Eric Corne is a Canadian producer, engineer and singer-songwriter currently based in Los Angeles. Corne formed the Toronto space pop group Mysterio in the late 90s along with guitarist Simon Craig (Son, Feist, Dragonette). The band released Agent 000, an album of “catchy, dynamic studio pop” (Exclaim! Magazine) on Bobby Dazzler Records in 2003. In 2004, Corne relocated his family to Los Angeles to work for widely respected producer, engineer and bassist Dusty Wakeman (Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam) at Mad Dog Studios. Working at Mad Dog, Corne engineered sessions for the likes of Glen Campbell, Lucinda Williams, Nancy Wilson (Heart), John Doe (X, The Knitters) and Michelle Shocked, including some of Shocked’s second line music featuring, Trombone Shorty and her contribution to Give US Your Poor, a benefit CD to fight homelessness that also included tracks from Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt and Madeleine Peyroux. Corne, whose own music has always had a socio-political slant, also worked on the Instant Karma charity project for Darfur, recording and mixing Ghanaian reggae/afro-beat artist, Rocky Dawuni’s cover of John Lennon’s “Well, well, well.” In addition, Corne spent months engineering and mixing a charity project for Hurricane Katrina victims called The Congo Square Project, which featured dozens of the greatest drummers of all time, including Airto Moreira (Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell), Louie Bellson (Duke Ellington), Ndugu Chancler (Michael Jackson), Clem Burke (Blondie) and many more.
It was at Mad Dog where Corne first met blues legend, Walter Trout (Canned Heat, John Lee Hooker). “I was like a kid… getting to meet a former Bluesbreaker, haha! When Walter told me he wanted me to do the Full Circle record and that John (Mayall) would be guesting on it… Man! I actually asked if I could get John’s autograph… And, I did! He signed the Clapton ‘Beano’ album, ‘To Eric, Good Sounds’, laughs Corne, who grew up in Winnipeg sneaking into clubs as a youth to see blues greats who came through town. He would go on to co-produce, engineer and mix a half a dozen critically acclaimed records with Trout, including tracks with many other blues greats such as, John Mayall, Guitar Shorty, Jeff Healy and a then rising star named, Joe Bonamassa. Mayall’s artist bio says, “After being invited to do a guest spot on Walter Trout’s latest album (The Blues Came Callin’), John met engineer/producer Eric Corne. John was so impressed that he asked Eric to record his new album.” Corne would later sign Mayall to his label, Forty Below Records.
“Mad Dog was a great place to work,” says Corne. “I mean, not only did you have Dusty and this incredible studio with one of the best boards ever (a Neve 8088 with Flying Faders), but on any given day you could be making a record with an engineering great like Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin) or David Bianco (Bob Dylan, Tom Petty) and then, in the off hours, I could record my own album.” During his tenure at Mad Dog, Corne befriended a cast of blue-chip players who animated his first solo release, Kid Dynamite & The Common Man.
The roster of musicians who responded to Corne’s call reads like a who’s-who of LA rock and roots royalty: Richie Hayward (Little Feat), Greg Leisz (Wilco), Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams), Brian MacLeod (Sheryl Crow), Santa Davis (Peter Tosh), Skip Edwards (Dwight Yoakam), Stephen Hodges (Tom Waits), Gia Ciambotti (Bruce Springsteen), Freddy Koella (Bob Dylan), Dave Raven (Mike Ness), Johnny Bazz (The Blasters), Carl Byron (Michelle Shocked), Sasha Smith (Jesca Hoop),Danny Frankel (k.d. lang), C.C. White (Ben Harper), Eamon Ryland (Happy Mondays), and of course, Dusty Wakeman (Jim Lauderdale). Nick Urata of Denver’s DeVotchKa sings background on two tracks. One of which, “Trampolines” was licensed for HBO’s True Blood.
The album received rave reviews with Blurt ‘s Lee Zimmerman calling it “One of the year’s (2008) most dramatic debuts!” but Corne surprisingly only played three shows to support it: one in LA with special guest, Michelle Shocked, one in San Diego with friends DeVotchKa and the last at Toronto’s NXNE Festival in 2009. After that, Corne retreated back to studio work. By this time he was working freelance out of several commercial studios.
In the last few years, Corne has co-produced/engined/mixed more records for Walter Trout, John Mayall, Taiwanese sensation Joanna Wang, as well as individual tracks for Tim Easton and Kim Deal (The Pixies, The Breeders). Corne has also worked on several projects with DeVotchKa’s lead singer Nick Urata. The two developed a friendship when Corne engineered parts of A Mad and Faithful Telling and Urata has since tapped Corne to engineer several of his film scores, including Crazy Stupid Loveand I Love You Phillip Morris.
Recently Corne founded Forty Below Records distributed by SONY/RED in North America and Proper Music Group in The UK and Europe. In 2013, Forty Below released newcomer KaiL Baxley. The album Heatstroke/The Wind and the War was a surprise nomination for NPR Album of the Year. In 2014, Forty Below has announced upcoming releases by blues icon, John Mayall and another talented newcomer, Sam Morrow. “Morrow is an indie secret that deserves to become a mainstream sensation” (Review Fix). Meanwhile, Corne is near completion of Baxley’s sophomore effort; mastering some historic live Bluesbreaker concerts from 1967 for John Mayall, featuring Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie of Fleetwood Mac: and working on his own long awaited follow up to Kid Dynamite & The Common Man.
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