Walking up to the Grand Mesa Arts and Events Center on Friday night, one could not help but notice the large crowd.
Despite the rain, chairs filled the parking lot in anticipation of a musical performance. Delta County favorites David Starr and Martha Ditto were joined on stage by Erik Stucky who brought the “Good Vibrations” of his music to Cedaredge.
Stucky, who is a Montrose native, is no stranger to Delta County. He’s performed many times here alongside Starr and they have traveled together. The last time he was in Delta County was also with Starr in the same location last summer. Any excuse to come back home is really great, Stucky said, and the crowd in Cedaredge is always great and supportive.
“We (Starr and Stucky) do stuff together off and on quite a bit,” Stucky said. “We’ve done a lot of different things together. He’s a great song writer and player. We like to do duo shows where he plays his songs and I back him up with mandolin and guitar and he does the same for me. … David and I really enjoy playing together and I think that comes out in our shows.”
The crowd on Friday showed its enjoyment of the show and the new songs Stucky shared.
Stucky — songwriter, mandolin and guitar player — became interested in playing the mandolin while attending bluegrass festivals. Seeing musicians like Sam Bush, of New Grass Revival play, inspired Stucky. At the age of 8, he received his first mandolin. After playing around on it for a couple of years, he started taking lessons at age 10.
Learning this instrument kicked off his musical venture.
In his late teens, Stucky’s talents grew as he started writing music and playing the guitar. Lyle Lovett became a big influence on Stucky as a musician.
When writing, Stucky says his lyrics are more tongue in cheek and happy lyrics. He describes his sound as folk-pop fusion. Stucky says he plays the mandolin and guitar from a folk background but the production of his music now is “big band production” and includes other instruments like the saxophone, trumpet, keyboard, bass and drums.
“It’s my attempt to put everything that I really am into under one umbrella, and that’s what this (new) album (is about),” Stucky said.
His first album, “Stray Clouds,” was more of a bluegrass album, he said. His new album, “Good Vibrations,” is more of the fusion of folk-pop. His change in sound was something that he has naturally gravitated towards. But the biggest change was when he moved to Nashville about four years ago. Here he has access to musicians and people who can make that different sound happen and put it together. That along with being surrounded by different influences and being exposed to different music genres like soul, R n’ B and funk — has created a unique sound of his own.
Stucky has been working on his latest album for about two and a half years. The title track, “Good Vibrations,” was the first song written that started the project, Stucky said, and everything was written around that. The intent of the song, and the album, is to make people feel good.
The plan was to release the album last spring but then the shutdown happened. Stucky decided to hold off on releasing it until he would be able to be out playing and promoting it.
The motivation changed a few times, he said. Creatively, he would get excited about these kinds of songs.
“As a songwriter and artistically, it can be hard to write feel good songs,” Stucky said. “A lot of times you get the creative swell from more darker or negative emotions – sad songs, lost love kind of songs. So it was kind of to explore the other side in an intense way and make a point of doing that.”
He debuted a new song from his album, “Nothing To It,” this past Friday. Other songs that have been released are “Don’t Stop Raining” and “Easy On Me.” In July he will release “Heaven Only Knows.” Instead of giving a description of these songs, Stucky enjoys letting the listener interpret them.
“I like to sing the song, and let the song say what it‘s meant to say and that’s different for every person which is the cool part about it,” Stucky said.
To promote this album, Stucky is getting out and playing as much as he can. His tour will include locations all over the U.S. The full album will be available Aug. 6.
You can also find Stucky on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. His music can be found on any streaming platform. For more information, visit his website at erikstucky.com.