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Eric O’Connell began studying and playing classical guitar at the age of eight. He studied with teachers in the Twin Cities and San Francisco, and performed in various venues. In his early twenties (1982 or so), Eric’s music took a new turn. He bought a Gurian, steel-string guitar and began experimenting with flat picking, bluegrass, and folk. He performed with his friend, Paul Cofell, in central Minnesota. Soon after, he was inspired to try writing in earnest. He now considers his early work “a bit rough.”
In 2008, Eric O'Connell's daughter, Courtney Carlson, persuaded him to leave his comfortable blue-collar life to live near her in Duluth, Minnesota. She had a secret intent. Her plan was for them to perform his music, written over the past 25 years, together. She was determined and he agreed. He dug out his music (literally jammed in a drawer) and they started performing. Eric has discarded all but his favorite tunes. They have just released their new CD, "If Love is What You Do." Other bandmembers include Stephanie Johnson Carlson (harmonica, hand drum, vocals), and Amy Carlson (vocals).
O'Connell will also do a short west coast tour in Summer 2009 with his younger daughter, Kristin O'Cooper.
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