to say, “trust the pilot” and see where it goes.
Not an easy thing when you are bringing in your songs, literally pieces of yourself, to get ripped down, so together they can be built back even better. That is what Eric delivers, a full creative experience with the knowledge, equipment, and space to make something magical happen together. He wears his musician hats just as well as his producer one and has played on several of the albums that have come out of Dirt Floor.
Eric is often identified with folk, rock, and his studio is getting a reputation of being the closest thing to the Laurel Canyon sound on the East Coast, yet that does not stop him from stretching himself. His hunger to learn and try new things prompted him to work with the metal band, Curse The Son, on their latest album just out in June on the Ripple Music label, “Excruciation.” This project is a perfect example of how Eric chooses to put a foot out on the stepping stones that have appeared to help him along his trajectory. “Attitude has helped me persevere,” Eric quipped.
I would add his determination to make the best albums possible with the artists he takes on has also served him well, and word continues to spread.
Website and Facebook presence can be found by going to dirtfloorrecordingstudio.com and Dirt Floor Recording & Production respectively. I suggest you also check out his Instagram game which is incredibly impressive! Especially his clips of songs done in pieces and put together like a moving puzzle, ascetically engaging and beautifully executed. @Dirt_floor_record_production or @eric_m_lichter_artist_producer
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