Payin' Dues: Eric Corne

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Label owner, producer, engineer and singer-songwriter Eric Corne is best known for his work with Walter Trout and John Mayall. He first worked on Trout’s Full Circle in 2006 and through that he met Mayall, who signed to his Forty Below Records label in 2014. Corne has just recorded his first solo album, Kid Dynamite & The Common Man.

Kid Dynamite & The Common Man packs a real punch.
I was a Canadian living in post 911 America. It was stunning to me that Bush could be found out as a liar and still be re-elected. I love living in America, but I’m a social democrat and a lot of things I see are just wrong. Kid Dynamite is an exploiter; the common man is your average citizen. The lyric that sums it up best is: ‘A once great nation’s fallen ill/A schoolyard bully hooked on pills/With one hand on the Bible/And a hand inside the till.’

What was it like working with Walter Trout in the studio?
Walter likes to work quickly. He usually plays an idea recorded into his phone and gives us the basic feel. Then, as the band run through it, I make notes to go over with each musician, as well as general big- picture stuff. The challenge is to steer the rhythm tracks without losing the feeling. With the overdubs, I add texture and more dynamics, so the arrangement evolves, but never so much that it loses the raw sound of Walter and his band.

Walter Trout’s solo is just so emotional

Through Walter, you met John Mayall.
He and Walter cooked up She Takes More Than She Gives [on Trout’s Full Circle] in a matter of minutes. John was instrumental in helping Walter quit drugs and alcohol, and when I listen to Walter’s solo on that song, it’s so emotional and cathartic, it’s like he is expressing his gratitude. And the colouring John does behind him… He shades behind soloists like a painter.

What is Forty Below’s manifesto?
In the beginning, to develop young artists. I was working with some of the best sidemen on the planet, and I thought, “These guys are like The Wrecking Crew, The MGs, The Funk Brothers, so wouldn’t it be cool to find great young artists and surround them with these musicians?”

Then you signed John Mayall.
What I offer someone like John is a line of communication with the head of the label, who is a music maker and understands the artist’s concerns and genuinely wants their input.

Kid Dynamite & The Common Man is out now via Forty Below Records.