Mark Erelli is a touring singer-songwriter. His craft is finely tuned, he has a substantial following and a network of reliable venues. He’s also going blind. After a devastating diagnosis of Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare inherited ocular condition which begins as loss of peripheral vision and progresses to legal blindness, Mark decided to simplify his creative process by recording at home. He reached out to his KickStarter community and was astounded at the positive response. This enabled Erelli to record his most recent album, “Lay Your Darkness Down”. Mark Erelli will be appearing at Northampton’s Parlor Room on March 25.
Our conversation covered more than Mark’s RP diagnosis. We talked about the songs he had already written and how they may have changed in light of changes in his life. We chatted about Tom Petty and Neil Young as well as Justin Townes Earle as influences. Mark talked about how relationship songs have changed as he and his wife celebrate decades together. The impact of Western Massachusetts is also explored. Throughout our conversation, we hear songs form Mark’s catalog including “By Degrees”, “Is It Enough”, “Call You Home”, “Lay Your Darkness Down” and “Love Wins in the Long Run”.
The conversation was lively and fun, despite Mark’s setbacks, he’s remarkably resilient and upbeat. I’m honored to have such honesty, courage, and insight in one interview. I hope you give it a listen (and buy his album) and go to the Parlor Room in March.