Folk songstress Cole-Baker tours Northland

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Folk songstress Cole-Baker tours Northland

Erin Cole-Baker wrote her first song on a guitar bought with a hundred dollars from her great aunt Honey when she was ten-years-old, and she started playing the piano as soon as she could reach one. The American-born singer-songwriter grew up in coastal Northland and talks to Phillipa Mannagh about the inspiration for her new album, family, her NZ tour and returning home.

“I was drawn to the piano as soon as I could pull myself up to it. I started on piano, then learned guitar, gravitating more towards that as I explored writing my own songs and left home – the guitar is more portable,” Erin says.

Erin’s songs are described as folk, dreamy, introspective, warm and bright. Her latest album, Till the Feeling’s Right, represents moments of motherhood for the mother-of-two, and their families journey back to NZ. She is the mother of two daughters, June (5) and Flo (2).

“I came back to Northland when I was pregnant with June, to be close to family and live the dream with a house in the country and raise a family of our own.”

Erin had spent a good chunk of time living in Oregon, playing in different transformations of her music from solo, duo to full band. Erin’s newly acquired Telecaster guitar and Princeton reverb amp have inspired some exciting new songs, the warm rich tones expanding her sound.

She is currently recording on two-inch tape at Whangarei’s Anzac Road Studio, preparing to release an album and tour New Zealand over the next two months.

Erin is releasing her new album Till the Feeling’s Right on May 19. Her tour will take include The Old Library, Whangarei (May 19), Leigh Sawmill (May 20), Fairfield House, Nelson (June 15), Raglan – venue to be confirmed (June 30) and Nikau Caves Cafe, Waikeratu (July 1).

One of her all-time career highlights, she says, was playing at the Tower Theatre in Bend while in the US, playing at Sisters Folk Festival.

“Being born in California and spending six years in Oregon pursuing my music there I have a deep connection and a longing to keep those connections and friendships alive and expand new ones over in the States. I’m working on the goal of going to the States with my family every year and playing shows, to make that a sustainable model for us.

“Sometimes passions and goals don’t make complete sense, it looks crazy on paper, but it’s hard to hide from things that go so deep,” she says.

Erin’s humble nature comes through strongly in her songs. She has days where she pinches herself.
“Believing in myself, that I’m good enough and what I do is ok, and it’s ok for me to pursue it…I try to work off the mindset that every person has a deep longing, a talent, it’s our duty to follow that and make the world a better place by following that call,” she says.

“I can only hope that my music can make someone else’s journey improve somehow.”