Close Bond: Eric Moore Searches for Fellowship and Connection on New “Brother” EP


Eric Moore stands crossing his arms wearing a blue denim jacket and a red-striped shirt.

Eric Moore explores the power of human emotion and connection on Brother. Photo by Jordan Buzzy Photography.

Despite having grown up with an older sister, Eric Moore longs for a strong sense of brotherhood.

The Ypsilanti singer-songwriter/guitarist shares his quest for finding fellowship on “Brother,” the title track from his new blues-rock EP.

“It happened in San Francisco, in Jackson Hole, [Wyoming], and here in Michigan,” said Moore, who grew up near Pittsburgh, and lived out west before moving to Ypsilanti in 2002.

“I made super-tight friendships with some guys who had tight friendships with their brothers. When their brothers were on the scene and whenever we were all together, I felt like the third wheel … there was a line I couldn’t cross, and they weren’t trying to ostracize me by any means, but I just could not get over and get any closer than what those guys had.”

Backed by contemplative acoustic guitar and piano on “Brother,” Moore sings, “The first time I ever heard it I was almost 40 years old / Far past the pain of adolescence, yeah, all those tears were cold / Still it got me thinking about some good friends along the way / They were always there for each other, there wasn’t nothing left to say.”

“I noticed this tendency in me to do that, so I started with this line, ‘I’ve been waiting on you, brother.’ I tried writing around that, and I was trying to force something,” he said.

“Somewhere at some point, I said … ‘Nobody ever called me brother,’ and I went, ‘Boom! That is the song and the line that everything is going to hinge on.’ And then the song just wrote itself, it just poured out after I had that line … [and] that’s the truth, too, growing up in Washington, Pennsylvania without a musical soul to even talk with.”

Throughout Brother, Moore explores the power of human emotion and connection across four tracks. Honest tales of unity and transformation emerge alongside soulful vocals and rich blues-rock instrumentation filled with elements of jazz and folk.

“A couple of years ago, I was feeling really good about the music, and I was getting a really good response whenever I played out. I had been playing with Rick [Humesky], so we’ve been a duo—and he’s been playing lead guitar—for three or four years now,” Moore said.

“I said, ‘You know what, I’m gonna invest in myself,’ so I gave myself a dollar amount and decided to make an EP. I picked what I thought were some attractive songs, and one of the older ones is ‘Two Become One,’ which was written right at the end of my stay out in Jackson Hole before we came to Michigan.”

As Brother’s bluesy and jazzy opener, “Two Become One,” recounts Moore’s 20-year marriage to his wife and revisits cherished feelings from his wedding day.

Buoyant electric guitar and saxophone echo a celebratory sentiment as Moore sings, “And baby, it’s crazy / To think that I will never be alone / And baby, I get a little hazy / When I walk through the door of our happy home.”

“There was something unexpectedly sexy about taking yourself out of the game and committing,” said Moore, who met his wife while working as a banquet cook at Jackson Hole’s Teton Science Schools.

“It’s like, ‘Yeah, this is us in a you-and-me-against-the-world kind of feeling … This is our team. There’s no other team like this on the planet. Let’s rock this, and let’s do the best thing we can with it.’”

Moore carries that gratitude forward on “Judgement Day,” a candid ode about living in the moment, being yourself, and ignoring criticism from others.

Surrounded by swift acoustic guitar and vibrant horns, he sings, “This song is simply a record, I’ll show you what, not why / Ain’t nothing but a tender slice of the zeitgeist / What’s holding you in the sway / It’s not Judgement Day yet …”

“It’s like, ‘All this stuff is over here, but that’s not why I’m here right now. I’m just here to kick it with you,’” Moore said. “I’m having fun with music and the idea that ‘It’s not Judgement Day yet.’”

Moore also honors mindfulness on “Alive,” a bold anthem about being proactive in life, pursuing your passion, and escaping everyday monotony.

Alongside peppy horns and lush harmonies, he sings, “But my dreams, my dreams keep coming on strong / They don’t let me rest for long / Growing older don’t make a dent / Trying to hide from the nine to five / It keeps me moving, it keeps me alive.”

“It’s also about our lifestyle in general: What are you doing? How many hours a day are you scrolling on your phone? And how alive is that? You’re watching other people do stuff; you’re not doing stuff yourself,” said Moore, who’s previously worked as a bicycle messenger, a river guide, and an artisan breadmaker.

“Everyone’s got that drive to succeed, the drive to make money, and stuff like that, but is that really what you want to be doing? Is it killing your soul?”

To bring his soul-stirring EP to life, Moore selected two older tracks—“Two Become One” and “Alive”—and two newer ones—“Judgement Day” and “Brother”—to record at Ann Arbor’s Big Sky Recording with owner/engineer Geoff Michael.

“We started recording August 13, [2022], and we laid the basic stuff down,” he said. “Over the ensuing months, I did overdubs of stuff, got backing vocals done, and then went in to do my lead vocals. I finished everything, including the mixes, in January, and then we mastered it in June. I finally took possession of the finished product at the end of July.”

On Brother, Moore also features collaborations with several local musicians, including Jim Latini (drums), John Sperendi (bass), Neil Donato (keys), Rick Humesky (electric guitar), Ross Huff (trumpet, flugelhorn, horn arrangements), Tim Haldeman (saxophone), and backing vocalists Sophia HanifiJanet Benson, and Shannon Lee.

“Ross Huff did the horn arrangements, and I just implicitly trusted him. I talked with him a bunch before … and said I’m a really big Van Morrison fan,” said Moore, who’s also inspired by Chris Smither and John Martyn.

“I love what he’s done with horns, and I talked with Ross about how I heard certain horn sections going. With ‘Alive,’ I could hear that veering into Blood, Sweat & Tears territory, but not too much.”

After spending time with Moore in the studio, most of his collaborators will join him on stage as The Union at Ypsilanti’s Riverside Arts Center to celebrate the release of Brother. The October 11 show is featured as part of David Roof’s Funky Rivertown Fest and includes Rochelle Clark and Jason Dennie as the openers.

“I’m going to work up a solid hour of music for folks. We’ve got these four songs on the EP, and we’re going to be doing a Beatles cover of ‘And I Love Her.’ I do that in my own way and kind of rock it up and jazz it up a bit,” said Moore, who’s including a VIP ticket option for his show.

“I’m also going to work up a few songs with Jason Dennie to do as an unplugged mini set in the middle of my set. I’ll do four or five songs with the band and then have Jason on with me. We’ll do four or five songs, and then have the band back on.”

Looking ahead, Moore plans to book additional live shows across Michigan and record new material to release in early 2024.

“I’ve got three new songs that Ross [Huff] is working up horn arrangements for. By the time the show is here, we should be drilled well enough in these songs to take those into the studio,” he said.

“In January, I’ll target another release of one of these new songs, and I’m sure I’ll go back into Big Sky and work with Geoff [Michael] again … and trickle them out that way.”

Lori Stratton is a library technician, writer for Pulp, and writer and editor of

Eric Moore & The Union performs October 11 as part of Funky Rivertown Fest at Riverside Arts Center, 76 N. Huron St. in Ypsilanti. For tickets, visit Eventbrite’s website.