Cruising Paradise

“Whether his songs are autobiographical or not, Koskinen can craft an old blues tune that speaks to everyone, a song that is more than the sum of its parts…”
-Youa Vang, City Pages

“There’s a wonderful raggedness and weary white-flag-waving to the EP that seems to sum up 2017 pretty well…”
-Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune

“Koskinen’s sound is true country, not country radio country. It’s more reminiscent of, at times, Hank Williams or, at other times, outlaw-era Waylon Jennings. There are elements of blues, folk and rock. There’s some Stevie Ray Vaughan in there. A little Roy Orbison. It’s 100 percent unique”.
-Robb Murray,
Mankato Free Press


Musically sprouted from the blend of American folk, country, rock-n-roll, and blues, Erik Koskinen and his top-shelf band realize a sound that is distinctive and fresh while familiar and classic. Koskinen’s albums are a lyrical and musical metaphor of American’s theaters of war, of history, of relationships, and of the reflections in the mirror. Knowing but not didactic, Koskinen channels the ways of Whitman and reverently enters the anthology of uniquely crafted wry songs with the likes of Woody Guthrie and Ry Cooder while speaking as plainly as your neighbor.

Originally released as an EP in November 2017, Cruising Paradise now includes nine songs and was pressed on vinyl for release on July 13, 2018. All songs were mixed and mastered at Real-Phonic Studios, except “Red Dress Girl,” which was recorded at Master Mix by Tom Garneau.

About his inspiration for the new album, Koskinen shared, “I’ve been working on all kinds of projects the past few years and have written a lot of new songs. But these songs seemed to have a thread all the way through, a story from song one to song nine.” The title, he said, was an homage to Sam Shepard, the actor and writer who died in 2017. “Shepard’s death is a significant loss to me. This has been a year where we’ve lost giants. Pioneers in literature and music are gone. Who’s gonna step up and fill the vacuum?”

Cruising Paradise (2017) follows Koskinen’s first three albums, Keep It to Yourself (2010)America Theatre (2014), and  Live At the Real Phonic Radio Hour (2015). The original EP is available at the Electric Fetus in Minneapolis and Duluth, other fine record stores, online, at streaming sites, and for digital download. Cruising Paradise on LP (2018) will be available at all Minnesota record stores following its release and available for pre-order on Koskinen’s web store.

E R I K   K O S K I N E N
Real-Phonic Records
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Cruising Paradise EP
EP Release Date: November 24, 2017

1. Broke Down
2. Free Man
3. On Christmas Day
4. Red Dress Girl
5. Big Machine
6. Cruising Paradise the Long Way Around

Cruising Paradise LP
LP Release Date: July 13, 2018

Side A
1. Broke Down
2. Free Man
3. On Christmas Day
4. Red Dress Girl
5. When the Money Rolls In #1

Side B
1. Drag Seeing You
2. Lucky Man
3. Big Machine
4. Cruising Paradise the Long Way Around

©2018 Erik Koskinen