Daily Discovery: Ernie Hendrickson, “I Need You”

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Videos by American Songwriter

ARTIST: Ernie Hendrickson

SONG: I Need You

BIRTHDATE: 10-03-1977

HOMETOWN: Shullsburg, WI


AMBITIONS:  Ultimately, I would love to use the power of music to spread love and positivity in this often cruel and cold world (don’t tell Frank Zappa or he’ll make fun of me…).  But it’s true, that is the best I can offer with my set of gifts and abilities.  I wish I could do something better like help advance solar and wind energy or save precious forests and wildlife from extinction.  Or perhaps help bring people closer together as one human family.  I’ll do my best there too!

TURN-OFFS:  Racism, Classism, Bigotry, Apathy, old ideas that are past their usefulness that hold us back as a society

TURN-ONS:  Passion, Smiling, Kindness, Sincerity, Natural Beauty

DREAM GIG:  I got to play the Ryman Auditorium once, opening for Don Williams in front of a sold out crowd.  That was like a dream.

FAVORITE LYRIC:  I don’t do well with favorites.  Never had a favorite color or food or anything.  I love Robert Hunter’s way of writing, painting images with words, and reaching for something just beyond the physical plane.  I’ve heard it described as zen-cowboy.  Any of his will do here, but how bout a recent one of his from a Jim Lauderdale collaboration:  “Between your heart and mine, between your heart and mine, love will always shine, between your heart and mine”

CRAZIEST PERSON I KNOW:  My dad is off the chain…I get a lot of my craziness from him I guess.  Thanks Dad!  Hi Mom!

SONG I WISH I WROTE: Oh, how bout…The House Where Nobody Lives by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan.  I recorded it on my first album.  If I had written it then I wouldn’t have had to fill out all the extra paperwork!  It’s a beautiful song with a beautiful sentiment.

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH:  Tough one…off the top of my head: Crazy Horse (I mean the Lakota warrior, but the band would do just fine too!), Jerry Garcia,  Keith Richards, Ghandi, Jane Goodall (George Carlin, Bill Hicks, MLK Jr., Bob Marley…ok, ok…)

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: Again, favorites are tough if not impossible…I took my wife to Woodstock NY for our anniversary in 2008 and we went to Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble at his barn.  My wife somehow sweet-talked one of the guys there to let us sit in these reserved seats that were DIRECTLY in front of Levon’s drums.  I could have reached out and played his hi-hats.  He was so genuine and warm, looked right at us smiling.  His eyes beamed wit, wisdom and love.  And his singing and playing was otherworldly.

I WROTE THIS SONG:  just sitting at the piano and out came the chorus.  It’s a song born from the experience of living through some hard and beautiful times with the one you love.  It was one of the first songs I wrote for my new album that I knew instantly would be a keeper.  We made a video for it too.


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