"Her eyes got really big and she was beaming. She was blown away that this wasn't just "our song" -- but you made it OUR song."
Who we are
In the nearly two decades since Erin Bode began her professional recording career, she has garnered much critical praise for her pure voice and impressive phrasing and style. It is this talent, coupled with her reluctance to accept classification as a purely jazz vocalist that has led to reviews hailing her as “someone you won’t forget” and comparing her sound to the likes of Eva Cassidy, Norah Jones, and Karrin Allyson.
A Minnesota native, Bode was first introduced to music by her father, a Lutheran minister, who emphasized music in daily life and encouraged her to join the church choir. She studied music as well as foreign languages at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities and graduated from Webster University in St. Louis. It is at Webster where Erin studied vocal jazz with Christine Hitt who helped to launch her career as a vocalist. In 2003, Bode secured a recording contract with the jazz label, Maxjazz with whom she recorded two albums, Don't Take Your Time and Over and Over. Bode has also gained exposure through appearances on various programs including CBS’s Second Cup Café and Garrison Keillor’s, A Prairie Home Companion. She has opened for and/or performed with Chris Botti, Michael Bublé, Air Supply, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Jamie Cullum, LeAnne Rimes, Average White Band and Kenny G to name a few.
To date, Bode has released eight albums and toured the United States, as well overseas to Europe, Asia, and Africa. Since 2014, Bode has been Artist in Residence and professor of Lyrics Writing at both, Missouri Baptist University and Webster University in St. Louis, MO. She has taught or led countless master classes and workshops on performance and vocal techniques at high schools and Universities around the world and has had a private vocal studio for over ten years.
While Bode got her start singing standard jazz, her recent projects have been decidedly more pop-based. 2008’s Little Garden on the Native Language label and 2010’s independent release, Photograph feature all original material by Bode, and showcase her love of poetry with songs that are rich in harmonic and timbral texture. Bode's latest release, Here and Now is a collection of songs by the master songwriters of the Great American Songbook, replete with clever melodies and witty lyrics. Erin collaborated with producer and bassist Viktor Krauss, guitarists Matt Munisteri and Todd Lombardo, cellist Tara Santiago and Grammy Award winning vocalist, Suzanne Cox. With this treasured collection of songs from writers like Irving Berlin and Frank Loesser, Rickie Lee Jones and Gerry Rafferty, Bode and her fellow musicians impart each story through simple yet sophisticated arrangements of each piece.
"I've found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life to hear people’s stories, learn from them the things they truly want to express and help them to say it in a song."
Eclectic composer/producer and double and electric bassist Viktor Krauss was born in Champaign, IL, in 1969. His youth was spent listening to film soundtracks and instrumental music, eventually leading him to the piano and trumpet. After witnessing the power and ominous presence of the double bass at a middle school concert, the found his true calling. He soon played with local jazz groups and accompanying others in different genres. In high school, Krauss explored the worlds of rock, soul, and R&B and began to write material that shared these influences, eventually leading to the formal study of double bass, voice, electronic, and tape music at the University of Illinois (BM Theory/Composition ’92). Since 1992, Krauss has been a presence in Nashville Tennessee with nearly 500 album credits as either a bassist, guitarist, pianist, composer/songwriter or producer.
As a support musician, in 1994 Viktor began his now 27-year tenure with respected singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett (both touring and recording).
In 1995, starting with the celebrated recording Nashville, Viktor started a long recording and touring collaboration with revered jazz guitarist Bill Frisell. Additional recordings with Frisell include Gone, Just Like a Train, Floratone, East/West, Good Dog, Happy Man, Disfarmer and The Sweetest Punch . Krauss and Frisell also appear (along with guitarist/producer Buddy Miller and drummer Brian Blade) on the 2012 recording for Shawn Colvin, All Fall Down. Krauss has also been seen on stage or heard on recordings with artists and composers including , James Taylor, Robert Plant, Sir Tom Jones, Alison Krauss, Buddy Miller, Shelby Lynne, Chet Atkins, Larry Carlton, James Newton Howard, The Chieftains, Jerry Douglas, Carly Simon, Peter Rowan, Harry Connick Jr. , J.D. Souther, Joan Baez, Indigo Girls, Dolly Parton, Rodney Crowell, Graham Nash, Michael McDonald, John Fogerty, Elvis Costello, Kenny Rodgers, Jewel, Shawn Colvin and others.
In 2004, Krauss recorded his solo debut of his original compositions for Warner Bros/Nonesuch, Far From Enough. Featuring an all-star band consisting of Frisell, Jerry Douglas, Steve Jordan, and sister Alison (peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard’s ® Contemporary Jazz Chart). Krauss' second EMI/Back Porch album, II , which featured core band guitarist Dean Parks and drummer Matt Chamberlain and appearances by Shawn Colvin, Ben Taylor and Lovett as well as a cover of Pink Floyd's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond," emerged three years later. The title “II” pays homage to Viktor’s love of classic rock bands of the 70’s that would frequently title their records based on their chronological order (i.e. Led Zeppelin II). Primarily instrumental music, Viktor describes his music as, “a soundtrack without a movie with nods to ‘classic rock’ and jazz.” In 2010, Modular I, a recording featuring original compositions of Viktor Krauss, Matt Chamberlain and Dan Phelps was released independently with great reviews. In 2017 Krauss, along with lever harp virtuoso Maeve Gilchrist released a duo album of original material entitled Vignette on the Adventure Music America label.
In 2006, Viktor was awarded a fellowship for the prestigious Film Composer’s Lab at the Sundance Institute and his film credits include three compositions in Ken Burns’ documentary, Baseball: The Tenth Inning, composing credits for the films, Robert Altman’s Dr. T. and the Women (co-composed with Lyle Lovett and Matt Rollings) and the independent film, Dodge City. Also, songs from his records are featured in the documentaries I Hear Thunder, & The Oasis Project. Krauss has recently provided underscore for two short films for director Becky George, 10 Count and Charlie’s Calling both released in 2016. Viktor's original compositions are used daily as musical "bumpers" for National Public Radio between programs.